Vladimir Putin Wins Rigged Russian Election With 87 Percent Of The Vote

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin tightened his grip on power, claiming another six-year term as Russian president after a brutally distorted election in which all serious challengers were wiped out before voting began.

With 50 percent of ballots counted, Putin’s tally stood at 87.3 percent of the vote, election officials announced. Turnout was 73.33 percent, according to the latest figures from Russian authorities.

Putin’s victory was never in doubt but this is the biggest share of the vote he has claimed in any of his five presidential election wins since his first in 2000. At 71, he is already the longest serving Russian leader since Josef Stalin could go on to beat that record. An official celebration is scheduled for Monday.

Speaking after the early results were announced, Putin vowed to lead Russia to victory in achieving his goals, saying “nobody in history has ever succeeded” in suppressing the will of Russians. “They failed now and they will fail in the future,” he said.

The result more than met the objective of an overwhelming win to buttress Putin’s claim that Russians wholeheartedly back their leader and his invasion of Ukraine. The three days of voting were an exercise in pro-Putin mobilization and a test of loyalty for Russia’s state apparatus.

Nikolai Petrov from the Chatham House foreign affairs think tank in London said the result made Russia a “totally consolidated autocracy.” 

The election campaign, which saw three other candidates refrain from criticizing the president, was overshadowed by the death last month of Putin’s key opponent, Alexei Navalny.

Even with Navalny out of the way, Putin was taking no chances. On the first two days of voting, thousands of public sector employees, students, and workers from Russian corporations were compelled to cast their ballots.

Turnout was monitored by management — civil service employees were required to report back once they had voted. In some regions, they were even expected to bring relatives and share their geolocations with supervisors via a specially designed app.

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