World Russians to vote: some want change, but Putin still a cert to win

18:56  12 march  2018
18:56  12 march  2018 Source:   Reuters

Putin tells U.S. to send evidence of vote meddling

  Putin tells U.S. to send evidence of vote meddling Russian President Vladimir Putin told Washington to send him hard evidence that his citizens meddled in U.S. elections, mocking accusations to date as "yelling and hollering in the United States Congress".The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three firms last month with interfering in the 2016 presidential vote as part of what it called a conspiracy to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.

Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care

  Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn't care about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.In an interview with American broadcaster NBC News that aired Saturday, Putin also suggested that some of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by the United States may not be ethnically Russian.

Putin, 65, is expected to win a fourth term in office with 69 percent of the vote, according to the latest survey by a state-run pollster.

Reuters correspondents and photographers who traveled around the country talking to voters ahead of the March 18 election found nothing to contradict expectation of an emphatic Putin victory.

(For a Russian election photo essay by Reuters click on

In Crimea, participating in a Russian presidential election for the first time since the territory was annexed from Ukraine in 2014, engineer Andrei Lukinykh said Putin was the only candidate who could provide stability in tough times.

"As the saying goes, you don't change your horses mid-stream. Unlike the others, my candidate can provide the stability that's needed," Lukinykh said.

Putin 'couldn't care less' if Russian citizens meddled in US election

  Putin 'couldn't care less' if Russian citizens meddled in US election Russian President Vladimir Putin said he "couldn't care less" if Russian citizens tried to meddle in the 2016 US election because, he claimed, the perpetrators weren't linked to the Kremlin.During a no-holds-barred interview with NBC News' Megyn Kelly, Putin repeatedly denied ordering a multifaceted influence campaign to sabotage the presidential election.

For Muscovite student Yulia Dyuzheva, economic progress during Putin's 17 years in office won him her vote.

"As a representative of the younger generation, I can say that for us, young Russians, all the doors are open. Everyone is able to grab the opportunities presented and make the most of themselves, in whatever town or region," Dyuzheva said.

But others believe Russia is ready for a change.

Accountant Natalia Dementieva, also from Moscow, said she was casting a vote for TV personality Ksenia Sobchak - one of seven other candidates - because she supported more freedoms.

"[Sobchak] speaks the truth, openly. She doesn't lie. She raises issues which are taboo under our government."

"The next generation to rule this country were born between 1982 and 1987. There's a lot of them and they don't remember what it was like in the Soviet Union. So they're less afraid."

Sobchak is expected to garner 2 percent of the vote, according to a March 9 poll by the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Centre.

Putin again denies meddling in US election

  Putin again denies meddling in US election Russian President Vladimir Putin once again dismissed allegations that his country interfered in the U.S. presidential election, and in a new interview also questioned the citizenship of 13 people indicted by a special counsel investigating efforts to sway the electorate. "Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked," Putin said during Saturday's two-part interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly.

That's less than the 3 percent who plan to stay at home, some of whom may be heeding opposition leader Alexei Navalny's call to boycott the vote after he was barred from being on the ballot.

From the Communist Party, wealthy farm boss Pavel Grudinin, 57, is set for a stronger showing, at 7 percent.

For Alexei Gruk, a mechanic from St Petersburg, voting for the Communist Party sends the signal that things need to change at home, but he wants Russia's foreign policy to stay the same.

"To hell with the sanctions," Gruk said. "So what if they don't bring foreign stuff here anymore? As if that means we have to give in. I don't care."

Nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a veteran lawmaker, is expected to garner 5 percent of votes, according to latest polls, while liberal economist Grigory Yavlinsky should receive 1 percent.

(Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Trump has not called Putin since his election, White House says .
President Donald Trump has yet to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election, and a phone call between the two leaders has yet to be set up , the White House said Monday. Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that the Trump administration will "work to cultivate the relationship we have with Russia" but added that they will also "obviously" impose "costs when Russia threatens our interests."When asked by reporters if the administration believed the Russian election was "free and fair," Gidley would only respond, "we're not surprised by the outcome.


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