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Putin Wins Re-Election with Record 87 Percent of Vote

Vladimir Putin was first elected president in 2000.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was re-elected to another six-year term on Sunday, breaking a post-Soviet record by receiving 87.8 percent of the vote. The election was the fifth time that the leader has stood for his office, and his first national test since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The 71-year-old former KGB officer defeated Communist candidate Nikolay Kharitonov, the New People Party's Vladislav Davankov, and nationalist Leonid Slutsky. Putin’s biggest rival, Alexei Navalny, died in a Yamalia prison last month.

The three-day election took place amid several rocket and drone attacks launched by Ukrainian military forces into Russian territory. The incursions were reported to have killed at least two people.

The United States, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom denounced the result, alleging that the elections were not democratic, considering that many of Putin’s political opponents are either incarcerated or living in exile. A White House spokesperson described the result as, “Obviously not free nor fair given how Mr. Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him."

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, responded to the outcome in a statement saying, "These days, the Russian dictator is simulating another election. It is clear to everyone in the world that this figure, as it has already often happened in the course of history, is simply sick for power and is doing everything to rule forever."

On March 11, Moscow accused the U.S. of attempting to influence the vote-count with cyberattacks. These allegations were strongly denied by the Biden administration.

The completion of the new Presidential term will see Putin overtake Josef Stalin as the longest-serving leader in Russian history.

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