The elections take place a day after Moscow and Kiev carried out a long-awaited swap of 70 prisoners, a deal hailed as a first step towards ending five years of conflict after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
Municipal and regional polls are being held across the vast country, but most attention is focused on the Moscow parliament vote following the arrests and jailings of independent would-be candidates and their supporters.
Analysts say the results of the vote will be keenly watched ahead of parliamentary elections in 2021 and will help shape Russia’s political future, as President Vladimir Putin enters his third decade in power.
In recent weeks, tens of thousands have taken part in Moscow protests demanding a fair vote after allies of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were barred from the election. Rap stars and prominent bloggers backed the demonstrations.
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September 09, 2019