Former President Vladimir Putin, Representing His Party United Russia, is Expected to Handily Win Russia’s Top Elected Office, Succeeding His Heir and Current Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

This electoral victory for Vladimir Putin comes as no surprise to Western onlookers as he is expected to easily win reelection back into the presidency given his considerable political and social clout. The question remains, however: What Russia is Putin in charge of now? The prosperity that Putin’s earlier administrations brought to the Russian people has led to the growth of a middle-class that is vocal in its distaste for the kleptocracy in Moscow. Will Putin heed their calls for reforms? Or does his election merely signal the continuation of the post-Soviet drive for a realm in-between Cold War glory and capitalist, democratic freedoms?

[CNN]