Soldiers on alert ahead of Russia's vote
Moscow - Russia's Interior Ministry said it had deployed around 450 000 soldiers and police to protect voters during this weekend's presidential election, Itar-Tass news agency reported on Saturday.
The ministry also announced that, in order to prevent possible terrorist attacks, polling stations in big cities had been equipped with metal detectors.
Around 110 million Russians are being called on to elect a successor to President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has already served eight years as president between 2000 and 2008, is the favourite of five candidates for the post.
The electoral commission said on Saturday it had tested new webcams, which will offer a live broadcast of voting and vote counting in 96 000 polling stations.
Putin says the webcams, which cost $435m, are aimed at avoiding vote rigging.
Minister for Telecommunications Igor Shchegolev said around 600 000 people had registered online to watch the vote.
The opposition say the cameras alone cannot prevent fraud.
Voting gets underway in the Russian Far East on Saturday.
In Chukotka near Alaska and in Kamchatka Peninsula polls opened at 20:00 GMT on Saturday.
In Moscow, the vote begins at 04:00 GMT on Sunday.