Voters in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia went to polls on Sunday in Russia’s presidential election in which Vladimir Putin is almost certain to win.
Many residents of Georgia's breakaway regions hold Russian passports and Moscow made them eligible to vote in Russia's elections. Polling stations have also been opened for thousands of Russian troops deployed in the breakaway regions.
“I cast my ballot for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with pleasure,” Abkhaz leader, Alexander Ankvab, said outside a polling station. “Abkhazia knows for whom to vote. I am sure, that Abkhazia will vote for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin… I have voted for our country’s future.”
Nine polling stations were opened in Abkhazia, including two in the breakaway region’s capital Sokhumi, according to the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress.
Twelve polling stations, including four in Tskhinvali, were opened in breakaway South Ossetia, which reported that 11,600 voters turned out to cast ballot as of 4pm local time.
Voters in the both breakaway regions will have to again go to polling stations this month.
Dmitry Medoev, who is believed to be a frontrunner candidate in South Ossetia’s presidential polls, said on Sunday that in Russia’s presidential election he cast his vote for Putin.