President Vladimir Putin said the Russian capital had decent candidates taking part in the local parliament vote as he cast his ballot in the Moscow city elections on Sunday.

The Moscow vote is seen as a dry run for a national parliamentary election in 2021 with allies of Kremlin critics Navalny, including Sobol, seeing it as a chance to make political inroads in the capital.

Kremlin Critic Alexei Navalny has called on his supporters to vote tactically to try to reduce the chances of the ruling United Russia party – which supports President Vladimir Putin – winning.

The elections present a challenge for the authorities with the popularity of United Russia at its lowest in more than a decade, according to official pollsters.

Meanwhile, Russian opposition activist Lyubov Sobol called for a protest vote against the ruling United Russia party supported by President Putin on Sunday (September 8) as she cast her ballot at Moscow parliament vote.

Lyubov Sobol, 31, is one of 16 opposition-minded candidates the authorities have barred from running in September’s election for Moscow’s city legislature.

The authorities say they are not allowing Sobol and her colleagues to take part because they failed to collect enough genuine signatures of support, a condition of being registered.

Sobol and the others say that’s a lie.

The Moscow vote is seen as a dry run for a national parliamentary election in 2021 with allies of Kremlin critics Alexei Navalny, including Sobol, seeing it as a chance to make political inroads in the capital.

Navalny has called on his supporters to vote tactically to try to reduce the chances of the ruling United Russia party – which supports President Vladimir Putin – winning.

Sobol supported this.