Did protesters following the December parliamentary elections in Russia make a difference? “We don’t forget and don’t forgive,” was one chant at the time.
A massive 200,000 webcam network installed for this presidential election was one move set up to try and quash any allegations of fraud this time around.
Webcams were installed at all of the 98,000 polling stations while the ballot boxes were transparent and a half a million observers employed.
The reaction of voters was mixed. One said, “Cameras won’t change anything there will always be discontent. It was honest before, even without cameras”.
Another argued the moves were only taken, “ to please the opposition.”
Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist candidate placed second against Mr Putin in the preliminary results told reporters the webcam experiment was a diversion to distract voters from a dishonest election.
He said Mr Putin had the whole of Russia’s state machine on his side, and added, “But I tell you this, he won’t be able to rule like he used to,“
While opinion is mixed if the webcams have made this Russia’s most transparent it is certainly the most expensive. Its reckoned Russian taxpayers have forked out over 230 million euros for the whole monitoring system.
Samples of videos denouncing the alleged fraud
Daguestan. (being investigated by authorities)
Daguestan. Different polling station.
Yekaterinburg. Filmed at 00:47 local time according to the user who posted the video.