In what was seen as the biggest threat to the 11-year rule of Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister, millions of Russians went to vote in the country's parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The vote, which was overshadowed by opposition allegations of voting irregularities, was considered a crucial test for Putin, who is seeking to return to the presidency in elections in March.

But despite the marginalisation of opposition groups, Putin and his United Russia party are expected to lose their two-thirds majority in parliament. Only seven parties were allowed to field candidates this year, and the loudest opposition groups had been silenced.
 
Will Russia's strongman maintain his influence in the Duma as he seeks to become president for a third time? Or are Russians getting tired of Putin's leadership, given the widespread corruption among officials and a growing gap between the rich and poor?
 
Inside Story, with presenter Stephen Cole, discusses with guests: Alexander Nekrassov, a former Kremlin adviser and author; Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Centre; and Ivan Safranchuk, the deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary International Studies in Moscow.

Source: Al Jazeera