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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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 Josef 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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