Updated March 15th, 2024 at 20:49 IST

Russians Set Fire to 3 Polling Stations on First Day of Election; Arson, Vandalism Ensue

The Central Investigative Committee in Russia launched an official probe into the incident.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with residents. | Image:Russia Putin
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Russians on Friday set ablaze the polling booths in at least three locations on the fist day of the voting during country’s elections scheduled for March 15-17. Reports of fire, loot and arson emerged as an eyewitness said that “an elderly woman” was arrested for setting a booth ablaze for reasons unknown.

A footage circulating on social media depicted the woman filming the incident after setting fire at the booth. According to the Russian newspaper, The Moscow Times, the Central Investigative Committee in Russia launched an official probe into the incident. Russian-affiliated news agency RIA Novosti reported that no ballots were damaged in the fire. The poll workers and staff, it added, continued their work after the incident, it added.

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Seven people were arrested for vandalism at polling booth

A young woman was reported hurling Molotov cocktail at a polling station in Moscow and was detained immediately, local news outlet Fontanka reported. In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous district, fire was set on the ballot box and arson ensued. At least seven people were arrested for vandalism at the polling station. In St Petersburg, a woman was seen in the CCTV footage pouring bright green liquid into ballot box. Some people were involved in the dye-throwing incident that they said they carried out as they were promised money. They were unaware of the criminal repercussions.

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The three day voting began across several regions of Russia as well as the four regions of Ukraine that were annexed by Russia—Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. Russia’s incumbent leader Vladimir Putin is expected to win the fifth term as the president. Polls in Russia close at 8 pm on Sunday. Several attacks were reported amid the polling in Russia’s border town of Belgorod which the authorities said were aimed at destabilising the elections. While the election commission of Russia said that there was an estimated 23% voter turnout by late afternoon, many citizens registered grievance about no credible opposition to incumbent Putin. 

 

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Published March 15th, 2024 at 20:49 IST