Russia's presidential election was tainted Sunday by unprecedented pressure on voters to turn out and incidents of suspected ballot box stuffing in a barely democratic exercise that will grant Vladimir Putin another six years of power.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has boycotted the presidential election and is advising other Russians to do the same.
Official turnout figures in different regions of Russian Federation are being inflated by as much as 18 percentage points, opposition leader Alexey Navalny said on Twitter, citing data compiled by his observers at polling stations.
Five other candidates competed in the presidential election, and are expected to win 2% or less each. "I do not see any point for me in going to the election", said Alexei Khvorostov, a resident of Krasnodar, in southern Russian Federation.
Asked about the percentage of votes he hopes to win, Putin told reporters that he would be satisfied with "any that gives the right to serve as President". Videos posted online appeared to show officials stuffing ballot boxes in several of the country's farther-flung regions.
He also said officials from the Netherlands-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would arrive on Monday in Britain to take samples of the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals.
Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Yekaterinburg, said local officials and state employees all received orders "from higher up" to make sure the presidential vote turnout was over 60%.
Eight people were registered as candidates for the presidency: Sergei Baburin, Pavel Grudinin, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Vladimir Putin, Ksenia Sobchak, Maxim Suraykin, Boris Titov, Grigory Yavlinsky. The other candidates, Ms. Nazarchuk declared, were "imposters" who could never rule Russian Federation.
The election came amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West, with reports that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain and that its internet trolls mounted an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 United States presidential election.
When this is clear that there will be continued of the tension between Kiev and Moscow, Ukraine stated on this Sunday it shall not permit Russians in the whole nation to vote at Russian consulates, as per a statement come from the government information agency, Ukrinform. After declaring victory Sunday, Putin flatly denied Moscow played any part in it. Voters also faced billboards celebrating Russian greatness - a major theme of Putin's leadership.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast his ballot in the presidential election, seeking a mandate for a fourth term. Putin's defiance of the West has played well in the campaign with an electorate nostalgic for Russia's superpower status. The opposition declared a boycott and sent observers across the country to monitor the voting process. Putin is facing seven challengers but the outcome is pre-ordained given his high popularity ratings.
These included: ballot boxes being stuffed with extra ballots in multiple regions; an election official assaulting an observer; CCTV cameras obscured by flags or nets from watching ballot boxes; discrepancies in ballot numbers; last-minute voter registration changes likely created to boost turnout and a huge pro-Putin board inside one polling station. The problems included multiple ballot boxes placed out of sight of observation cameras, and last-minute voter registration changes likely created to boost turnout.