A Moscow pedestrian passes a billboard with an image of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and lettering: "Strong president — Strong Russia!" and "Presidential elections will be held in Russia in March 18." Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty Images

Putin is set to easily win another six-year term and has already collected the necessary 300,000 signatures to be listed on the ballot in two months, raking up just more than 700,000, per TASS.

He faces no real competition after Russian election officials last month barred his opponent, Alexei Navalny, from running due to a fraud conviction. Putin critics view court cases against Navalny as a way to keep him from legitimately threatening Putin's power.

Censoring: "Independent Russian Pollster Self-Censors Ahead of Elections" from The Moscow Times. Levada Center, categorized as a "foreign agent" in 2016 due to its funding, will not publish any polling data ahead of the election to avoid punishment or fines related to the label.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 30,241,377 — Total deaths: 947,266— Total recoveries: 20,575,416Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 6,681,251 — Total deaths: 197,763 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Anxious days for airline workers as mass layoffs loom

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, during a Sept. 9 protest outside the Capitol. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass reductions when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30.

Where it stands: Airline CEOs met Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said President Trump would support an additional $25 billion from Congress to extend the current aid package through next March.

House Democrats ask DOJ watchdog to probe Durham's Trump-Russia investigation

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynsky/AFP via Getty Images

Four Democratic House committee chairs on Friday asked the Justice Department's inspector general to launch an "emergency investigation" into whether Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, his appointee, are taking actions that could "improperly influence the upcoming presidential election."

Catch up quick: Last year, Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe, after he and President Trump claimed that it was unjustified and a "hoax."