Putin Wins Fresh Six-Year Term in Russian Election

Signatures in support of Vladimir Putin as a candidate in the 2018 presidential election are submitted to Central Election Commission of Russian Federation

Sputnik Grigoriy SisoevEU's Non Recognition of Presidential Vote in Crimea'Ignorant- Authorities

Vladimir Putin is expected to win the Russian Presidential election with 73.9 percent of the vote, securing a fourth Kremlin term, according to an exit poll by state-owned pollster VTsIOM.

After a campaign without any serious political challengers, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected president of Russia for a fourth term.

Put had faced seven minor candidates on the ballot.

That shouldn't come as a surprise, since Putin didn't face a real oppositional challenge. His most prominent rival, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running. Navalny and his supporters had called for an election boycott but the extent of its success could not immediately be gauged. Britain and Russian Federation last week announced tit-for-tat diplomat expulsions over the spy case and the United States issued new sanctions.

Some examples: ballot boxes being stuffed with extra ballots in multiple regions; an election official assaulting an observer; CCTV cameras obscured by flags or nets from watching ballot boxes; discrepancies in ballot numbers; last-minute voter registration changes likely created to boost turnout and a huge pro-Putin board inside one polling station. He is only second to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin when it comes to tenure of Putin in power in Russian Federation.

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With 25 percent of ballots processed, Putin has gained 72.53 percent of the vote, Grudinin - 15.44%, Zhirinovsky - 6.84%.

TASS quoted Putin as saying on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russian Federation in Moscow's central Manezgnaya Square, "Thank you very much for your support".

"I am sure of the correctness of the course that I propose for the country", he said.
The polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 per cent, or almost 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger.

According to a Gallup poll, taken late in 2017, 80 percent of Russians approve of Putin's leadership, while only 40 percent have confidence in the reliability of Russia's elections.

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