Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin and his opponents head to the polls for a presidential vote he is widely expected to win. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin greets voters in Moscow. The former president casts his ballot Sunday in elections widely expected to return him to the office. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR PUTIN SAYING : "I am sure people act with a great sense of responsibility and I am counting on a high turnout." He served two terms from 2000 to 2008, after which term limits forced him to step aside for his protégé Dmitry Medvedev. Several Moscow residents dismissed the other four candidates, saying Putin is the only choice. But not everyone stands behind the popular politician. Tens of thousands have joined opposition protests over a controversial December election when his United Russia Party regained a majority in the legislature amid accusations of voting fraud. Polls forecast Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov to take 15 percent of the vote, against more than 60 percent for Putin. The opposition leader claims irregularities are already being reported. He says he's heard reports of ballot stuffing in the Far East of the country and accuses "crooks" of trying to rig the election. The three other candidates are expected to finish even further behind the former president. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters