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United Russia's popularity is in decline—but apathy among the opposition is likely to boost their share of the vote

Election season here in Moscow has been marked predominantly by Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he will run for president in March. Many critics saw this as confirmation of fears that the country’s politics were calcifying around a personality cult, while supporters welcomed the move as much needed stability in uncertain economic times.

No doubt the party that he has led for the last four years felt his candidacy could propel them to new heights of…

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