The state of Russian opposition after Navalny

Potential challengers to Vladimir Putin have been jailed, exiled or barred from ballot

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to TV host and Director General of Rossiya Segodnya (RIA Novosti) news agency Dmitry Kiselyov
Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia either as prime minister or president since 1999 and is poised to win another six-year term in this week's election
(Image credit: Gavriil Grigorov / Pool / AFP via Getty Images)

When Vladimir Putin confirmed he would run for re-election, his path to a fifth term as Russia's president seemed a foregone conclusion.

The 71-year-old has ruled either as prime minister or as president since 1999, and is now expected to "easily win a landslide victory" in presidential elections this weekend, said Reuters's Russia correspondent Andrew Osborn. Opinion poll results, while questionable in such a repressive regime, consistently indicate Putin is "supported by a majority of Russians".

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