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Independent Candidate In Russia's Yaroslavl Defeats Ruling Party Nominee

Opposition mayoral candidate Yevgeny Urlashov casts his ballot at a polling station in the city of Yaroslavl on April 1.
An independent candidate supported by opposition groups has scored a landslide victory over the candidate from the ruling United Russia party in the election for mayor of the city of Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow.

Official results showed Yevgeny Urlashov winning almost 69 percent of the April 1 runoff.

United Russia candidate Yakov Yakushev won nearly 28 percent.

Yakushev had received endorsements from the local governor and the outgoing mayor, both of whom are United Russia members.

United Russia has been facing increased pressure from opposition movements since the December 4 parliamentary elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud and led to mass protests demanding an end to Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule as president and prime minister.

Putin won reelection to a third presidential term in an election in March.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP