Putin webcams entertain Russia

2012-03-04 19:47
Observers look at monitors at the "Elections 2012" situation centre, where lawyers from the "For Fair Elections" observer group will monitor Sunday's presidential elections, in Moscow, Russia. (Misha Japaridze, AP)

Observers look at monitors at the "Elections 2012" situation centre, where lawyers from the "For Fair Elections" observer group will monitor Sunday's presidential elections, in Moscow, Russia. (Misha Japaridze, AP) (Misha Japaridze)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Moscow - The webcams ordered by Vladimir Putin to ensure transparency in elections did a good job on Sunday in keeping Russia amused with quirky scenes but failed to erase suspicions about the process.

Disco dancing, children fighting and lovers kissing were among the sights glimpsed by Russians watching the live relays of the election process from the pair of webcams installed in 95 000 polling stations around the country.

Putin - who is expected to easily win the election - ordered the setting up of the webcams after reports of fraud in December parliamentary polls sparked mass protests against his rule.

But while the webcams certainly offered an unusual insight into the intricacies of daily life in Russia, the relatively distant and unfocussed pictures hardly realised Putin's aim of lifting all suspicion of fraud.

The cameras went online on Saturday well before the opening of polling stations, suddenly making it possible to catch a glimpse of life in the schools, village clubs and other municipal buildings that usually host the polls.

Some showed school in session on Saturday, with little boys getting into fights and rolling on the floor. A polling station in Moscow showed a couple necking on a bench set up in the hall next to the ballot box.

But election monitors have said footage from the cameras will be difficult to use as admissible evidence in court and most cameras have been set up too far away from the ballot boxes to see any sharp details beyond the fuzzy feed.

In Sasovo, a town in the Ryazan region south of Moscow, women with permed hair and low-cut necklines were seen dancing the night away to the sounds of Russian disco music late on Saturday.

In Siberia's Tyumen, a man called Nikolai was celebrating his birthday at the balloon-decorated polling station on Saturday evening, with the camera showing a long table overflowing with food and bottles of alcohol.

The decor turned more austere on Sunday as the tables were cleared to make way for the ballots.

Interesting feeds tweeted

Twitter users made fun of the live dramas, creating links to the most interesting feeds, rooting for people fighting and pretending to ask the disk jockeys to change the music.

The deputy head of the Russian central election committee Leonid Ivlev complained that some people swore at the cameras in an attempt to broadcast their sentiments to a wider audience and become a "superstar".

"Everybody wants to be a superstar. It's one chance on election day when voters can feel like superstars - they are filmed and put on the internet," he said, Interfax reported.

The mood was tense at polling stations in the region of Chechnya in the Caucasus - still beset by unrest blamed on Islamists - showing muscular men in camouflage silently sitting hunched over tables Saturday evening.

Many cameras in Russia's Caucasus were not working at all on Sunday, while others showed much denser crowds than stations in Moscow.

One station in Chechnya however was the most popular among internet users, showing the living room of a private home in the village of Mesedoi that had been turned into an official polling station for the day.

It showed oriental carpets on the wall and a bespectacled woman filling out forms behind a dining table. A six-year-old boy showed off his drawings while a six-month-old squealed with joy and bumped into the ballot box in his baby walker.

"We have 100% turnout: we asked everyone to come and everyone came," the station's head was heard telling an acquaintance on the phone in the feed.

"It's fun here, like a feast. People came to hang out with their relatives."

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  russia elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.