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15 Mar, 2024 11:51

Woman tries to destroy votes in Moscow (VIDEO)

A protester poured green liquid detergent into a ballot box while shouting out pro-Ukraine slogans, according to media reports
Woman tries to destroy votes in Moscow (VIDEO)

A young woman has been arrested after trying to ruin ballot papers at a voting station in Moscow on Friday, the first day of Russia’s presidential election.

According to the Baza Telegram channel, the woman entered a voting station in the capital’s North-Eastern district and proceeded to pour a can of green antiseptic liquid into a ballot box while shouting out pro-Ukraine slogans.

In a video recording of the incident, the woman could also be seen communicating with someone over the phone. Eyewitnesses have reportedly told the media that the perpetrator was being “coordinated” by someone.

Russia’s Investigative Committee for the city of Moscow has since announced that the woman has been detained and that a criminal case has been opened in which she is being accused of obstructing voting rights. She now faces three to five years in prison.

A similar incident, also involving a green chemical liquid, also occurred in the city of Borisoglebsk in Voronezh Region, while attempts to ruin ballot papers using ink reportedly occurred in the city of Rostov and in the Karachay-Cherkessia Republic.

Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has demanded that the security of ballot boxes be strengthened in light of these incidents.

“It’s clear that these people have been promised money and rewards,” said CEC deputy chairman Nikolai Bulaev, stating that these crimes have been committed by both men and women.

He added that in order to ensure the security of the ballot boxes, CEC employees will turn to the police and the National guard, stressing that ruined ballots cannot be counted, meaning that the violators are effectively stealing the votes of the Russian people.

On Thursday, CEC chariwoman Ella Pamfilova stated in anticipation of the national election that the commission is aware that possible “provocations” may be aimed at disrupting the process, but promised that these would not succeed in compromising the vote.

The casting of ballots will run through Sunday. Incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who is seeking a fifth term in office, is being opposed by three candidates: Nikolay Kharitonov from the Communist Party, Vladislav Davankov of the New People party, and Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democrats.