In televised address, Putin urges high voter turnout ahead of Russian election

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That's because the big story, at least for public consumption, as far is the Kremlin is concerned, is Russia's presidential election - just 48 hours away.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is banned from taking part in Sunday's presidential election.

Johnson said earlier on Friday that London believed it "overwhelmingly likely" that the Russian leader had personally handed down orders to use a nerve agent to poison Skripal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday also accused Britain of violating worldwide law and said Britain's defence minister "lacks education".

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He added that a total of 3,569 terrorists have been "neutralized" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch. At least 15,000 people left Afrin on Friday, according to the Observatory.

The sanctions prompted a swift threat of retaliation from the Russian government.

Lavrov and other Russian officials have sought to cast doubt on the allegations, saying Britain has refused to share information on the deadly chemical nerve agent used in the attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

Writing in the Guardian, Mr Corbyn, whose response to the attack has led to criticism from some on his backbenches, said "the evidence points towards Russia" being responsible - but the possibility of gangsters being behind the attack rather than the Kremlin could not be excluded.

The war of words between the West and Moscow escalated yesterday after Boris Johnson directly accused Vladimir Putin of ordering the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy on United Kingdom soil.

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Photo The British ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, leaving the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Saturday. The Russian government has denied any involvement in the attack.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to media during a visit to a Battle of Britain bunker in Uxbridge on 16 March 2018.

Mr Lavrov also gave a dismissive response to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's call for Russian Federation to "go away and shut up".

Russian President Vladimir Putin today urged Russians to vote on Sunday.

The source of the nerve agent used - which Britain says is Soviet-made Novichok - is unclear.

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So far he’s performing as expected, notching impressive rebounding and blocking numbers in heavy Summer League minutes. It’s undeniable at this point that this rookie class is going to generate a lot of attention for a long time to come.

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