Navalny, who submitted endorsement papers necessary for his registration as a presidential candidate, heads to a meeting in the Russia’s Central Election commission. (Evgeny Feldman/Navalny Campaign via AP)
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Hundreds of Russian celebrities, sportspeople and politicians nominated President Vladimir Putin for re-election Tuesday, hours after the Kremlin said it wanted opposition leader Alexei Navalny investigated for calling for a boycott of the vote.The Kremlin, which points to polls that show Putin is the runaway favorite with Navalny trailing far behind, Tuesday set the scene for possible police action against Navalny and his supporters whose protests have been broken up before.The former KGB officer is running as an independent, a move seen as a way of strengthening his image as a "father of the nation" rather than as a party political figure.If, as expected, he wins re-election, Putin, who has dominated Russia's political landscape for the last 17 years, will be eligible to serve another six years until 2024, when he turns 72 .
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