News of the Day: 20 September 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday reported 19,744 new coronavirus cases and 778 deaths.

The Guardian: Russia’s ruling United Russia party, which supports the president, Vladimir Putin, appears poised to maintain a constitutional majority in Russia’s state parliament, mysteriously outperforming its sluggish polling numbers in an election marred by accusations of vote rigging.

The Moscow Times: President Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia claimed a landslide victory in parliamentary and regional elections that have been marred by claims of widespread voter fraud after an unprecedented crackdown on monitors and opposition candidates.

Amnesty International: Newly elected members of Russia’s State Duma, or lower house of parliament, must not shirk their duty to urgently address the country’s increasingly dismal human rights record by amending repressive legislation and resuming parliamentary scrutiny of the executive, Amnesty International said today.

The Guardian: A gunman has opened fire at a university in Russia, leaving eight people dead and 24 hurt.

RFE/RL: A candidate running in a local election in St. Petersburg who faced two challengers with the same name in what was an apparent attempt to confuse voters and siphon off support has lost as have the other two.

The Moscow Times: Russia’s Communist Party will not recognize electronic voting results which reversed its candidates’ strong leads in the country’s parliamentary elections held over the weekend, a party official said Monday. 

The Moscow Times: Russia’s opposition called for protests on Monday after accusing the authorities of rigging highly anticipated elections to the country’s parliament.

RFE/RL: The Kremlin-appointed governor of Khabarovsk won the election to head the Far Eastern region, more than a year after the arrest of his popular predecessor triggered protests. Mikhail Degtyaryov received 57 percent of the vote in a whittled down field of contenders in the September 17-19 election, according to preliminary numbers from the Central Election Commission.

RFE/RL: Late on September 19, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin headlined an election victory rally for the ruling United Russia party, which was poised to maintain its two-thirds constitutional majority in the State Duma following elections marred by unprecedented repressions and stunning accusations of fraud.

RFE/RL: Here’s the first thing you need to know about the now-concluded election campaign for Russia’s State Duma: It’s been carefully managed from the start, with the opposition largely barred from running and a crackdown on government opponents that shows no sign of abating.

RFE/RL: The video appears to show a major police operation to expose a troll farm churning out fake reports of violations in Russia’s three-day legislative elections, which concluded on September 19 with a resounding victory for ruling party United Russia amid mounting claims of fraud. […] The problem is that the clip may have been exactly what Andreyev denied it was: a fabrication. On September 19, the BBC’s Russian service reported that two of the people featured in the video were actors paid to take part in a staged performance.

The Moscow Times: The U.S. State Department cast doubt Monday on the integrity of Russia’s parliamentary election, saying a government crackdown on critics had “prevented” citizens from exercising their civil rights.

Human Rights in Ukraine: The political persecution that Russia brought to Crimea in 2014 does not just happen.  It requires serious contingents of enforcement officers; ‘investigators’; prosecutors; ‘judges’ and others willing to play their role in imprisoning innocent men and women. Some of these individuals, like FSB ‘investigator’ Vitaly Vlasov, are implicated in multiple cases of persecution, and it is vital that their actions are known and receive adequate response, including through sanctions, from the Ukrainian authorities and Ukraine’s international partners.

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