Head of Russia’s only political watchdog detained as elections begin The head of Russia’s only independent political watchdog was held at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Saturday as elections in the world’s biggest country began, The Associated Press reported. (Read more)
Independent Russian Websites Hacked, Disabled On Election Day Suspected hackers shut down several Russian websites that provide independent election data, making state-controlled media one of the few widely accessible sources of information about today’s parliamentary vote. (Read more)
Media Pressured Before Elections Reporters Without Borders said Thursday that it compiled a list of recent freedom of information violations that shows “that no methods are being spared to bolster strongman Vladimir Putin and promote unanimous acclaim for his decision to run again for the presidency.”
The most telling example is the crackdown on Golos, the country’s only independent elections observer organization, which became the target of a concerted campaign by authorities and certain media this week.
This Friday night, Gazprom-controlled television channel NTV, will air a 30-minute investigative piece on Golos, questioning the organization’s objectivity on grounds that it is financed by U.S. grants….
Other incidents this week include censorship accusations against RIA-Novosti, the country’s biggest state-owned news agency, and fresh denial-of-service attacks against LiveJournal, the country’s biggest blogging platform. (Read more)
Vladimir Putin set to lose majority amid complaints of electoral violations Kadyrov, the brutal leader of the federal republic of Chechnya, said that 99.51% of its voters backed United Russia, out of a 94% turnout; in the past it has been reported as 100%, while he himself had promised “more than 100%” this time. (Read more)
Russia PM Vladimir Putin accuses US over poll protests Mr Putin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “set the tone for some opposition activists”.
She “gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work”, he said. (Read more)