Putin re-elected Russian Federation president in landslide win

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.

Exit polls show Putin won about seventy-five percent of the vote, but only about half of the people in the country cast ballots.

Putin, who has ruled Russian Federation for nearly two decades, recorded his best ever election performance with 76.67 percent of the vote but rejected the possibility of staying in power indefinitely.

His lawyer Ivan Zhdanov said the actual national turnout at 1700 GMT, when polls closed in Moscow, was 55 percent, according to data collected by monitors. However, Putin's critics say the election was unfair citing Kremlin's tight control over the media and opposition leader Navalny not being allowed to contest the election.

But the electoral commission dismissed most concerns, saying monitors sometimes misinterpret what they see.

According to the official results published Monday, Putin received a total of 56.2 million votes, the most that any candidate has received in the seven presidential campaigns since Russia's independence.

Runner-up Grudinin said the elections had been "dishonest" in comments carried by news agencies following early results.

Vladimir Putin wins presidential elections
The exit poll findings looked similar to early results from Russia's Far East, where the presidential vote ended eight hours ago. Asked whether he might run in 2030, Putin said: "Listen, it seems to me that what you're saying is a little bit amusing ".

Britain and Russian Federation are locked in a diplomatic dispute over the poisoning, and Washington is eyeing new sanctions on Moscow over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, which Russian Federation denies.

The 65-year-old is now likely to dominate Russian politics for at least another six years.

At a victory rally on Sunday, Mr. Putin promised to use his new term to improve Russia's standing against the West and raise economic conditions of his citizens, many of who see him as the country's greatest leader since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"After he brought Crimea back, he became a hero to me".

Russia is now at odds with the West over Syria, Ukraine; allegations of cyber attacks and meddling in foreign elections; and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

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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