CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello to everyone watching around the world. I'm Carl Azuz. CNN 10 is jumping right into global news this Monday, explaining the significance of an election in the world's largest country.
Russia is so huge that it stretches across 11 time zones. There are about 97,000 places where people can vote here, and more than 107 million Russians are eligible to do that. The country is a presidential federation where voters directly choose their leader. Whoever wins the majority vote wins the presidency. And the nation's current president, Vladimir Putin, was widely expected to win another six-year term.
Mr. Putin was first appointed president in 1999. He won an election the next year and he won the next election as well. Russian leaders can only serve two consecutive terms, but Putin was appointed prime minister by his successor in 2008, and he was elected again as president in 2012. So, a win on Sunday would give him his fourth term as Russia's leader.
President Putin is a controversial figure on the world stage. And according to U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Russia's move toward an authoritarian state under Putin's leadership, meaning that the government has become more controlling of people's lives. Those who opposed his leadership and an election monitoring group say there have been some irregularities in this vote, like incidents that keep election observers from doing their jobs, and accusations of ballot box fraud.
Russia's central election commission says 15 different countries have tried to hack its Website. But despite and the fact that several other candidates are challenging President Putin for his job, analysts say many Russians see him as a strongman who brought the nation to stability, after chaos followed the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. That's part of the reason why he's expected to stay right where he is.