Russia in 2018: Putin's re-election and a World Cup, but what else?

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The president seems certain to be re-elected in March, but the manner of his win will influence how the year develops

Barring severe illness or the most extraordinary electoral upset of the 21st century, Vladimir Putin will end 2018 in the Kremlin, having won a new six-year mandate in March elections that will take his rule over Russia to 2024.

Even if the result is in little doubt, the manner of Putin’s victory will influence how the year develops. With no real opposition candidates taking part, victory is ensured but the Kremlin is worried about turnout, as political apathy grows, and a low one would ring alarm bells.

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