Russian voters favor stability under Putin


Natalia Dementieva, 44, an accountant who is currently unemployed and a supporter of presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, in Moscow on Jan. 14. “The idea that things have improved, I'm not seeing it.”

Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) — Most Russians intending to vote for Vladimir Putin in Sunday’s election say stability is at the root of their faith in their candidate — though many young voters believe it’s time for a change of leader.

Putin, 65, is expected to win a fourth term in office with 69 percent of the vote, according to the latest survey by a state-run pollster.

Reuters correspondents and photographers who traveled around the country talking to voters ahead of the March 18 election found nothing to contradict expectation of an emphatic Putin victory.

In Crimea, participating in a Russian presidential election for the first time since the territory was annexed from Ukraine in 2014, engineer Andrei Lukinykh said Putin was the only candidate who could provide stability in tough times. “As the saying goes, you don’t change your horses midstream. Unlike the others, my candidate can provide the stability that’s needed,” Lukinykh said.

For Muscovite student Yulia Dyuzheva, economic progress during Putin’s 17 years in office won him her vote.

But others believe Russia is ready for a change.

Accountant Natalia Dementieva, also from Moscow, said she was casting a vote for TV personality Ksenia Sobchak — one of seven other candidates — because she supported more freedoms.Speech

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