Russian President Vladimir Putin (Source: AFP/VNA) About 67 per cent of Russian citizens tend to take part in the voting, among which 81.1 per cent of the people would support Putin, according to a special research project launched by VTSIOM for the 2018 presidential elections. The first round will be held on March 18th. If in the first round no candidate attains an absolute majority of the votes (more than half), then according to the law, a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on April 8th. On December 28th, Russia’s central election commission (CEC) accepted documents from Vladimir Putin to register him as a candidate in the presidential ballot next March. Earlier, the incumbent, President Putin, announced that he will seek re-election for a second consecutive term and fourth term overall. Putin is widely expected to win, and has consistently scored higher than 40%, and often much higher, in opinion polls since the last presidential election. The upcoming election will be the fourth in Putin’s political career. He has been in power since 2000, either as President or Prime Minister. If he wins the March election, he will be eligible to serve until 2024. The election was previously planned to be held on March 11th, but was postponed to March 18th./.