Facing hostility, Putin to win the Kremlin: poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin will reclaim the Kremlin’s top job by winning two thirds of the vote in a March presidential election, but Russia’s alpha-dog leader may face growing resentment against his rule, the last major poll before the vote showed yesterday.

Prime Minister Putin’s aides hope a big win in the March 4 presidential election will take the sting out of an urban protest movement which casts him as an authoritarian leader who rules through a corrupt and tightly controlled political system.

Putin will easily avoid a humiliating second round run-off but on the eve of six more years in the Kremlin, Russia’s 59-year old leader faces a crisis of confidence in his rule, Russia’s biggest independent pollster said.

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