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Russia voting today, Putin set to return for historic fourth term

By Vikas

Russia goes to vote in the presidential election Sunday to elect Vladimir Putin for the fourth term in Kremlin. Since taking power 18 years ago, Putin has stamped his total authority on the country, silencing opposition and reasserting Moscow's lost might abroad.

Vladimir Putin

The polling across the country, which began at 8 am Sunday in Russia's far east regions of Chukotka and Kamchatka will go on till polls close at the westernmost point, the Kaliningrad region, 22 hours later.

Putin has sought to use the election run-up to emphasise Russia's role as a major world power, recently boasting of its "invincible" new weapons and continuing Moscow's support for the Syrian regime in a bloody civil war.Putin who has campaigned under the slogan "a strong president - a strong Russia", has declined to take part in televised debates and shot no new material for his own campaign advertisements.

Overall turnout is expected to be between 63 and 67 per cent, according to official pollsters. The run-up to Russia's last presidential election in 2012 was marked by protests across the country against Putin's return as head of state after four years as prime minister.

OneIndia New with PTI inputs

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