Russia held a “united Election Day” on Sunday, September 9. In 22 regions, including the capital, Moscow, people voted for local governors and mayors. Local lawmakers were elected in 16 legislatures and thousands of municipal councils.
The state media reported an idealized image of Election Day, including video of President Vladimir Putin voting in Moscow.
The Kremlin’s international outlet RT.com posted a brief report about the elections in the “Russia” section of the main website, which did not mention any protests.
Sputnik English reported on an “unauthorized march” in Moscow with about 2,000 protesters rallying against the pension reform.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is Russia’s name for the police department said 140,000 policemen and 13,000 troops across the country patrolled the streets on Election Day “keeping the situation completely under control.”
The deputy head of the Central Election Committee Nikolay Bulayev said, Election Day was “one of the calmest in recent years” and police said the situation was “even more auspicious” compared to “average statistic indicators” and no incidents reported.
That was a false picture of Election Day in Russia according to the independent media reports.
“Police are brutally crushing the protesters, even teenagers and elders, about a hundred arrested,” Echo Moskvy reported on the rally in St. Petersburg.
Russia’s independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported country-wide clashes between the protesters and the police, with hundreds detained.
The independent monitoring website ovd.info posted the list of the names of 839 protesters detained by the police in 36 cities across Russia.