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Russia presidential campaign draws to close

Russia presidential campaign draws to close
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It is the last day of campaigning before Russia’s presidential election.

The Communists are competing as is Russia’s third-richest man. But among the five candidates, there is little doubt over who will be victorious.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is all but certain to return to the Kremlin. He looks set to swap jobs with the man currently in the hot seat.

Urging Russians to vote, President Dmitry Medvedev appeared to put a positive spin on recent anti-Putin protests.

The “climate of high civic activity,” he said, showed that “Russian society has become more mature and that it clearly articulates its demands to the government.”

On the streets of Moscow, two days before polling, some are hopeful of change. Others expect little.

“We are hoping for a better deal for pensioners, jobs for the young and that everything generally will be good,” said senior citizen Vladimir Ivanovich.

“I am not a pessimist or an optimist. I am a realist and I am not expecting any serious changes,” added a fellow Muscovite, who gave his name as Alexei.

Putin is confident he will lead Russia for the next six years. He says he has not yet decided if he would like to stay in power for a subsequent term until 2024.