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Russians wake up to another six years of Vladimir Putin
March 19, 2018 | 1:21 PM
by Times TV
 
Sharelines

Moscow: Vladimir Putin secured more than 75 per cent of the vote, a vote that was never a question. Putin is backed by state TV, the ruling party and remains very popular.

Local resident Konstantin Buushkov said, "Of course we assumed this result, but so what? That means it is our destiny, how can you get away from it. We have already made peace with it."

That victory sets up Putin's time in the Kremlin-to be second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. But how many Russians actually cast a ballot - will be closely watched.

Critics allege officials compelled people to come to the polls to pump up voter turnout, afraid many would be bored of a one-sided race and stay home. Early tallies were less than Moscow hoped - at about 60 per cent.



However in a victory speech Putin was quick to call it a vote of confidence.Vladimir Putin said, "We will think about the future of our great motherland, about the future of our children, and by doing so we are surely destined for success. Yes?"

None of the seven candidates who ran against him stood a chance they were all pre-approved, and Putin's biggest critic Alexei Navalny was never allowed to run. Putin loyalists say his victory vindicates his tough stance toward the West. That reached a peak in a pre-election speech where Putin revealed new nuclear weapons he said could get around a U.S. missile shield.

Moscow has also locked horns with the UK over the poisoning of a former Russian spy. What's less certain is a successor. On Sunday Putin laughed off the idea of yet another term in office. He must step down in 2024 and Kremlin insiders say there's no indication of who his heir might be.

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