Published On: Sun, Mar 17th, 2024

Russian elections 2024: Results in full as Vladimir Putin secures record fifth term | World | News

Vladimir Putin has secured 87 percent of the vote in Russia‘s presidential election, according to an exit poll reported by Russian state media.

Results of the exit poll from the All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) were reported at about 6pm on Sunday (March 17).

TASS reports the poll shows second place will be taken by Communist Party candidate Nikolai Kharitonovt, with 4.6 percent.

Vladislav Davankov from the New People on 4.2 percent will come third and fourth will be the leader of the LDPR Leonid Slutsky, who is on three percent, according to the exit poll. It reports another 1.2 percent of ballots will be “invalidated”.

Russia today (March 17) ended three days of voting which began on Friday in a presidential election that was all but certain to extend President Vladimir Putin’s rule by six more years after he stifled dissent.

At least half a dozen cases of vandalism at polling stations were reported, including a firebombing and several people pouring dyed liquid into ballot boxes.

The election took place against the backdrop of a ruthless crackdown that has crippled independent media and prominent rights groups and given Putin full control of the political system.

It also came as Moscow’s war in Ukraine entered its third year. Russia has the advantage on the battlefield, where it is making small, if slow, gains.

A Russian missile strike on the port city of Odesa killed at least 14 people on Friday, local officials said.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has made Moscow look vulnerable behind the front line: Long-range drone attacks have struck deep inside Russia, while high-tech drones have put its Black Sea fleet on the defensive.

Russian regions bordering Ukraine have reported several attempts by Ukrainian fighters to take towns this week. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday it was “beyond any doubt they are related one way or another to attempts to cast a shadow on the elections”.

Voters cast their ballots from Friday until late on Sunday at polling stations across the vast country’s 11 time zones, in illegally annexed regions of Ukraine and online.

Polling took place in a tightly controlled environment where Putin faced competition from only three token rivals. Public criticism of him or his war in Ukraine is stifled.

Putin’s fiercest political foe, Alexei Navalny, died in an Arctic prison last month, while other critics are either in jail or exile.

Beyond the fact voters had virtually no choice, independent monitoring of the election was extremely limited.

Mr Navalny’s associates had urged those unhappy with Putin or the war to protest by going to the polls at noon on Sunday – queues outside a number of polling stations both inside Russia and at its embassies around the world appeared to swell at that time.

Among those heeding the call was Yulia Navalnaya, Mr Navalny’s widow, who joined a long line at the Russian Embassy in Berlin as some in the crowd applauded and chanted her name.

Asked whether she had a message for Putin ahead of the result, Mrs Navalnaya replied: “Please stop asking for messages from me or from somebody for Mr. Putin.

“There could be no negotiations and nothing with Mr. Putin, because he’s a killer. He’s a gangster.”

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