Russia election: The secret of Vladimir Putin’s appeal as voters go to polls

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As the polls open for an election Vladimir Putin is expected to win, Sky’s Diana Magnay looks at what underpins his popularity.

Vladimir Putin is expected to be re-elected as Russia’s president, giving him a fourth term that would make him the nation’s second longest serving leader, behind Joseph Stalin.As voting gets under way, Sky’s Moscow Correspondent Diana Magnay reports on President Putin’s undeniable popularity and how his response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack is being used to build his support.

In the era before there was a nerve agent attack on the streets of Salisbury, Vladimir Putin stood before his people and promised to improve their lot.

It was 1 March 2018, a little more than two weeks ago.He told them he would reduce the poverty rate by half, increase per capita GDP by 50% by the middle of the next decade, and raise life expectancy.But after 90 minutes of comforting words, there was an abrupt turn.Russia was developing a new arsenal of invincible next generation missiles, he told his audience.All of this was a response to the United States’ disappointing record on arms control.

“Nothing personal,” he told NBC’s Meghan Kelly afterwards.

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