Vladimir Putin casts his vote in Russian presidential election

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 20, 2018

Vladimir Putin has extended his grip on Russian Federation for another six years after an overwhelming victory in Sunday's presidential election, a result that was never in doubt.

Mr Putin, who has ruled Russian Federation for nearly two decades, won more than 75 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results, but the opposition cried foul.

But Putin, who is already Russia's longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin and is now set to rule until at least 2024, ruled out any question of remaining president for life.

Yevgeny, a 43-year-old mechanic voting in central Moscow, said he briefly wondered whether it was worth voting.

On Sunday night a jubilant crowd of Putin supporters flocked to a square near the Kremlin to celebrate the election victory. Mr Putin's campaign had hoped for a large turnout, to give him the strongest possible mandate.

Putin's closest rival was opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but he was disqualified from running in the election when he was convicted of embezzlement in December.

"Once again we were subject to pressure at just the moment when we needed to mobilise", Andrei Kondrashkov was reported to have said.

The UK has blamed the Kremlin for the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, prompting the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.

Authorities used both the carrot and the stick to boost engagement in the polls.

For older voters, Moscow health authorities will be offering free cancer screenings at selected polling stations. The report, based on a study by Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, found that the government and state-controlled companies accounted for 70% of economic activity.

Grudinin is a millionaire communist, but the race also included a former reality television host, Ksenia Sobchak, and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Navalny said his team planned to stage protests but released few details.

But the electoral commission dismissed most concerns, saying there were no serious violations.

Runner-up Grudinin said the presidential election was "the dirtiest" since the Soviet Union collapsed.

"The European Union takes extremely seriously the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible", the ministers said in a joint statement.

Britain and Russian Federation are locked in a diplomatic dispute over the spy poisoning incident, and Washington is eyeing new sanctions on Moscow over allegations it interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election, which Russian Federation denies.

"Demand justice; demand laws and courts that matter".

Mr Putin will now begin his fourth six-year term as president of Russian Federation, at the end of which he will have officially led the country for 24 years, a feat beaten only by former Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

Vladimir Putin has grabbed the Russian elections 2018 after a landslide election victory on Sunday. He has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia's defences against the West and to raise living standards.

Western diplomats also criticized Russian Federation for holding the vote on the Crimean peninsula, a bold decision by Putin, whose current term has been characterized by provocations against Western powers.

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