Russia has set 4 March as the date for the presidential election that is due to sweep Vladimir Putin back into the Kremlin. The Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, officially set the date in a constitutionally required vote on Friday. The move allows parties to formally put forward their candidates and the ruling United Russia party will nominate Putin at a congress on Sunday. Russians have reacted with increasing disdain to Putin's return something that, under new constitutional amendments, could keep him in power until 2024. His public booing at a Moscow stadium last week broke open the illusion of his sky-high popularity. Putin is clearly concerned. He failed to show up at an event at the stadium the next day, and issued a tough statement at the closing session of the lower house of parliament this week, warning that political opposition would lead to instability.