Focus on Putin in Russian presidential campaign

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there have been heated exchanges live on russian state television between candidates vying to become the country’s next president And the common target was the favorite to win the prime Minister Vladimir Putin The communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov and the Liberal Democrat vladimir Zhirinovsky were scathing about Putin for not taking part in debates It will be difficult for him to answer He’s been in charge for 13 years since August 1999 maybe he’s not guilty of anything by himself but everything that happened during all these 13 years has a lot of negatives The tycoon mikhail Prokorov is one of five candidates challenging Putin in the election He is trailing the prime minister in second place in moscow and St petersburg The former soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev also had Putin in his sights The 80 year old whose leadership heralded the end of communist rule throughout Eastern europe said I don’t think he needs to be vilified He managed to do a few useful things but now it turns out he’s exhausted his resources Putin was meeting the richest part of russian society the industrialists and entrepreneurs To prove he still has some ideas he asked them if they would like a luxury tax The polls predict he’ll still be smiling after the vote on march the fourth