Russia votes for parliamentary elections (also in Crimea)

As millions of Russians vote in parliamentary elections this weekend, one of the stand-out features of the campaign has been the presence of the opposition. In past votes, most opposition candidates have been blocked or excluded. But in this election, taking place on Sunday, hundreds of Kremlin critics have been allowed to run for office. (CNN)

Voter turnout in Russia’s parliamentary elections in 2011 amounted to 60.2 percent. This year, 14 political parties participate in State Duma elections. (Russia Today)

“People will vote for United Russia, not as the expression of a choice or certain political demands on their part, but as acclamation: an expression of general agreement with the government,” Natalya Zorkaya, a researcher at independent pollster the Levada Center, says. (The Moscow Times)

“The United States does not recognize the legitimacy, and will not recognize the outcome, of the Russian Duma (lower house of parliament) elections planned for Russian-occupied Crimea on September 18th,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. (Vox of America)