Polling stations opened in the European part of Russia at 8 am on Friday, nine hours after voting in the elections to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) began in the country's Far East regions.

Russia's parliamentary elections, in which more than 110 million Russians are eligible to vote, will be held over a three-day period until Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure was taken by the authorities to minimize risks of infections although the opposition alleges it may open the door to voter fraud.

Russians must elect the Duma's 450 members: half via party list voting and half through single-member plurality voting.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), more than 5,800 candidates from 14 parties, including 10 independent candidates, are running in these elections.

Moreover, as in last year's constitutional referendum, 2.6 million Russians will be able to cast their vote electronically in Moscow and six other regions of the country.