Vladimir Putin wins Russian election with 74% of vote

Donald Trump

However, tensions between Russia and the West further increased last week, following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the United Kingdom as well as further USA sanctions on Russian individuals and entities in response to U.S. election meddling and cyber-attacks.

The eight presidential candidates were barred from campaigning Sunday, but much-loved entertainers appealed to voters in a televised message aired throughout the day to fulfill their civic duty and go to the polls. Only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for longer.

The Central Election Commission, speaking after nearly a third of the votes had been counted, put Putin on 73 percent.

Authorities used both the carrot and the stick to boost engagement in the polls.

Selfie competitions, giveaways, food festivals and children's entertainers were laid on at polling stations in a bid to entice voters.

The Central Election Commission declared the Russian President to have won over 76.66 percent votes as he secured 67.47 percent in turnout. The runner-up was Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, with 12.7 per cent, the daily reported.

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Northumbria police said the e mails appear to originate from the United States and there is not believed to be any viable threats. A force spokesman said: "Investigations are ongoing and at this stage, we do not believe there to be a credible threat".

Independent election observers and activists had alleged numerous incidents of ballot stuffings during the vote.

The electoral commission dismissed most concerns, saying monitors sometimes misinterpret what they see.

Meanwhile Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny's calls to boycott the vote had the opposite effect - bolstering turnout, some newspapers wrote.

Among the few leaders to congratulate Putin so far was Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has just been handed a second term himself and has gained a path to indefinite rule after presidential term limits were lifted last week.

At odds with the West over Syria, Ukraine, allegations of Russian election meddling and cyber attacks and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter, Moscow has seen relations with the West reach a post Cold War low.

That's the highest for Putin since his 1st presidential race victory in 2000.

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Polling at around 70 percent, the 65-year-old former KGB officer is certain to extend his term to 2024 despite a lacklustre campaign and his refusal to participate in televised debates. Some see Sobchak, the daughter of Putin's one-time patron, as a Kremlin project meant to add a democratic veneer to the vote and help split the ranks of Kremlin critics.

Among Putin's challengers is Ksenia Sobchak, a 36-year-old TV host who has campaigned on a liberal platform and criticized Putin's policies.

"After he brought Crimea back, he became a hero to me".

Putin's relaxed mood stood in stark contrast to the 2012 election night when a teary-eyed Putin claimed victory despite huge protests against his Kremlin comeback.

Russia's former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter may have been exposed to a deadly nerve agent through their car's ventilation system, affecting up to 38 people in the English city of Salisbury, intelligence sources told the US television channel ABC news.

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