WATCH: Russians in Israel cast their ballots for the presidential election

Opinion polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 percent, or nearly 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger.

By REUTERS
March 18, 2018 12:41

Russians in Israel cast their ballots for the presidential election, March 18, 2018 (Reuters)

Russians in Israel cast their ballots for the presidential election, March 18, 2018 (Reuters)

 
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Russians in Israel queued at polling station in Jerusalem on Sunday to vote in a presidential election set to give Vladimir Putin a commanding victory that could only be blemished if large numbers do not bother taking part because the result is so predictable.

The Russian embassy in Israel says there are 150,000 Russian citizens living in Israel, 120,000 of whom are eligible to vote in Russia's election. The embassy spokesperson said he cannot predict how many will do so today, but in the 2012 ballot 7,500 voted.

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Opinion polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 percent, or nearly 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger. Another term will take him to nearly a quarter century in power - a longevity among Kremlin leaders second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Many voters credit Putin, a 65-year-old former KGB spy, with standing up for Russia's interests in a hostile outside world, even though the cost is confrontation with the West.

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