JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Faces Test of Voters With Poisoned Critic in Hospital” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“With his most prominent critic hit by a near-fatal poisoning that opponents and the West blame on the Kremlin … Putin faces a key test of support in regional elections ahead of a national vote next year. About a third of the electorate is eligible to vote … over three days … to choose representatives at different levels … in 83 regions including 18 governors. … amid unprecedented anti-government protests in neighboring Belarus and daily demonstrations since July in Russia’s far east Khabarovsk region over the arrest of a popular governor from outside the ruling party. … [A]uthorities [reportedly] are taking all possible measures to limit opposition gains ….”

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[featured image is file photo from another occasion]