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Communists gain in Moscow council elections

RUSSIAN communists won 13 seats in Moscow city council elections at the weekend, amid widespread protests at the banning of opposition parties from standing.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation improved its showing in the capital, picking up eight more seats than in 2014.

President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party retained a majority by winning 25 seats, down from 38 in 2014. 

The others were taken by the A Just Russia party, which now has three seats, and the liberal Yabloko party, with four.

The elections were accompanied by mass protests in Moscow over anti-Putin candidates being barred from participation.

The president’s popularity rating has dipped, but at 60 per cent it remains higher than that of most Western leaders.

His landslide victory in last year’s elections will see him retain power until 2024.

Outside Moscow, the United Russia party dominated, with all 16 pro-Putin governors re-elected.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said: “The party showed its political leadership.” 

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