Mar. 4 - Residents of Vladivostock kick off voting in Russia's presidential election. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Voters in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostock began casting their ballots eight hours ahead of Moscow in a presidential election Vladimir Putin is widely tipped to win. Vladivostock is the largest city in the Far East, with a population of 600,000. Many of its residents are disillusioned by rampant corruption and a widening gap between rich and poor. The Communist Party made significant gains here against Putin's United Russia in December's elections. But a recent poll from the Levada Centre, Russia's largest public research firm, suggested Putin would win the presidential poll with 63-66 per cent of the vote. That's far ahead of his closest rival, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who is tipped to win 15 per cent of the vote. Other contenders are Nationalist LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, A Just Russia party leader Segei Mironov, and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov who has found a following among young urban voters.