Opposition leader says he could beat Putin in fair election

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he's confident he could beat Russian President Vladimir Putin in a fair election.

Navalny tells The Associated Press in his first interview since the official start of campaigning that he can't win as long as the Kremlin controls what goes on television, where the majority of Russians get their news.

The anti-corruption crusader is barred from running in the March election because of two criminal convictions related to political rallies. He says the Kremlin doesn't want him to run because he could sway the election.

The latest poll by the Levada Center, published last week, shows 75 percent of those surveyed saying they would vote for Putin.