Russia's regions will shape the next parliament and its relationship with the Kremlin. Moscow can no longer afford to ignore the opinion of the local electorates or the views of the powerful regional governors, some of whom wield tremendous influence over voters. For a guide to the regional picture, click the key regions on the map:
Kaliningrad is an important Russian enclave sandwiched
between Lithuania and Poland, and is the last to cast its
votes in any Russian national election - some 11 hours after the most distant regions of the Far East.
Some gas producing regions in the far north voted in 1995 for Our Home is Russia, headed by the then prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, well-known as a supporter of the oil and gas sector. Communists have also done well in the North West in the past, but in December's election the pro-government Unity party took first place in most districts.