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Five things you need to know about Russia’s presidential election

Five things you need to know about Russia’s presidential election
By Alice CuddyChris Harris with Reuters
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From Putin's victory to allegations of vote rigging, here's your guide to Sunday's vote.


Russia went to the polls on Sunday for a presidential election that saw Vladimir Putin sweep to victory.

Here are five things you need to know about the vote.

1. Putin landslide

Putin stormed to victory with 76.67% of the vote, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The 65-year-old took to the stage on Sunday night to address supporters in a victory speech near the Red Square.

"I see in this [result] the confidence and hope of our people," he said.

Another six-year term will take Putin to nearly 25 years in power — a longevity second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

2. Allegations of vote rigging

The opposition movement run by Alexei Navalny and non-governmental election monitor Golos claimed there had been ballot stuffing, repeat voting, and that Putin supporters had been bussed into polling stations en masse.

Navalny, who was barred from running because of a fraud conviction he and his supporters claim was politically motivated, called on people to boycott the “fake” vote and sent more than 33,000 observers across the country to see how official turnout figures differed from those of monitors.

He claimed there had been "unprecedented violations".

The Communist party's candidate Pavel Grudinin called it the "filthiest" election in recent times and said Navalny was right in claiming there had been voting irregularities.

Footage from Russian voting stations, filmed on Sunday, appear to show officials stuffing ballot papers into boxes.

The videos were recorded in a polling station in Lyubertsy, Moscow where there were 11 incidents of meddling in 13 minutes.

The electoral commission has dismissed any claims of malpractice.

3. First public statement on spy

Putin said it was “nonsense” to think that Moscow would have poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

“I found out about it from the media. The first thing that entered my head was that if it had been a military-grade nerve agent, the people would have died on the spot,” he said following the vote.


“Secondly, Russia does not have such [nerve] agents. We destroyed all our chemical weapons under the supervision of international organizations, and we did it first, unlike some of our partners who promised to do it, but unfortunately did not keep their promises,” he added.

“As a whole, of course, I think any sensible person would understand that it would be rubbish, drivel, nonsense, for Russia to embark on such an escapade on the eve of a presidential election. It’s just unthinkable.”

4. Crimea votes for Putin

Putin won more than 90% of votes in Crimea and Sevastopol, which marked the fourth anniversary of reunification with Russia on the day of the vote, the CEC said on Monday.

According to the CEC, Putin had gained 92.25% of the vote in Crimea after 42.79% ballots were counted, and 90.23% in Sevastopol after 56.59% were counted.


5. Worst ever result for Russian communist party

The vote marked the worst ever result for Russia’s Communist Party.

Its candidate Pavel Grudinin received around 12% of the vote, putting him in second place but far behind Putin.

Presidential election results (after 70% of votes counted)

How Putin's 2018 performance compares

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