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Voter turnout key for Kremlin as Russia heads to polls to hand Putin 4th presidential term



MOSCOW — With President Vladimir Putin’s victory all but assured as Russians head to the polls on Sunday, only one thing remains uncertain and potentially damaging for the Kremlin: how many people will turn out to vote and hand him a convincing mandate for a fourth term in office.

On a bitterly cold but sunny election morning, Muscovites were surrounded by reminders of the importance of voting.

“Choosing a president, choosing a future,” was the message staring back at the passersby from one of the flashy billboards on Kutuzovsky Avenue in the center of the capital.

Sales manager Anna Popova, 31, says the billboards have been a constant presence and just one of many ways in which the Russian public has been urged to get out and vote.

Anna Popova, 31, next to an election billboard on Kutuzovsky Avenue in central Moscow, Russia on March 18, 2018.