Russian presidential vote begins
Baku, March 4 (AZERTAC). Polling stations in across Russia have opened as the presidential election gets under way.
Sunday`s vote sees Vladimir Putin hoping to become president again after four years as prime minister.
Mr Putin was Russia`s president from 2000 to 2008, but was barred by the constitution from standing for a third consecutive term.
He faces four challengers, three of whom he has defeated in previous elections.
Polls will be open from 8am to 8pm in each time zone, with the first opening in the Far East of the country at 20:00 GMT on Saturday, and the last in the western Kaliningrad region closing at 17:00 GMT on Sunday.
The interior ministry is bringing 6,000 police reinforcements to Moscow from the regions, according to Russian media reports.
Mr Putin`s main challenger is considered to be Communist Gennady Zyuganov, who is running for a fourth time.
The other candidates are ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who is standing as an independent, and former upper house speaker Sergey Mironov, from the centre-left A Just Russia party.