Russia goes to the polls in presidential election

In this file photo taken on December 28, 2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts with attendees after a ceremony to bestow state awards on military personnel who fought in Syria,Image copyright

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Sititng president Vladimir Putin is hoping to secure another term in office

Polls have opened in Russia’s presidential election, in which incumbent Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term in office.

Voting began in the Russian far-east at 20:00 GMT on Saturday, and will open in Moscow nine hours later.

The first results will arrive on Sunday evening. Mr Putin has been Russia’s dominant leader since 2000, either as president or prime minister.

He is hoping for another six-year term and faces seven other candidates.

His rivals include a millionaire communist, Pavel Grudinin, a former reality television host, Ksenia Sobchak and the veteran nationalist, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

The most famous opposition figure in Russia, Alexei Navalny, has been prohibited from standing, because of a fraud conviction that he said was politically motivated.

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