Polls close in Russia's three-day election

Polls closed in Russia's Far East city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Sunday (September 19) - marking the end of a three-day parliamentary election expected to favour the ruling United Russia.

That's after a sweeping crackdown that crushed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's movement and barred opponents from running.

A victory for the pro-Vladimir Putin party will likely be used by the Kremlin as proof of support for the president.

That's despite malaise over years of faltering living standards.

State pollsters say United Russia faces a ratings slump - but it remains more popular than its closest rivals on this ballot, the Communist Party and nationalist LDPR.

Among those voting on Sunday was fashionista and TV personality Sergei Zverev.

He's standing for the Russian Ecological Party - but says he does not believe he can be elected.

"I'm telling you - nobody will elect me, they won't let it happen. They won't let them elect me. I'm exhausted by courts already. They will elect the others, not me."

Navalny is serving a jail sentence for parole violations that he denies.

His allies have been barred from running after his movement was banned in June as extremist.

The Kremlin denies a politically-driven crackdown and says individuals are prosecuted for breaking the law.

Navalny's allies also encouraged tactical voting - amounting to supporting the candidate most likely to defeat the ruling party in any given electoral district.

United Russia holds nearly three-quarters of the outgoing State Duma's 450 seats.

Last year that dominance helped it pass reforms allowing Putin to run for two more terms as president after 2024.

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