. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

10 Regions Will Vote for Leaders Sunday

While the country votes next Sunday in the presidential election, voters in 10 regions also will be choosing local leaders.

Elections in four regions could go into runoffs, but the incumbent leaders in the other six regions are expected to easily keep their posts, largely due to their loyalty to the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, political analysts said.

The regional leaders who should win re-election are Alexander Surikov of the Altai territory, Alexander Tkachyov of Krasnodar, Yury Yevdokimov of Murmansk, Ravil Geniatulin of Chita, Viktor Safronov of Kaluga and Anatoly Yefremov of Arkhangelsk, according to Alexei Titkov, regional politics analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center.

These regional leaders, who seem to be following President Vladimir Putin's lead, are not campaigning for re-election, he said.

The regions where the elections are not as cut and dried are Ryazan, Udmurtia, Koryak and Voronezh. "In small regions with small populations, the vote results often come as a surprise," Titkov said.

Ryazan Governor Vyacheslav Lyubimov has two strong challengers -- State Duma Deputy Igor Morozov of United Russia and retired Colonel General Georgy Shpak, a deputy from the nationalist Rodina bloc. Shpak, who is running on a populist-nationalist platform, has a good chance of defeating the incumbent, as support for him is growing stronger every day, local analysts said.

In the republic of Udmurtia, incumbent President Alexander Volkov faces a strong challenge from cardiologist Yevgeny Odiyankov. Volkov was one of five presidents in the republics who ran for a Duma seat on the United Russia ticket in the December elections.

Koryak Prosecutor Boris Chuyev, who is widely believed to have the support of Konstantin Pulikovsky, the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, is thought to have a good chance of unseating incumbent Governor Vladimir Loginov. In January, Chuyev opened a criminal case against Loginov in connection with a failure to deliver some much-needed fuel to the freezing Arctic region the previous summer.

And in Voronezh, incumbent Governor Vladimir Kulakov is finding a tough opponent in Alexei Nakvasin, the speaker of the regional legislative assembly. Nakvasin headed the region's executive committee in Soviet times and has good relations with rural administration leaders. His candidacy is backed by former Governor Ivan Shabanov.

But Titkov said Kulakov should still win. "The discontent with Kulakov's policies is growing among the population, but it will not reach a critical point before March 14. It will more likely manifest itself in full by the next election in four years," he said.