Putin, Navalny, Sobol Vote In Moscow Municipal Elections
Russians voted in local and regional elections which have become a focal point for opposition to President Vladimir Putin's rule. Numerous opposition candidates were kept off the ballot by election officials due to alleged irregularities. Many of those rejected in Moscow were allied with anti-Kremlin activist Aleksei Navalny. They accused local officials of using any means to keep them off the ballot, including harassment. The rulings sparked weekly protests attended by tens of thousands of people in the past month. Members of the ruling United Russia party opted to run as "independent" candidates to mask their affiliation with the ruling party.