Putin set to win fourth presidential term

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President Vladimir Putin is set to win a fourth term in Russia’s presidential elections on March 18, the last term he is allowed under the current rules of the Russian constitution.

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Though there are eight candidates on the ballot, Putin’s rivals trail far behind his 80 percent approval rating (Washington Post). The result is not in question, reports The Economist.

Putin’s victory will only be threatened if there is a low turnout – which could hinder his legitimacy as a leader – or if the Russians who oppose him take to the streets on election day.

The president, who is the longest serving leader since Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin (Washington Post), has carved a public image of himself as a fierce defender of Russia’s national interests against hostile Western governments.

Another term would take him to nearly a quarter century in power and would come on the back of an international standoff between Russia and Britain over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent on UK soil. While the British government has said that Moscow is responsible for the attack the Kremlin denies any wrongdoing.

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