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17 Mar, 2024 20:18

Russian election clerk killed in Ukrainian shelling – authorities

Kiev attacked Russian port city of Berdyansk, with significant difficulties reported elsewhere in frontline areas, a senior official says
Russian election clerk killed in Ukrainian shelling – authorities

A Ukrainian artillery attack has killed a female official overseeing the presidential election in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, Alexandr Gorovoy, the First Deputy Interior Minister, has said. Moscow had warned that Kiev would stop at nothing to derail the vote.

Speaking at the Central Election Commission on Sunday, Gorovoy shared the news that Kiev’s attack had killed a voting member of the electoral commission in the port city of Berdyansk, some 100 kilometers from the frontline. He gave no further details about the tragedy.

Zaporozhye Region, along with three other former Ukrainian territories, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in autumn 2022. Neither Kiev nor its Western backers have recognized the results of the referendums.

Gorovoy also noted that election authorities at local level encountered significant difficulties in other frontline areas, including the cities of Kamenka-Dneprovskaya and Energodar. Both are located on the left bank of the Dnepr River, the latter also being home to Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest such facility in Europe.

In those areas, according to the first deputy interior minister, election commissions had to be relocated along with all documents.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine would orchestrate “a number of criminal, demonstrative armed acts” to intimidate Russian voters. On Sunday morning, local authorities in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions reported strikes on polling stations that left several people injured.

Casting of ballots in the presidential election took place between March 15 and 17. With an overall turnout of more than 74% and nearly half of the votes counted, incumbent Vladimir Putin looks widely expected to win a landslide victory.

According to Russia’s Central Election Commission, Putin is for now leading the race with an estimated 87% share of the votes, with Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party and Vladislav Davankov of the New People Party trailing behind at around 4% each. Leonid Slutsky, of the Liberal Democrats, has received 3.1% of the vote so far.