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Russia detains eight for polling station vandalism

By AFP

March 15, 2024 06:53 PM


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Russian police detained at least eight people Friday for acts of vandalism at polling stations on the first day of voting in presidential elections, officials said.

Authorities did not say if the protests were directed against longtime leader Vladimir Putin, and state-media reports said voting was "continuing as normal".

In Moscow, a video published by the independent SOTA news outlet showed an elderly woman setting a voting booth alight, filling a polling station with smoke before she is detained by police.

Another video in the capital showed a woman pouring dye into a ballot box. She was detained and charged with "obstructing the exercise of electoral rights", investigators said.

Four others in the Russian regions of Voronezh, Karachay-Cherkessia and Rostov were also arrested for pouring dye into ballot boxes, officials said.

In the remote Siberian region of Khanty-Mansi, a woman was detained for trying to burn a ballot box with a Molotov cocktail, voting officials said.

"In the city of Kogalym at polling station No. 484, an unsuccessful attempt was made to set fire to a stationary ballot box using a Molotov cocktail," the region's election commission said.

In the Chelyabinsk region, police detained a man who tried to set firecrackers off at a polling station, the TASS news agency reported, citing the regional government.

Similar incidents of vandalism were also reported in Saint Petersburg and in the annexed Crimean peninsula, according to local media reports.


AFP


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