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19 Mar 2018

NEWS UPDATE: Vladimir Putin Wins 4th Term As Russian President

Vladimir Putin has been re-elected for the fourth term as the President of Russia on Sunday after he won fourth Kremlin term with 73.9 percent of the vote, and is expected to lead Russia for another six years.

Vladmir Putin
Vladimir Putin has swept to a landslide victory to secure a fourth term as Russian President, keeping him in power for six more years, according to Sky News.

In a widely expected win, Putin secured more than 76.66% of the vote and a turnout of 67.47%, the Central Election Commission said.

The result came amid allegations of election violations, including ballot-box stuffing and forced voting.

Speaking while addressing a crowd near Moscow's Red Square, Putin said his victory was a vote of confidence in his achievements.

"It's very important to maintain this unity," he said.

"We will think about the future of our great Motherland," he said, before leading the crowd in repeated chants of "Russia!"

When asked later if he could seek the presidency again in 2030, Putin replied: "It's ridiculous. Do you think I will sit here until I turn 100?"

Putin's nearest challenger, Communist Party candidate, Pavel Grudinin, secured around 13% of the vote, according to partial results, while nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky received around 6%.

Putin's most well-known opponent, anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, was rejected as a candidate because he was convicted of fraud in a case widely regarded as politically motivated.

The vote was tainted by allegations of forced voting and election violations as footage released by a government opposition group appeared to show ballot boxes being stuffed.

The presidential election comes amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West, with Putin addressing the Salisbury spy poisoning for the first time publicly as the results came in.

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.

Putin's campaign spokesman reportedly thanked the UK for the higher than expected turnout of around 60% following the diplomatic row over the Salisbury spy poisoning.

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

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