Soldiers on alert ahead of Russia's vote

2012-03-03 22:47

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.

  • Fred - 2012-03-04 00:29

    Putin's "managed democracy". Vote him out Russian people. You've become pariahs of the world. Like Apartheid South Africans.

      John - 2012-03-04 02:41

      Russians become "Pariahs of the world"? Fred, your attempt for emotional response utterly failed.

      Fred - 2012-03-04 02:51


      Fidel - 2012-03-04 08:53

      The pariah of the world is that military outpost in the Middle East!

      Fred - 2012-03-04 09:00

      There are only two of them left: Syria and Iran. Soon gone.

      nowicki1 - 2012-03-04 12:31

      Fred, you are terribly misinformed and misguided. A war with Iran is a terrible idea and would start WW3, do you want another world war Fred?

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 13:32

      Putin is certainly preferable to Goldman Sachs and the IMF running things.

      Fred - 2012-03-04 17:02

      Matt, you show yourself to be manipulative and not credible when you put words in other people's mouths and then proceed to debate those made up words.

      Fred - 2012-03-04 17:07

      Fidel, what on earth does that have to do with the RUssian election? You continue to show yourself to have an anti-West OCD. For this reason your analyses are not credible.

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 17:18

      Mr Putin vs the Oligarchs!

  • Michael - 2012-03-04 13:06

    Lets wait for the results Freddie boy. Let the Russian people decide. And when the result doesn't suit you, there will be other nonsense and excuses from you. No apology to the Russian people that you have repeatedly insulted over the past weeks. You are simply a bigot. Please add to the argument with some reasoned point of view, or go away from this site.

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 13:33

      Perhaps these western hypocrites are jealous of Putins popularity. He doesn't support their illegal wars nor does he organise permanent elections ( USA ) in a hopeless task of trying to convince the world it's a democracy.

      Fred - 2012-03-04 17:17

      Calling on the Russian people to feel ashamed for their neo-Soviet leader's abandonment of the Syrian people who are trying to end 48 years of UNELECTED oppressive rule by the brutal tyrant Bashar Assad and being killed, maimed, detained and tortured by the tens of thousands is not insulting. Neither is saying their leader is making them a pariah. Russia is part of a small minority of countries, 17 out of 151, on Earth that is supporting Assad. Have you ever said anything about Russia's financial investments in Syria and this being a motivating force, showing a humanitarian myopia? No. Have you biliously pointed out the so-called West's need for oil as a motivator in whatever they do in the Middle East. Yes. Like Fidel, you're on a lunatic fringe. Your ideas are jaundiced, steeped in personal agenda, lack emotional involvement and understanding, and detached from reality.

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 17:27

      Your bile duct is getting the better of your brain!

      Michael - 2012-03-04 18:42

      Yes Fred ,you are pure emotion and no reason unfortunately. Why don't you attack South Africa's MTN that is also heavily invested, and the myriad of other international companies Syria in. Please show me where I ever spoke of oil? Truth is Syria does not have large reserves and is nowhere on the scale of some of its neighbors and I have never considered this to be an issue. You are mixed up now, and have long run out of ideas to contribute to this site and debate, you bigot. You have lost the plot and will now sit foaming at the mouth for months and months to come spouting the same bankrupt ideas, and words- heartless, no human feeling etc. You pretend to have moral high ground but all you spouting on issues concerning the region have absolutely zero substance and only provoke further bloodshed. The only thing making me bilious at present is your viewpoint and zero value solution to solve the problems of the ME. You are a paid agent provocateur who has no place on this website of genuine discussion and opinion.

      Michael - 2012-03-04 19:07

      Damn, you have to be careful with your arithmetic Freddie. Try again now children 2012- 1970 = 42! Bad boy Freddie -stand in the corner and try to be quiet for ten minutes!!!

  • Anthony - 2012-03-04 14:07

    Fidel, Michael, Rather go to the movies, its rather dumb posting comments, and nobody reads them, unless you are having fun together!!!!

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 14:22

      This type of comment demonstrates the shear idiocy of a person who has run out of arguments or perhaps a person who never had any or ever even bothered to have any.

      Fred - 2012-03-04 17:19

      Fidel, I wouldn't declare that too loudly, in view of your comments on this site that lack all sense. The reasons have been pointed out to you again and again, and the sheer volume of thumbs-down you get makes this even clearer.

      Fidel - 2012-03-04 17:24

      To turn comments into a popularity contest turns News24 into a high school. Constantly counting the number of downvotes suggests to me issues of low self-esteem. It is ideas and not the numbers of votes that count.

      Anthony - 2012-03-04 17:29

      Fidel, whatever makes you happy !!!

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