MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti)
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About 600,000 Russians have registered on webvybory2012.ru site which will broadcast the course of the March 4 presidential elections, chief Moscow municipal electoral commission Valentin Gorbunov said on Saturday.
To watch the live broadcast of the voting at any polling station, a person must register on webvybory2012.ru until Saturday. One can watch the broadcast from as many polling stations as he or she wishes. About 100,000 people will monitor the voting process in Moscow via the internet.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged in December 2011 that nearly all 95,000 polling places in Russia will be equipped with webcams by the time of the March 4 presidential elections in order to avoid accusations of electoral fraud. The installation will cost 10-15 billion rubles ($319-478 million).
Putin-led United Russia party won the December 4 parliamentary elections but critics claimed the vote had been slanted in favor of United Russia. The authorities admitted that minor violations had occurred during the vote and pledged to probe them, but denied claims that the irregularities affected the vote’s results.
Vote rigging allegations led to the largest anti-government protests for almost two decades, with demonstrators demanding a rerun and the dismissal of Vladimir Churov, the head of the Central Election Commission, dubbed “the wizard” after December's election to the State Duma.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).