Putin wins another six years at Russia's helm in landslide victory

Vladimir Putin visits the Almazov National Medical Centre in St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin visits the Almazov National Medical Centre in St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin today faced another six years in power after a record win in Russia's presidential election, but congratulations from overseas were largely muted after opponents accused him of rigging the vote and Moscow's relations with the West worsened.

During the telephonic conversation, Modi told the Russian leader that he looked forward to welcoming him in India for the India-Russia Annual Summit later this year.

With more than 56 million votes, it was Mr. Putin's biggest ever win and the largest by any post-Soviet Russian leader.

Following Putin's landslide victory on Sunday, global election monitors had called the election "overly controlled" and said it "lacked genuine competition".

Putin, who has ruled Russian Federation for nearly two decades, received 76.66 per cent of the votes and is now set to extend his rule until at least 2024.

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But Putin, who is already Russia's longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin and is now set to rule until at least 2024, ruled out any question of remaining president for life.

"Most candidates publicly expressed their certainty that the incumbent president would prevail in the election", it said.

Mr. Navalny, who had called on voters to boycott the election, urged his supporters not to lose heart and said his campaign had succeeded in lowering the turnout, accusing authorities of being forced to falsify the numbers.

"What, am I going to sit here until I am 100 years old? No".

Navalny's movement and the non-governmental election monitor Golos reported ballot stuffing, repeat voting and Putin supporters being bussed into polling stations en masse.

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain's quarrel was not with the Russian people but with the Kremlin. The United States, France and Germany also condemned Russian Federation over the attack.

The result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West, Putin loyalists said.

Putin said on Sunday it was nonsense to think that Moscow would have poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain and said Moscow was ready to cooperate with London.

Putin won re-election after securing some 76.65% of votes with more than 90% counted on Sunday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also commended "the glorious Russian people for its display of civic duty", while Bolivia's Evo Morales said Putin's victory "guarantees geopolitical equilibrium and world peace before the onslaught of imperialism".

In his next six years in office, Putin is likely to assert Russia's power overseas even more strongly.

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Putin's previous Kremlin term was marked by a crackdown on the opposition after huge protests, the Ukraine conflict, military intervention in Syria and the introduction of Western sanctions that contributed to a fall in living standards.

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