Putin On Track for Commanding Win as Russians Head to Polls

(From Reuters)

Russians vote in a presidential election on Sunday expected to give Vladimir Putin an easy victory, though the Kremlin could miss out on the resounding mandate it wants if large numbers, bored by a one-sided contest, do not bother to vote.

Opinion polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 percent, or nearly 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger.

Another term will take him to nearly a quarter century in power — a longevity among Kremlin leaders second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Many voters credit Putin, a 65-year-old former KGB spy, with standing up for Russia’s interests in what they view as a hostile outside world.

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