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CCTV shows two women 'manipulating ballots' at St Petersburg polling station as Putin’s foes accuse Kremlin of brazen attempts to rig Russia’s three-day elections

 CCTV purporting to show two women manipulating ballots at a St Petersburg polling station has emerged hours after President Putin's foes accused the Kremlin of brazen attempts to rig Russia's three-day election. 

Footage appears to show two women placing extra voting cards into the ballot box after the polling station closed on the first day of a three-day election on Friday. 

The video emerged hours after the head of Russia's Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov accused Putin's supporters of ballot stuffing, trying to vote several times in one place or at multiple polling stations, and hiding fake votes among unsealed stores of unused ballot papers.

Meanwhile the elections commission said it had recorded three 'targeted attacks from abroad - two aimed at the centre's website and the third DDoS assault - since the three-day vote started yesterday. 

The elections for the Russians parliament follows a campaign by the authorities to jail or disqualify prominent opposition candidates including leading Putin foe Alexei Navalny, who was first poisoned with a chemical agent and then locked up.

CCTV purporting to show two women manipulating ballots at a St Petersburg polling station has emerged hours after President Putin's foes accused the Kremlin of brazen attempts to rig Russia's three-day election

CCTV purporting to show two women manipulating ballots at a St Petersburg polling station has emerged hours after President Putin's foes accused the Kremlin of brazen attempts to rig Russia's three-day election


The video emerged hours after the head of Russia's Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov accused Putin's supporters of ballot stuffing, trying to vote several times in one place or at multiple polling stations, and hiding fake votes among unsealed stores of unused ballot papers

The video emerged hours after the head of Russia's Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov accused Putin's supporters of ballot stuffing, trying to vote several times in one place or at multiple polling stations, and hiding fake votes among unsealed stores of unused ballot papers

The elections for the Russians parliament follows a campaign by the authorities to jail or disqualify prominent opposition candidates including leading Putin foe Alexei Navalny, who was first poisoned with a chemical agent and then locked up

The elections for the Russians parliament follows a campaign by the authorities to jail or disqualify prominent opposition candidates including leading Putin foe Alexei Navalny, who was first poisoned with a chemical agent and then locked up 

Hacking attacks on the second day of the parliamentary elections in Russia
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The Golos election-monitoring movement and independent media also reported violations including vote-buying and lax measures for guarding ballots at polling stations.

A CCTV camera in a polling station caught two women manipulating ballots at midnight when a St Petersburg polling station was closed.

In Mytishchi there were reports of electors being provided with pens to mark their ballots - but the ink later vanished, leaving the votes being open to fraud.

There were reports of unsealed or unsecured stores of unused ballot papers into which fake votes were stashed. 

And some voters were reportedly caught trying to cast ballots at several polling stations, and others were seen voting several times in the same place.

One opposition activist reported: 'Total [ballot] stuffing continues in St. Petersburg.

'Criminals are not ashamed of anything and shove packs (of votes) right under the camera of the observers.

'They know perfectly well that they will not be punished, rather they will get promoted.' 

Eyewitness Maksim Tikhonov witnessed a man carrying a pile of ballots at polling station and pushing away a female official when she queried his actions. 

Eyewitness Maksim Tikhonov witnessed a man carrying a pile of ballots at polling station
The man was seeing pushing away a female official when she queried his actions

Eyewitness Maksim Tikhonov witnessed a man carrying a pile of ballots at polling station and pushing away a female official when she queried his actions

Footage appeared to show two women transferring ballot papers
Video appeared to show the electoral fraud after poll stations closed on the first day of the election yesterday

Another video shows two election officials in Osinniki, Kemerovo region allegedly transferring ballot papers 

Ballot manipulation in Russian polling booths caught on camera
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Another video shows two election officials in Osinniki, Kemerovo region allegedly transferring ballot papers.

When one of the women realises she is being filmed, she ducks under a table.

An observer at polling station 1806 in St Petersburg prevented a fraudster from submitting 15 ballots for a United Russia candidate, it was alleged.

More than 2,000 violations were recorded by pro-democracy watchdog Golos.

In Berdsk there were reports of people being offered cash to 'vote at the right polling station'. And record online voting was underway, triggering suspicions of abuse.

United Russia claimed that 99 per cent of messages about alleged violations were 'fakes'.

Russians headed to the polls yesterday (pictured, a woman voting in Irkutsk region) to elect a new parliament, with Putin's United Russia expected to remain in power

Russians headed to the polls yesterday (pictured, a woman voting in Irkutsk region) to elect a new parliament, with Putin's United Russia expected to remain in power

There were reports of unsealed or unsecured stores of unused ballot papers into which fake votes were stashed (pictured, electoral officials put ballots from a mobile box into secure bags)

There were reports of unsealed or unsecured stores of unused ballot papers into which fake votes were stashed (pictured, electoral officials put ballots from a mobile box into secure bags)


But Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov alleged 'a number of absolutely egregious facts' including ballot-stuffing. 

Russian authorities claimed Western social media platforms were interfering in its affairs by not removing information related to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, who was detained in February and has seen his organisations banned and his top allies arrested or flee the country, has pushed a 'Smart Voting' strategy to defeat Kremlin-aligned politicians in the parliamentary elections.

Apple, Google and the Telegram messenger app caused an uproar in Russia on Friday after they blocked Navalny's voting apps and bot, which instructed his supporters which candidate they should back.

Critics say the Kremlin is set to retain a majority in the lower house State Duma vote through a mix of barring opposition candidates from the ballot and fixing the vote in its favour. 

Allies of Navalny planned to use the mobile app (pictured) to organise a tactical voting campaign to deal a blow to United Russia, which is expected to win the election

Allies of Navalny planned to use the mobile app (pictured) to organise a tactical voting campaign to deal a blow to United Russia, which is expected to win the election

Russia demanded this month that Apple remove the app
The Kremlin also pressured Google to remove the app from it's store
Telegram messenger also blocked Navalny's app

Apple, Google and the Telegram messenger app caused an uproar in Russia on Friday after they blocked Navalny's voting apps and bot, which instructed his supporters which candidate they should back 

But some projections suggest it could lose its current two-thirds majority, which is enough to change the constitution. 

The Communists are expected to pick up the biggest share of any seats lost by United Russia. 

Although the Communists generally support Kremlin initiatives in the parliament, their gaining seats would be a loss of face for United Russia. 

The Communists are seen as potentially benefiting from the 'Smart Voting' program promoted by the team of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which aims to undermine United Russia by advising voters on which candidates are in the strongest position to defeat the dominant party's candidates.

However, it's unclear how effective the program will be after Apple and Google removed Smart Voting apps from their stores under Kremlin pressure. 

Authorities previously blocked access to its website. 

Navalny's organisations have been declared extremist, blocking anyone associated with them from running for office, thereby eliminating most significant opposition from the election.

Meanwhile Russia claimed its online voting system was under attack from abroad.

Election commission head Ella Pamfilova said: 'Attacks are continuing, they are of a clearly targeted nature, we know that. We are cool about it and we shall fight it.'

On forced voting she said: 'We have received 137 reports from 45 regions about this.'  

The elections commission said it had recorded three 'targeted attacks from abroad - two aimed at the centre's website and the third DDoS assault - since the three-day vote started yesterday

The elections commission said it had recorded three 'targeted attacks from abroad - two aimed at the centre's website and the third DDoS assault - since the three-day vote started yesterday

Moscow public election monitoring centre monitor the elections, set to take place over the weekend in Russia Meanwhile Russia claimed its online voting system was under attack from abroad. x

Moscow public election monitoring centre monitor the vote, taking place over the weekend in Russia

Head of the commission's centre for informatisation Alexander Sokolchuk described the attack as 'quite powerful' and said 'preparations' were underway for possible future attacks, but declined to name the countries involved.  

Zyuganov said the party has tallied at least 44 incidents of voting violations and that the party has applied for permits to hold protests during the week after the voting ends Sunday.

On Saturday, the news website Znak said a resident of the Moscow region was offering 1,000 rubles ($15) to people who voted for United Russia. 

The publication said it called the man, who said the payment would come if the caller provided evidence of his vote through a messaging app.  

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