Russia's 11 election candidates are fighting it out in cyberspace as a backup to the traditional public speeches and appearances in the rundown to the March 26 presidential vote.
Their Websites run the gamut from basic text to colorful graphics, and a few include sections in English. Some sites concentrate on the sponsoring candidate, while others take jabs at opponents.
Acting President Vladimir Putin's site www.putin2000.ru painted in gray, is functional and one of the few with an English section.
Regular features like biography, latest campaign news, the candidate's program, speeches and data on the electoral headquarters are included. The only link to another Website is one to the acting president's new book, "In the First Person; Conversations with Vladimir Putin."
Putin's leading competitor, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has a bright red Website www.zyuganov.ru. There is an attachment in English, which mainly consists of appeals for Communist Party victory, issuing dire predictions of Russia's imminent demise and measures needed for recovery.
Flamboyant ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky preaches his version of the truth from his party's site www.ldpr.ru which has a full English-language version. It contains descriptions of other contenders, such as the "CIA protege" Grigory Yavlinsky, and Zyuganov "who founded his career on the misery of old generations." So far, he approves of Putin but denounces him for his "dry KGB style."
Yavlinsky, the favorite of many liberals, has promised to have a personal Website soon, but his views are currently available on his party's site www.yabloko.ru which works as a standard billboard for his reformist news and views, with an English version also available.
The other candidates' Websites are available only in Russian and follow the usual pattern, with slight variations. They are (all prefixed with www.):
Ella Pamfilova, a social minister from 1991-1994: pamfilova.ru.
Kemerevo region Gov. Aman Tuleyev: tuleev.ru.
Samara Gov. Konstantin Titov: titov2000.ru.
Former presidential administration deputy chief Yevgeny Savostyanov: savostyanov.ru.
Former prosecutor general Yury Skuratov: scuratov.ru.
Chechen national and businessman Umar Dzhabrailov: umar.ru.
Film director Stanislav Govorukhin's site was still in the making last Friday.