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September 18, Russia held elections to the State Duma. For the first time in 13 years, the elections take place on a mixed electoral system: 225 deputies out of 450 will be elected on party lists (proportional system), and other 225 – by single member constituencies (majority system).
In Ukraine, the vote was organized by the Russian Embassy, located in Kyiv, as well as in Russian consulates in Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odesa. Annexed Crimea and Sevastopol also votes in Russian parliamentary elections amid protests from Ukraine.
Elections in the Russian Embassy today marked by massive clashes with the law enforcers. It was reported that in the morning the situation near the embassy was quite calm, but in the midday, representatives of Ukraine’s far-right “Svoboda” showed up and party announced their intention to prevent the vote. They tried to block the passage of Russian citizens on the territory of the embassy, and after the police prevented them, they attempted to break down the fence around the building. There were “verbal skirmishes,” and then the confrontation with the police and the National Guard defending the building.
Among the active participants of confrontations were MPs of Kyiv City Council Ihor Miroshnychenko and Volodymyr Nazarenko. Nazarenko, by the way, was detained by the police and taken to the department. As a result, two people were arrested in Kyiv.
In addition, Kyiv protesters beat up a man who came to vote. The protester, who beat man, was detained.
The situation near the Russian Consulate in Odesa was also tensed. The representatives of the far-right organization "Right sector" tried to block a vote by not letting the Russian citizens in. As a result, the verbal and later physical clashes with the law enforcers, several people were arrested. The regional police press service reported about the four detainees. No one was injured in Odesa.
In Lviv, the situation was more calm, but Russian consulate protection was strengthened. It is not known whether the polling station has opened there, the police do not have such information. Our correspondent said that no one has entered or left the territory of the Consulate. Pickets and protests took place there.
In Kharkiv, the polling station on the territory of the Consulate were opened. Quarter, in which it is located, has been blocked by the police officers, hundreds of National Guard soldiers and police are at the site. Riots and protests in Kharkiv are not observed.