Putin wins Russian presidential election

Date:

Vladimir Putin wins Russian presidential election with around 88 per cent of votes on Sunday, the first official results showed.

According to the first official results after the poll closed on Sunday, Vladimir Putin won Russia’s presidential election with 87.97% of the votes, news agency Reuters reported.

The voting took place against the backdrop of one of the harshest crackdown on the opposition and freedom of speech in the country.
A total of three ‘token’ candidates were allowed to run against him, reported news agency The Associated Press. Notably, none of the three candidates oppose his war in Ukraine.

Russians crowded outside polling stations earlier on Sunday, to stage a protest against President Putin in a vote that offered them no real choice.

The election took place amid attacks within Russia by Ukrainian missiles and drones, which have killed several people. Polls were open from Friday through Sunday in Russia, The Associated Press reported.

Russian opposition leader and Putin’s fiercest critic, Alexei Navalny, died in a prison in the Artic Circle last month and Putin’s other critics are either in jail or in exile. Beyond the fact that voters have virtually no choice, independent monitoring of the election is extremely limited.

Navalny’s associates urged those unhappy with Putin or the war to protest by coming to the polls on Sunday afternoon and lines outside a number of polling stations, both inside Russia and at its embassies around the world, were crowded during the afternoon.

Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya casted her vote at the Russian Embassy in Berlin. She spent more than five hours in the line and told reporters after casting her vote that she wrote her late husband’s name on the ballot.

Some Russians waiting to vote in Moscow and St Petersburg told The Associated Press that they were taking part in the protest, but it wasn’t possible to confirm whether all of those pictured in line were doing so.

Voting took place over three days at polling stations across Russia’s 11 time zones, in illegally annexed regions of Ukraine and online. While polls closed Sunday night in Russia, voting continued at some embassies around the world.

Despite tight controls, several dozen cases of vandalism at polling stations were reported across the voting period.

Several people were arrested, including in Moscow and St Petersburg, after they tried to start fires or set off explosives at polling stations, while others were detained for throwing green antiseptic or ink into ballot boxes.

The OVD-Info group that monitors political arrests said that 80 people were arrested in 20 cities across Russia on Sunday. (Agencies)

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