Thousands of people rally in the far eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk in protests supporting popular governor Sergei Furgal, who was detained on murder charges, and in a rare show of defiance against the Kremlin. The arrest of 50-year-old Furgal, who defeated a candidate from the ruling United Russia party to win the governorship in 2018, has sparked daily demonstrations in Khabarovsk.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin kicks off an annual press conference, his first major public appearance since announcing he would seek a new six-year term in March 2018 elections, saying he will stand for election as an independent candidate rather than with the backing of his traditional party, United Russia, despite “counting on the support of the political forces that share my point of view about the development of the country”.
With almost all of the votes counted, early results in Russia’s election suggest that the ruling United Russia party heads the list with 54.2 percent. The country voted on State Duma members, as well as several regional heads.
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