Sept. 8 - Muscovites cast their ballots in a mayoral election pitting leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny against Kremlin insider Sergei Sobyanin. Andrew Raven reports.
Amid a crush of cameras, opposition leader Alexei Navalny squeezes into a Moscow polling station along with his family. Navalny - a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin - is one of six men vying to become the next mayor of the Russian capital. With help from his daughter, Navalny cast his ballot Sunday in an election with high stakes for the Kremlin and Russia's opposition. He said he hoped the vote would be free and fair. "I would really like Muscovites to be able to express their will and to choose the mayor they want," he said. According to opinion polls, the 37-year-old Navalny appears to have little chance of winning. But a strong showing would be a blow to Putin, who has backed this man - Kremlin insider Sergei Sobyanin. The 55-year-old incumbent was appointed to a five-year term in 2010, but called an early election to bolster his legitimacy. The Kremlin so confidant of a Sobyanin win that Putin has been pencilled in to attend the mayor's inauguration this week.