Russians have cast their ballots in local elections that were preceded by weeks of anti-government protests. News agencies say Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party is facing major losses in the capital Moscow.
But despite flagging support, parties tied to the ruling United Russia have retained their majority in Moscow, local media says. Protests and the exclusion of opposition candidates put the poll under intense scrutiny. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny had called on Russians to vote tactically to block candidates from United Russia after some opposition candidates were banned from running. The election was marked by low voter turn-out.
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