Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Election Monitor Reports 'Illegal Tactics’ During September 10 Vote

Members of a local election commission count ballots at a polling station following municipal elections in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on September 10.
Members of a local election commission count ballots at a polling station following municipal elections in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on September 10.

MOSCOW -- An independent Russian election monitoring group, Golos, says low turnout for regional and local elections across the country on September 10 was caused by "the low level of competition and by voters' distrust toward the election process."

In a report issued on September 12, Golos said its observation of the elections "suggest that illegal strategies and tactics are still prevalent in certain regions."

Golos said it received "reports of documented election rigging" from a number of polling stations.

It said the complaints involved "ballot box stuffing and exertion of pressure on voters by their employers or superiors; illegal campaigning; illegal transportation and bribery of voters; violations of the "home" voting procedure; violations of the rights of observers, members of commissions, and representatives of the media; and violations of counting procedures.

The ruling United Russia party dominated most regional and local races in the last major vote before Russia's March 2018 presidential election.

United Russia candidates and Kremlin allies, many of them incumbents, won all 15 regional gubernatorial races -- from the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad to Buryatia on Lake Baikal.

They also won a vote for the head of the naval port city of Sevastopol in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia occupied and seized from Ukraine in 2014.

But opposition candidates appeared to gain a toehold in Moscow with a strong showing in races for district councils in the capital.

The European Union said it does not recognize the elections in Crimea as legitimate because Russia illegally took possession of the Ukrainian territory.

"Anybody elected in the Crimean Peninsula claiming to 'represent' Crimea and Sevastopol will not be recognized as representatives of those territories, which are Ukrainian," an EU spokesperson said.

With reporting by Vedomosti, RBC, Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, AP, Reuters, AFP, Interfax, and TASS
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.