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Update: Putin Wins 6 More Years As Russian President | The Precision

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Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide
re-election victory on Sunday, extending his rule over the world’s
largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the
West are on a hostile trajectory.

Putin’s thumping victory will extend his total time in office to
nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, by which time he will be 71.
Only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for longer. Putin has promised
to use his new term to beef up Russia’s defences against the West and to
raise living standards.
In a widely-expected result, an exit poll by pollster VTsIOM showed
Putin, who has already dominated the political landscape for the last 18
years, had won 73.9 percent of the vote. Backed by state TV, the ruling
party, and credited with an approval rating around 80 percent, his
victory was never in doubt.
None of the seven candidates who ran against him posed a threat, and
opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running. 
Critics
alleged that officials had compelled people to come to the polls to
ensure that voter boredom at the one-sided contest did not lead to a low
turnout.
Russia’s Central Election Commission recognised that there were some
irregularities, but were likely to dismiss wider criticism and declare
the overall result legitimate.
Putin loyalists said the result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West.
“I think that in the United States and Britain they’ve understood
they cannot influence our elections,” Igor Morozov, a member of the
upper house of parliament,” said on state television. “Our citizens
understand what sort of situation Russian finds itself in today.”
The immediate question is if and when opponents like Navalny organise
protests, citing widespread fraud, and how large and sustained those
protests will be. A senior opposition politician has warned they could
descend into street clashes if police crack down too hard on
demonstrators. (Reuters)

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