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Russian presidential election 2018

March 18, 8:00 updated at: March 19, 7:01 UTC+3

Voting has finished in Russia. More than 99% of ballots have been counted.

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

On Sunday, March 18, a total of 97,000 polling stations were open nationwide from 08:00 until 20:00 local time.

18:48:23 19.03.2018

We are wrapping up our live coverage of the presidential election in Russia. 

18:26:52 19.03.2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with other contenders for the presidential office lasted for more than two hours, a TASS correspondent reported.

A larger part of the meeting was held behind closed doors. At the beginning of the meeting, Putin invited his former rivals to establish dialogue to take into account all positive aspects and pool efforts for the sake of the country’s future development.

"The most important thing is that we should have an opportunity to pool efforts in the future to work constructively for the benefit of the country," the president said.

17:50:05 19.03.2018

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the UAE Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, congratulated Vladimir Putin upon his presidential election victory. 

17:39:23 19.03.2018

The Russian presidential election was administered efficiently, but restrictions on a number of freedoms limited the space for competition, said OSCE Special Co-ordinator Michael Georg Link. "The March 18 presidential election took place in an overly controlled legal and political environment, marked by continued pressure on critical voices," he said. "While the central election commission administered the election efficiently and openly after intense efforts to promote turnout," Link said.

"Citizens voted in significant numbers, yet restrictions on fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression as well as candidate registration have limited the space for political engagement and resulted in a lack of genuine competition," the OSCE coordinator pointed out. 

17:35:49 19.03.2018

According to preliminary data, 51.7% of Russians voted for Vladimir Putin in London, compared with 27.7% in 2012.

17:13:56 19.03.2018

Moscow will do its best to resolve all possible problems with other countries by solely political and diplomatic means but will never forget about its own national interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

16:39:01 19.03.2018

World leaders are congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in the presidential election of March 18, the Kremlin press service reports.

16:35:07 19.03.2018

According to he French National Front party, the results of the Russian presidential polls send a clear signal to the European Union: 

16:09:10 19.03.2018

Russia’s presidential election was held in accordance with all democratic norms and standards, Thierry Mariani, an honorary member of the French parliament and co-Chairman of the French-Russian dialogue who monitored the election at the invitation of Russia’s State Duma, told reporters:

"Our delegation could state that the election was held in accordance with those norms, which, in particular, exist in Europe."

Mariani noted that he had been an observer at various elections in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly member-countries and in the Council of Europe. "In general, the situation was normal, there were no out of the ordinary incidents. That was the first time I saw so many small children at the polling stations, this created a special atmosphere," he said.

15:16:30 19.03.2018

Russian presidential candidates Pavel Grudinin, Boris Titov and Maksim Suraikin have congratulated Vladimir Putin upon his victory in the presidential election.

14:40:03 19.03.2018 14:21:09 19.03.2018

Election results from three polling stations have been annulled in the North Caucasian republic of Dagestan, according to the Central Election Commission.

14:18:43 19.03.2018

The first Russian presidential election in Crimea and Sevastopol was legitimate and no major violations were recorded, international observers told a news conference in Simferopol.

14:05:09 19.03.2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has congratulated Putin on a landslide victory at Sunday’s presidential election.

13:50:48 19.03.2018

A greater number of Russian citizens abroad cast their ballots in the 2018 presidential election than in the previous election in 2012 and the 2016 parliamentary vote.

13:48:19 19.03.2018

The chair of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, believes the high turnout in the March 18 presidential election was a result of an unprecedented election campaign.

"There are very many factors here... About the CEC’s performance I can say there was an unprecedented media campaign, which conveyed the maximum, full information to the people to let them think and choose," Pamfilova said.

13:47:25 19.03.2018 13:28:58 19.03.2018

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated Putin on the election victory.

13:24:43 19.03.2018

The German president congratulates Putin on winning the presidential election.

13:09:10 19.03.2018

Russian presidential election was transparent, democratic and in harmony with international rules, the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Rashid Alimov, said.

13:05:40 19.03.2018 12:33:12 19.03.2018

Putin will meet with candidates who ran for Russian presidency in 2018 election.

 
12:21:44 19.03.2018

Law enforcement officers prevented any serious violations of public order at polling stations during the Russian presidential election, the Russian Interior Ministry’s press service reported.

About 275,000 Interior Ministry employees, 81,500 members of the Federal National Guard Troops Service, 21,000 members of private security companies, 46,700 members of the Voluntary People’s Guards and public groups, as well as 7,400 Cossacks were on duty to maintain security during the election.

12:00:33 19.03.2018

Putin has won almost 71% of Moscow's votes in the Russian presidential election.

11:21:50 19.03.2018

Voter turnout for the Russian presidential election currently stands at 67.49%.

11:20:02 19.03.2018

More than 400,000 Russians voted in the presidential election abroad.

11:19:11 19.03.2018

Putin has secured a record number of votes in all the recent presidential election campaigns in Russia.

More than 56 million people or 76.66% voted for Putin, according to the Central Election Commission(CEC). 

CEC Chairperson Ella Pamfilova described Putin’s victory in the election as unprecedented.

11:01:03 19.03.2018

Election results at five ballot stations in three Russian regions have been annulled, the Central Election Commission reported. 

10:59:56 19.03.2018

Voter turnout in the Russian presidential election reached 67.74%, according to preliminary data.

10:47:07 19.03.2018

Putin is winning 76.66% of the vote in Russia after 99.84% of the ballots counted. 

10:26:09 19.03.2018

Almost 3,000 Russian servicemen in Syria voted in the presidential elections. All of them gave their votes for the incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said.

10:25:03 19.03.2018

Putin has received 75.01% of the vote in St. Petersburg.

10:10:57 19.03.2018

Putin has garnered almost 71% of the vote in the March 18 election in Moscow, chairman of the Moscow City Election Committee Valentin Gorbunov said.

10:10:10 19.03.2018

International observers haven't registered any serious violations in the presidential elections in Russia.

 

09:56:51 19.03.2018

Putin is winning 92.15% of the vote in Crimea, which held the Russian presidential election for the first time, Chairman of the regional Election Commission Mikhail Malyshev told reporters.

09:41:20 19.03.2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election as the Russian president and wished him new success.

The Egyptian leader noted that Egypt and Russia are strategic partners and voiced hope "for further development of bilateral ties for the sake of prosperity of people of both states."

09:22:08 19.03.2018

Voter turnout in the Russian presidential election reached 67.4% as of 6.52 a.m. Moscow Time, Russia’s Central Election Commission reported.

Putin has garnered 76.67% of the vote with 99.79% of the ballots counted.

08:25:32 19.03.2018

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Vladimir Putin on a convincing victory in the Russian presidential election, voicing confidence that bilateral strategic partnership will be further enhanced.

08:03:58 19.03.2018

Putin won a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election held at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the local election commission said.

According to the commission’s final protocol, Putin clinched 1,531 votes. His closest competitor was TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak, nominated by the Civil Initiative party, who was backed by 347 people. Director of the Lenin State Farm Pavel Grudinin, nominated by the Communist Party of Russia came third with 237 votes.

07:30:43 19.03.2018

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential election:

07:01:06 19.03.2018

Seventeen Russian regions, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, continue counting votes in the Russian presidential election, the Central Election Commission said.

According to the CEC’s information center, in 68 out of 85 Russian regions the data on 100% of final protocols of local election commissions has been added to the Vybory (or Elections) automated electoral system.

As of 6.10 a.m. Moscow Time, 98.67% protocols have been verified in Moscow, 97.90% in St. Petersburg and 98.17% in the Leningrad Region. In the Ivanovo Region, data from 99.87% polling stations has been included in the Vybory system and another 99.86% from the Kaluga Region.

06:31:55 19.03.2018

Some 2,383 Russians cast their votes in the Russian presidential election on Sunday at a ballot station in the US Embassy in Washington, D.C., the local election commission said.

The ballot station number 8273 was closed at 8 p.m. on Sunday local time (3.00 a.m. Moscow Time).

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said "this is the number of voters included in the list before the voting ended." Some 1,400 people came to vote in the Embassy, while the others had voted outside the voting premises.

06:06:49 19.03.2018

Tokyo plans to continue boosting relations with Moscow following Vladimir Putin’s victory in the Russian presidential election, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says:

05:38:51 19.03.2018

More than 55 mln Russians have voted for incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin in the March 18 presidential election:

05:27:32 19.03.2018

Vladimir Putin has garnered 76.65% of the vote in the March 18 presidential election with 99% of the ballots counted, according to the Central Election Commission.

04:44:04 19.03.2018

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential election:

04:33:35 19.03.2018

President of Bolivia Evo Morales has welcomed Russia’s incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president.

"We welcome the convincing victory of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been re-elected, receiving more than 70% of the popular vote," Morales wrote on Twitter.

The Bolivian president noted that "Russia respects the dignity of nations, ensuring political balance" in the world.

04:11:06 19.03.2018

Chinese President Xi Jinpintg has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential election, according to the CGTN TV channel:

03:53:58 19.03.2018 03:21:33 19.03.2018

The voter turnout at Sunday’s presidential election in Russia was 67% with 95% of the ballots counted, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulayev told TASS.

"More than 67%," he said, adding that data received from 4.5% of polling stations was yet to be added to the Vybory (or Elections) automated electoral system, so voter turnout was subject to change.

03:03:57 19.03.2018

Vladimir Putin has garnered 75.56% of the vote in the March 18 presidential election with 95% of the ballots counted.

02:59:15 19.03.2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman comments on attempts to influence the outcome of the Russian presidential vote:

02:51:08 19.03.2018

The Russian presidential election did not seem real, presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky, representing the Yabloko party, said in a statement.

"It was perfectly clear to us that this procedure had little in common with a real election as the media did not provide equal coverage, there were spoilers and administrative pressure," the statement reads. Yavlinsky added that his major goal as presidential candidate had been "demanding changes" and "pushing for a change in policies."

Yavlinsky went on to say that the Yabloko party had conducted a fine election campaign. "We have conducted a fine election campaign - I have seen thousands of young people who believe in another kind of future. I am really happy that I had a chance to meet many of them, as they collected signatures, participated in the campaign and supported us," the statement adds.

Yavlinsky also expressed regret over the fact that while "Yabloko came up with an alternative program, other candidates were making scandals, creating hypes and putting on low-grade shows."

02:36:03 19.03.2018

More than 50 million Russians cast their votes for Vladimir Putin, the Russian Central Election Commission reported.

According to the latest update after counting 92.86% of ballots, more than 50,108,000 voters supported Putin to surpass the 2004 record-breaking result of 49,563,000 votes cast for Putin (71.31%). In 2012, Putin was supported by 45,602,000 Russians (63.60%).

02:26:18 19.03.2018

Vladimir Putin is heading for a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential polls, with 76.41% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 90.02% of ballots.

According to the CEC, more than 47.29 million voters supported Putin at Sunday’s polls. At the 2012 presidential elections, Putin won support from 45.6 million voters, and from 49.563 million - in 2004.

02:16:29 19.03.2018

Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak acknowledges that incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin wins the election:

 
01:45:25 19.03.2018

Vladimir Putin has announced plans to meet with all other presidential candidates.

"The administration will contact them, we will hold consultations and I will invite them all to a meeting," Putin told reports at his election campaign headquarters.

01:27:57 19.03.2018

Russian senator Lyudmila Narusova believes the fourth place her daughter Ksenia Sobchak has taken in the presidential race to be "very good," as she herself told reporters at Sobchak’s campaign headquarters.

"I believe it is very good for a start, given her rating created by federal TV channels, which have been reproaching her for hosting Dom-2 [or House-2, a reality television show - TASS] and making some statements… I think it is a very good start," Narusova said.

She added that Sobchak would do better at the next election. "If we use the language of sports, the next Olympics will be ours," she stressed.

01:24:19 19.03.2018 01:18:01 19.03.2018

Vladimir Putin is heading for a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential polls, with 76.18% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 80.0% of ballots.

According to the CEC, Putin is followed by CPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin, who is scoring 12.30% of votes. LDPR candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky is third with 5.98% of votes.

01:13:39 19.03.2018

Putin is winning more than 90% of votes in Crimea, the Central Election Commission said after counting 42.79% of ballots.

01:02:33 19.03.2018

Presidential candidate Maxim Suraikin, nominated by the Communists of Russia party, has said he would be satisfied with his election result if garners over 50% of the vote.

"I will be satisfied with any result that is over 50%," he said at a TASS press conference.

According to the Central Election Commission, Suraikin has received 0.61% of the vote as of 21:00 Moscow time.

00:47:57 19.03.2018

According to TASS reporters, Russian citizens have been more actively voting abroad that in the previous election in 2012 and in the parliamentary election in 2016:

00:47:14 19.03.2018

Putin is leading the presidential polls with 75.91% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 70.02% of ballots.

00:32:15 19.03.2018

The 2018 election campaign differs from the previous ones due to fewer violations, the chairman of the Council of Federation Valentina Matvienko told Rossiya 1 TV channel.

00:12:16 19.03.2018

Putin has gained 75.57% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 60.02% of ballots.

00:01:18 19.03.2018

Russian presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, nominated by the Liberal Democratic Party, is disappointed with his election result, as he himself told reporters after coming third.

"I am as negative about the recent election as I have been for the 30 years as far as elections go," he said. "There are no equal conditions for all candidates," Zhirinovsky added.

According to him, "athletes and performers were all supporting the same candidate, there were no equal conditions for candidates and all the scandals were staged."

"No one is satisfied with such results," Zhirinovsky said.

The Liberal Democratic Party leader also claimed that election irregularities, particularly ballot stuffing, had taken place across the country.

23:53:07 18.03.2018

More than 35 thousand people have taken part in a rally 'Russia, Sevastopol, Crimea' on Manege Square in the center of Moscow, according to the Interior Ministry.

23:38:29 18.03.2018

Putin said that government reshuffles will follow inauguration.

23:23:53 18.03.2018

According to the preliminary results of the voting, as many as 21.9 million people, or 75.01% of voters, supported Putin.

CPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin has chalked up 13.39% of votes, being second after Putin.

Grudinin is followed by LDPR candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is winning 6.34% of the vote.

23:10:43 18.03.2018

Putin has gained 74.66% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 45.03% of ballots.

23:04:18 18.03.2018

Putin has thanked his supporters for voting for him at presidential polls. He said that he sees polling results as hope for the country’s development and called to keep united:

 

23:04:07 18.03.2018

Putin is winning more than 93% of the vote in the North Caucasian Republic of Chechnya, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said at a rally in Grozny citing preliminary results of voting at Sunday’s presidential polls.

23:01:16 18.03.2018

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the Russian presidential election.

23:01:03 18.03.2018

Putin's supporters have gathered on Manezh Square.

22:53:54 18.03.2018

CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov said that Sunday’s presidential polls were successful for his party.

CPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin came second in the race with 14.03% of the votes, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 40.01% of ballots.

22:43:43 18.03.2018

Russia’s incumbent President Vladimir Putin is heading for a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential polls, with 74.22% of the vote, the Russian Central Election Commission said after counting 40.01% of ballots.

22:43:10 18.03.2018

Vladimir Putin is leading the Russian presidential race in St. Petersburg according to the results of exit polls with 67.5% of votes followed by Pavel Grudinin who has secured 8.9% of the vote.

22:30:40 18.03.2018

Several hundred Russian nationals ultimately managed to cast their votes at Russia’s presidential polls on Sunday, the Russian embassy said. 

The embassy hopes Ukraine’s actions to deny access to voting for Russian citizens will be duly assessed.

22:09:29 18.03.2018

Putin is leading the Russian presidential polls with 73.71% of votes, the Central Election Commission reported after counting 35% of ballots.

22:02:06 18.03.2018

According to the Central Election Commission, Putin is leading in the presidential race with 73.11% after 30.01% of ballots counted.

Putin is followed by CPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin, who is scoring 14.94% of votes. LDPR candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky is third with 6.73% of votes.

Next are Civil Initiative candidate Ksenia Sobchak (1.39%), Grigory Yavlinsky of Yabloko (0.78%), Sergei Baburin of the Russian People’s Union party (0.63%), Maxim Suraikin of the Communists of Russia (0.62%), and Boris Titov of the Party of Growth (0.61%).

 

21:45:26 18.03.2018

Putin is leading in Russia’s presidential race with 72.53% after 25% of ballots counted, the Central Election Commission reported.

21:42:40 18.03.2018

A livestream broadcast from polling stations in Russia was watched by about 1.5 million people, according to the Communications Ministry.

21:36:21 18.03.2018

The Russian presidential candidate representing the Party of Growth, business ombudsman Boris Titov, said he was not satisfied with the results of the exit polls of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center. According to the exit polle, Titov gained 1.1% of the vote.
"This is not a very good result, we need to think about a further campaign," he said at a meeting with his staff.

21:35:24 18.03.2018

No violations that can impact the Russian presidential election results were registered, according to the Interior Ministry.

21:25:24 18.03.2018

The voter turnout at Sunday’s presidential election in Russia was 63.7%, director general of the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center Konstantin Abramov said citing the exit poll results.

21:08:29 18.03.2018

Putin is winning presidential polls with 71.97% of votes, the Russian Central Election Commission reported after counting 21.33% of ballots. Putin is followed by CPRF candidate Pavel Grudinin with 15.9% of votes. LDPR candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky is third, with 6.96% of votes.

21:04:51 18.03.2018

First exit poll data comes in with Vladimir Putin getting 73.9% of votes.

 

21:00:06 18.03.2018

Voting has concluded in Russia:

20:45:42 18.03.2018

A Russian forward playing for NHL’s Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin and defender and Dmitry Orlov have voted in the presidential election in the US. 

20:43:50 18.03.2018

Russia’s human rights ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova believes today’s presidential polls in Russia are valid as no serious violations capable of impacting the voting outcome have been reported.

20:21:27 18.03.2018

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said there were provocations during early balloting in Russia’s presidential election in the United States.

20:20:31 18.03.2018

Vasily Likhachev, a member of the Russian Central Election Commission, has called to inform  the United Nations secretary general about Ukraine’s denying access to voting for Russians.

20:03:12 18.03.2018

More than 20 Russian voters were not able to reach a polling station at Russia’s embassy in Kiev being barred by nationalists, a policeman from a cordon around the embassy told TASS.

19:56:24 18.03.2018

Voting at Moscow's Kazansky railway station

19:46:54 18.03.2018

Paris will not recognize the presidential elections in Crimea, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

19:39:17 18.03.2018

Russian presidential contender Ksenia Sobchak pointed out to a low number of violations in the election.

19:20:22 18.03.2018

Voting at Russian presidential polls in the US was organized absolutely openly, the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said.

18:52:41 18.03.2018

Voter turnout at Sunday’s presidential polls in Russia as of 19:00 Moscow time was 59.5%, the Central Election Commission said.

18:51:03 18.03.2018

Russia’s state automated vote counting and electoral information system (GAS Vybory) has weathered some cyber attacks, according to First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoy.

18:45:18 18.03.2018

The Russian Interior Ministry has registered a decrease in the number of crimes, administrative offenses and even road accidents on the day of the presidential election.

18:35:09 18.03.2018

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has expressed concern over blocking Russians’ access to voting in Russia’s diplomatic missions in Ukraine and called on Kiev’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Igor Prokopchuk to ensure Russians’ voting and avoid provocations.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed Ukraine’s refusal to grant access to Russian voters as illegal.

18:25:18 18.03.2018

According to the latest data, the voter turnout in the Russian presidential election has reached 52.97%.

17:54:47 18.03.2018

Voting results at one of the polling stations in the Moscow Region's town of Lyubertsy can be annulled due to suspected ballot stuffing, Central Election Commission member Alexander Kinev said.

17:47:32 18.03.2018

A member of the Russian Election Commission visits the residents of the village 110 km outside the capital.

17:29:27 18.03.2018

International observers who came to Crimea said they had found no violations whatsoever at Russia’s presidential election during their visits to polling stations.

"We have been to three polling stations. We saw no violations anywhere, everything is being done professionally and properly," Daniel Christopher Vallander, an international observer from Sweden, told reporters.

According to the local election commission, 43 international observers from 20 countries, including from the US, the UK, Ukraine, France and Italy, are working in Crimea, with the majority of them operating in Yalta, Sevastopol and Simferopol.

17:16:10 18.03.2018

The voter turnout in Russia's capital has exceeded 40% as of 15:00 Moscow time, which is higher than in the 2012 elections:

 

17:15:11 18.03.2018

The voter turnout in Russia’s presidential election currently stands at 51.90%, according to the Central Election Commission.

17:00:04 18.03.2018

Russia's oldest woman, a 127-year-old resident of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, has voted in the presidential elections

16:56:48 18.03.2018

Members of the Cossack community dance at a polling station in Rostov-on-Don.

 

16:21:58 18.03.2018

The voter turnout in Crimea has reached 33.81% as of 12:00 Moscow Time, with more than 506,000 people coming to the polling stations:

The Russian presidential election is being held in Crimea for the first time.

16:20:12 18.03.2018

No violations have been registered during the Russian presidential election in Chechnya, the republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov said. According to Chechnya’s Central Election Commission, the voter turnout as of noon reached 40.9%.

15:59:48 18.03.2018

The voting in the Russian presidential election was held without incidents in Syria. The voter turnout is higher than during the Russian parliamentary polls in 2016, according to the Russian Embassy in the Arab Republic.

15:38:33 18.03.2018

The entire election system in Russia is working without hitches, despite the recent hacker attack, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulayev said.

"Everything that should be working is operating normally. We are not facing any problems and I’m sure we won’t face them by the end of the vote counting process," Bulayev told reporters.

15:29:16 18.03.2018

International observers who have visited Sevastopol are confident that the Russian presidential election in Crimea will be held in line with the law.

15:13:46 18.03.2018

Moscow expects that London will ensure security during the Russian presidential election on the territory of the United Kingdom on Sunday, no alarming reports have been received, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large Andrei Nesterenko said.

"The voting is held in an orderly manner, we haven’t received any alarming reports from London about violations of the voting process," Nesterenko told reporters.

"Certainly, despite the latest events in bilateral relations we warned the British side that we would like them to ensure security at a polling station in London," he said.

On March 4, ex-intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury after being exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in hospital in critical condition.

15:03:20 18.03.2018

More than 45,000 Russian citizens who are currently abroad have cast their votes in the Russian presidential election. 

14:59:51 18.03.2018

Some 1,513 international observers are monitoring the Russian presidential election on Sunday throughout the country, a member of the Central Election Commission, Nikolai Levichev, said.

"At the moment, there are 1,513 observers from 115 countries," Levichev pointed out. 

14:35:40 18.03.2018

Russian presidential hopefuls Maxim Suraikin and Sergei Baburin cast their vote in the presidential election on Sunday.

Maxim Suraikin, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party, came to a ballot station in northwestern Moscow with his mother. "I have chosen my president," he said.

Sergei Baburin, head of the Russian People’s Union party and former deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house), together with his family visited ballot station number 2151 in the Russian Academy of Sciences on Moscow’s Kosygina Street.

Earlier on Sunday, Russian incumbent leader Vladimir Putin also cast his vote there. Four other presidential hopefuls - Boris Titov, Pavel Grudinin, Grigory Yavlinsky and Vladimir Zhirinovsky - voted earlier in the day.

14:21:04 18.03.2018

Commenting on his feelings when fulfilling his civic duty, Depardieu noted: "With patriotism and love for Russia."

13:55:26 18.03.2018

The voter turnout in the Russian presidential election as of 12.00 Moscow Time reached 34.72%, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulayev said on Sunday.

According to the data announced at 2 p.m., the voter turnout as of 12.00 is 34.72%," Bulayev said. "I want to note that in most regions it is higher than in 2012,’" he said.

At 10.00 a.m. the voter turnout was estimated at 16.55%.

13:55:06 18.03.2018

 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cast his vote in the Russian presidential election in Moscow: 

13:13:59 18.03.2018

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has sent 291 teams to monitor the Russian presidential election, but no observers will go to Crimea, Head of the ODIHR election observation mission (EOM) Jan Petersen told reporters.

"We have reports from 291 teams through the whole of Russia. We have a lot of information to process before we can give the full picture. It is very important that we do not voice any opinion based on a very limited number of observations. I’m sure we will have a good background for assessments tomorrow," Petersen said.

"We are covering the whole of Russia. Of course, it is a huge country which means that there 95,000 polling stations and we won’t be able to cover all, but we are covering quite a lot many thousand polling stations. I would expect we will see by the end of the day how many they are. But we are covering enough to have a statistical material to give a fair assessment of what is happening."

13:01:11 18.03.2018

Russian presidential candidates Boris Titov, Pavel Grudinin, Grigory Yavlinsky and Vladimir Zhirinovsky cast their votes in the presidential election:  

 

12:51:37 18.03.2018

Russia's national football squad on their way to the polling station: 

12:16:05 18.03.2018

Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on Ukraine's decision to deny access to Russian voters on election day. 

12:04:56 18.03.2018

Key facts about the Russian presidential election: 

11:50:30 18.03.2018

Russia’s Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko hopes that efforts of international organizations and Russian agencies will force Ukraine to allow Russian voters to cast their votes at the ballot stations on Sunday.

"The fact when the Kiev authorities denied access to the Russian citizens in Ukraine to vote is probably for the first time in international diplomatic practice. This is the rudest violation of the international law," Matviyenko stressed. 

"We hope for solidarity of the international community and the human rights organizations, which demand that the Ukrainian authorities should immediately change this decision and enable [Russians] to vote," she said.

11:24:58 18.03.2018

Voter turnout in the Russian presidential election as of 10.00 a.m. Moscow Time on Sunday reached 16.55%, the Central Election Commission chief has announced.

11:15:20 18.03.2018

A DDOS-attack against Central Election Commission’s website from IP addresses of 15 countries has been repelled on election day, the Central Election Commission chief said.

11:12:56 18.03.2018

"In total, more than 97,000 ballot stations will be used for the voting - 48,000 in cities and more than 48,000 in villages," Central Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova said. Some 2,300 ballot stations will work for special groups of voters at the places of their temporary stay. More than 107 million Russian citizens are eligible to vote now, Pamfilova added. 

10:26:17 18.03.2018

The ballot station in Russia’s Embassy in Kiev opened for the Russian presidential election as scheduled, but only diplomats are allowed to cast their votes, the diplomatic mission’s press service told TASS. 

10:25:56 18.03.2018

Forty-three international observers from 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Ukraine, arrived in Crimea to monitor the Russian presidential election.

09:25:38 18.03.2018

Russian presidential candidate and incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin has cast his vote in Sunday’s presidential election: 

09:22:34 18.03.2018

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has cast his vote in the presidential election. 

09:04:42 18.03.2018

The last ballot stations in the country opened in Russia’s westernmost region. As many as 789,062 citizens are eligible to vote at 550 ballot stations:

08:59:17 18.03.2018

The Russian Far East continues showing the highest voter turnout in the presidential election on Sunday: 

08:32:40 18.03.2018 08:21:47 18.03.2018

Citizens of the Crimean Peninsula are taking part in the Russian presidential election for the first time.

08:18:29 18.03.2018

Eight candidates are running for the highest office in the Russian Federation. 

08:13:03 18.03.2018

Polling stations opened in central and northwestern Russia and the North Caucasus. Residents of the westernmost Kaliningrad region will be the last to go to the polls.

08:12:10 18.03.2018

Russia’s presidential election has begun in the Far East. Residents of the country’s easternmost regions - Kamchatka and Chukotka - were the first to cast their votes. 

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