Official results show Putin landslide victory in presidential election

On February 29, 2024, in Moscow, Russia, people waited for the bus next to an electronic screen on the facade of a building. The electronic screen displayed a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his speech to the Federal Parliament. — Reuters
  • People are called on to attend rallies to show support for the opposition.
  • National turnout exceeded 2018’s level of 67.5%.
  • Hundreds of people gathered at polling stations.

President Vladimir Putin won a record 88% of the vote in Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, cementing his grip on power despite thousands of objections, exit polls and preliminary results showed. The protesters held a symbolic protest at the polling station at noon.

Early results mean Putin, who came to power in 1999, looks set to win a new six-year term, which would see him surpass Joseph Stalin as Russia’s longest-serving leader in more than 200 years.

Exit polls by pollster FOM showed Putin won 87.8% of the vote, the highest share in Russia’s post-Soviet history. The Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VCIOM) gave Putin an approval rating of 87%. The first official results show the polls are accurate.

The election comes just over two years after Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine that sparked the worst European conflict since World War II. He called it a “special military operation.”

The three-day election is looming over the shadow of war: Ukraine has repeatedly attacked Russian oil refineries, shelled Russian regions and tried to breach Russia’s borders with proxy forces – a move that Putin said would be punished.

There is little doubt about Putin’s re-election given his control over Russia and the absence of any real challengers, but the former KGB spy hopes to show he has overwhelming support from Russians. National turnout exceeded 2018’s level of 67.5% just hours before polls closed at 1800 GMT.

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Supporters of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent rival, who died in an Arctic prison last month, called on Russians to take part in “Noon Against Putin” protests to express their disapproval of the man they viewed as Dissent from leaders of corrupt dictators.

There are no independent statistics on how many of Russia’s 114 million voters took part in the opposition demonstrations, which were held under extremely tight security involving tens of thousands of police and security officials.

Reuters Reporters saw that at noon at polling stations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and other places, the flow of voters, especially young people, increased, with hundreds or even thousands of people queuing.

Some said they were protesting, although there were few visible signs to distinguish them from ordinary voters.

When midday arrived in Asia and Europe, hundreds of people gathered at polling stations at Russian diplomatic missions. Navalny’s widow, Yulia, appeared at the Russian Embassy in Berlin to cheers and chants of “Yuliya, Yulia.”

Exiled Navalny supporters have posted videos on YouTube of protests in Russia and abroad.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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