Vladimir Putin, according to exit polling indications, has won another six-year term as Russia’s President amid widespread reports of employers forcing people to vote and of ballot-box stuffing.
Here, Putin addresses a crowd at Moscow’s Red Square:
Exit polls had Putin winning 77% of the vote. The runner-up was the Communist Party’s candidate, Pavel Grudinin with around 12% of the vote.
Putin essentially ran unopposed after banning leading Putin critic and Russian opposition leader, lawyer Alexei Navalny from running for President.
The ban started a call to boycott the Russian presidential election vote but that boycott was thwarted seemingly typical Putin strong-arm tactics.
Putin addressed supporters in Red Square, “Dear friends, thank you, that on this frosty Moscow night we gathered here in the capital’s heart. Thank you for your support,” Putin told the audience. “I want to address those who gathered in Moscow and the supporters all across the territory of our enormous country. Thank you very much for the result! You are our joint team, and I’m a member of your team.”
He left after leading the crowd in a chant, “Russia, Russia!”