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A man walks by graffiti of Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. Putin is expected to win the first round of voting in the presidential election, which takes place on Sunday, but it is unclear whether or not he will win more than fifty percent of the vote, eliminating the need for a second round. Putin was President of Russia from 1999 to 2008, a tenure marked by economic growth and by suppression of the press and political dissidents. His candidacy, as well as evidence of vote-rigging in elections held this past December, has set off large protests Moscow. Photo by Andrey Smirnov /AFP /Getty Images.