Russia Presidential Election: Vladimir Putin wins by big margin

The Kremlin's longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had nearly 77 percent of the vote with about 95 percent of the ballots counted, putting him on track for a new six-year term.

Mr Putin addressed thousands of people who rallied outside the Kremlin on Sunday to thank them for their support and promised new achievements.

"I very much like his foreign policy".

The investigation will be carried out in accordance with "Russian and global law", it said, adding that "investigators are ready to work together with competent authorities in Great Britain".

Putin has been in power as president or prime minister for almost two decades, and won with 63.6 percent in 2012.

Sunday's vote was also the first in Crimea since Russian Federation seized the region from Ukraine. And the Kremlin can argue that Russia's system of managed democracy represents the genuine will of the people. "He'll push for maximum independence from the West and build alliances with other centers of power".

Rather than call it a vote, Navalny's team is referring to Sunday's election as "a staged procedure to re-appoint Putin".

Voters appeared to be turning in out in larger numbers Sunday than in the last presidential election in 2012, when Putin faced a serious opposition movement and there were instances of multiple voting, ballot stuffing and coercion. "That's what we count on from our president in such a frightening world".

The first politician in years to challenge the Kremlin's grip on power, Alexei Navalny, is barred from the race because of a corruption conviction he says was fabricated.

In a major escalation of allegations against the current Kremlin government, Mr Johnson told BBC's The Andrew Marr Show: "We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russian Federation has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday that it was overwhelmingly likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself made the decision to use a military-grade nerve toxin to strike down a former Russian agent on English soil. Russian Federation has vowed retaliation. In a rare joint statement, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and the US on Thursday condemned the attack.

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Moscow strongly denied any involvement in the poisoning and called Johnson's remarks "shocking" and "inexcusable".

Mr Johnson will travel to Brussels to brief foreign ministers from across the European Union at a meeting on Monday on the attempted assassinations before holding talks North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg. The higher score in the present election has given major boost to the leader.

"We condemn this unprecedented attack by Russian Federation on the territory of the United Kingdom".

"It's a story of two different oppositions", said political analyst Alexander Baunov of Carnegie Moscow centre.

Putin hesitated for a moment, then said: "Any amount of votes that gives me the right to perform the role of the president". "The West at the moment is rather fragmented because of transatlantic tensions and Brexit", he said.

"We are bound for success", he told chanting crowds near the Kremlin.

Putin also spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan by phone.

Speaking alongside his Polish counterpart at the Battle of Britain Bunker in outer London, Johnson said the United Kingdom and its allies were waiting for a serious response from Russian Federation about the nerve agent attack. "Putin needs to finish what he started", he said. These are among voters' top concerns along with unemployment and low incomes, according to the state-run VTsIOM polling company.

The commission said it is quickly responding to claims of violations in the vote.

That means several things: Putin can claim a clear mandate for his next six years in office. So Putin's fourth term would have to be his last in that succession. "The priority in the next term is to build on that". Asked Sunday if he might consider running in 2030 - when he would be 77 - Putin dismissed the question as "funny", saying "Am I going to stay around until I'm 100? No".

  • Adam Floyd