Russia's Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, who came a distant second, calls it a "filthy" election

Ballots being counted in Russian polling station
Ballots being counted in Russian polling station
By Euronews
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Webcam footage from numerous polling stations appears to show multiple instances of ballot stuffing.


Roughly a quarter of the Russians who voted for a new president didn't vote for Vladimir Putin.

The Communist party's candidate Pavel Grudinin came a very distant second with around 12 percent. Afterwards, he called it the "filthiest" election in recent times.

And he said that Alexey Navalny, Russia's main opposition leader who was barred from running, had been right about claiming there had been voting irregularities.

Navalny is expected to call for anti-Putin protests demanding a re-run of an election and a senior opposition politician has warned they could descend into street clashes if police crack down too hard on demonstrators.

The daughter of Putin's political mentor came in at fourth with around two percent. Former reality TV show host Kseniya Sobchak campaigned on a liberal platform but avoided personally criticising Putin.

Many viewed her as a Kremlin candidate in disguise who was designed to divide the opposition vote.

Webcam footage from polling stations was being shared on social media throughout Sunday indicating voting irregularities. 

At a station in the city of Kemerovo one official held up some balloons, seemingly to obscure the camera as ballots were being counted.

And at another in the Karachay-Circassian Republic, an official stood in between the webcam and an elderly woman who approached the ballot box with what appeared to be a bunch of ballot papers clutched to her chest. She then spent a long time at the ballot box, as did the official obscuring her.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe who monitored the vote is due to release their preliminary findings on how fair the vote was on Monday.

Back in 2012 when Vladimir Putin won the election with 63 percent the OSCE said afterwards that the vote was "clearly skewed" in his favour, lacked any real competition and abused government resources meaning the winner was never in doubt.

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