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Putin appoints heads of his election team

  Russia's incumbent president and independent candidate Vladimir Putin named three co-chairs of his presidential campaign team Wednesday, local media reported.

  They are Alexander Rumyantsev, General Director of the Dmitry Rogachev National Research Center for pediatric hematology, oncology and immunology; Sergei Kogogin, CEO of truck maker KAMAZ; and Yelena Shmelyova, head of the Sirius Education Center for gifted children.

  The co-chairs and all other team members will work as unpaid volunteers.

  Putin's website, reception center and hotline will be set up in the coming days, Shmelyova said.

  Putin's election fund had received more than 400 million rubles (about US$7 million) as of Jan. 5, the highest of all the candidates, according to the Russian Central Election Commission.

  In early December, Putin announced his intention to run for his fourth term in the presidential election slated for March 18, 2018.

  He is widely expected to win by a landslide as he enjoys much higher approval rating than his rivals.