Putin wins fourth term with 73.9% of vote

Putin wins fourth term with 73.9% of vote

Putin wins fourth term with 73.9% of vote

The Central Election Commission has allocated more than $13 million to publicize the election.

Russian Federation awaits the results of the presidential elections.

Putin's Kremlin-approved challengers include millionaire communist Pavel Grudinin and former reality TV host Ksenia Sobchak, but none was expected to win more than seven percent.

Many voters credit Putin, a 65-year-old former KGB spy, with standing up for Russia's interests in a hostile outside world, even though the cost is confrontation with the West.

Putin's main challenger Alexei Navalny has been barred from taking part in the poll for legal reasons, and the result of the election is in little doubt, with overall turnout likely to provide the only element of surprise. "People came together. No other country in the world has such open and transparent elections".

"This is not up for discussion, we are going to vote here", an educator at a university in Ulan-Ude, in eastern Siberia, told students in February.

Sunday marks four years since Mr Putin signed a treaty declaring Crimea to be part of Russian Federation in a move that triggered a pro-Kremlin insurgency in east Ukraine, a conflict that has claimed over 10,000 lives.

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Russia's Central Election Commission will confirm the election results by March 29. Such attacks are very common.

About 107 million Russians are eligible to cast ballots and turnout was almost 60 percent an hour before polls closed in Moscow at 1700 GMT, according to figures displayed in the central electoral commission information centre.

Trump has frequently questioned a January 2017 finding by US intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 campaign using hacking and propaganda in an effort eventually aimed at tilting the race in Trump's favor.

Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Russia's fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, told rhe Associated Press that local officials and state employees have all received orders "from higher up" to make sure the presidential vote turnout is over 60%. The peak of the attack was at 02.20 a.m. Moscow Time.

Ukrainian police are guarding the Russian Embassy in Kiev and consular offices in Odessa and other cities.

Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin at a polling station during the presidential election in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2018. The only real question is whether voters will turn out in big enough numbers to hand him a convincing mandate for his fourth term - and many Russian workers are facing intense pressure to do so.

Ukraine said the move was to protest voting Sunday in Crimea, whose annexation is still not internationally recognized.

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In the campaign's closing days, authorities mounted a sweeping publicity campaign to promote a "holiday-like atmosphere" at polling stations on election day, according to a leaked government document obtained by the Russian RBC news outlet.

Russians will cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new head of state in the seventh presidential election since the establishment of the country's presidential system in 1991.

But for President Vladimir Putin and his allies, voter turnout is no laughing matter.

The outcome in Sunday's vote is so certain that authorities are investing in get-out-the-vote efforts to ensure a decent turnout.

Navalny, who faces a 30-day jail sentence, had been expected to spend election day behind bars but remained free Sunday.

Putin will face a host of challenges in his new six-year term, as a spiraling dispute with the United Kingdom over suspected poisoning of a double agent and his daughter with a chemical weapon adds to tensions with the US and Europe over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Election monitors were reporting irregularities at voting stations across Russian Federation, even though election authorities were under orders to ensure that the voting was free and fair after violations marred Putin's last election in 2012.

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The Kremlin had aimed for a turnout of more than 70% to cement its legitimacy, but the election period was muted and marked by a sense of voter apathy.

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