19 March 2018Hot off the Press
Vladimir Putin has secured a fourth term after winning a clear majority in Sunday’s 2018 Russian Presidential Election.
With a voter turnout of nearly 68%, President Putin has recieved 76.69% at present with 99.83% of the votes counted.
The two other top runners, Pavel Grudinin and Vladimir Zhirinovsky have so far recieved 11.77% and 5.65% respectively.
Some opposition groups are alleging that there was interference in the election, but the Russian Central Election Commission have declared the results legitimate.
Mr Putin addressed a rally of thousands of people who had gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia in Moscow’s Red Square.
He thanked voters and pushed a message of unity, saying the election was a “very important test” for the nation.
He said: “We won in an open and fair battle. But this was not just a presidential election. This was also a very important test for all of us, for our whole nation. This was a test for political ripeness, for self-sufficiency, for independence. We showed well and truly that no one can impose their will on us. No one and nothing.”
It is the first time Crimea has participated in a Russian Presidential Election since Crimean authorities held an illegal referendum to gain independence from Ukraine in 2014, and later opted to join Russia.
Voter turnout in Crimea stands at 63.86%, nearly 7% higher than Moscow Oblast.