April 12, 2024


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Putin praises victory in elections that were criticized as illegitimate  Vladimir Putin News

Putin praises victory in elections that were criticized as illegitimate Vladimir Putin News

Preliminary results show Putin winning about 87 percent of the votes, the highest result ever in the history of post-Soviet Russia.

Russian President Russian President Vladimir Putin He strengthened his grip on power after his landslide victory in elections that were widely criticized as lacking democratic legitimacy.

At a post-election press conference, Putin took the result as vindication of his decision to defy the West and invade Ukraine.

“No matter who or how much they want to intimidate us, no matter who or how much they want to suppress us, our will and our consciousness, no one has succeeded in anything like this in history,” Putin said in a speech at the White House. His campaign headquarters early Monday morning.

“It doesn't work now and it won't work in the future. Never.”

Shortly after the final polls closed on Sunday, early results pointed to the outcome everyone expected: that Putin would extend his nearly quarter-century rule for another six years.

According to the Russian Central Election Commission, he received about 87% of the votes after counting about 60% of the electoral districts. The result means that Putin (71 years old) will overtake Joseph Stalin and become Russia's longest-serving leader for more than 200 years.

Preliminary results showed that communist candidate Nikolai Kharitonov came in second place with just under 4 percent, newcomer Vladislav Davankov in third place and ultranationalist Leonid Slutsky in fourth place.

Election officials said nationwide turnout was 74.22 percent when polls closed, exceeding 2018 levels of 67.5 percent.

Putin's victory has never been in doubt, as his critics are mostly in prison, in exile or dead, while public criticism of his leadership has been stifled.

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The most prominent rival of the Russian leader Alexei Navalny, He died in North Pole prison last month.

For Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel who first rose to power in 1999, the outcome is meant to underscore to the West that its leaders will have to contend with a more emboldened Russia, both in war and in peace, for many years to come. . .

The United States said the vote was neither free nor fair.

“It is clear that the election is neither free nor fair given the way Mr. Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him,” a White House National Security Council spokesman said.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a post on X that voting “is not what a free and fair election seems like.”

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “This election fraud has no legitimacy and cannot have any.”

The election came more than two years after Putin's large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II.

On Sunday, thousands of Putin's opponents organized a protest against him, although there is no independent count of the number of 114 million Russian voters who participated in the demonstrations.

Navalny's supporters had called on Russians to go out to protest “at noon against Putin.”

In his press conference, Putin referred to Navalny by name for the first time since his death, saying he supported a proposal to release him in exchange for the release of prisoners held in Western countries.

Putin said: “The person who was talking to me did not finish his sentence and I told him: I agree.”

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Putin was first nominated for acting president when former Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigned. He then won his first presidential election in March 2000 and a second presidential term in 2004.

After two terms as president, Putin returned to the position of prime minister in 2008 to circumvent a constitutional ban prohibiting him from serving more than two consecutive terms as head of state.

But he returned to the presidency in 2012 and won a fourth term in 2018.