Five graphics that show Putin's dominance in the Russian election

Putin eyes fourth term in polls as opposition cries foul

His re-election victory on Sunday extends his rule over the world's largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Vladimir Putin speaks during a rally on March 18.

"As he resumes performance of his duties, President Duterte wishes President Putin more success in leading Russian Federation to greater progress and in advancing the cause of peace and security in our region and in the larger worldwide community".

"Thank you very much".

In a late-night victory speech near Red Square, Mr Putin told a cheering crowd the win was a vote of confidence in what he had achieved in tough conditions.

That will make him the longest-serving ruler since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, and has raised Western fears of spiralling confrontation - fears that he now seems to want to quell.

Since then, London has accused Moscow of being behind the killing of a former double agent on British soil, leading to tit-for-tat diplomat expulsions.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from Crimea. He added, however, that he didn't see anyone who could challenge Putin. "He'll push for maximum independence from the West and build alliances with other centers of power".

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny had urged supporters to boycott polls to drive down turnout after the Kremlin barred him from running due to a criminal conviction he calls politically motivated.

Overall national turnout was expected to be a little more than 60 percent, which would be several points below turnout in Putin's electoral wins in 2000, 2004 and 2012. "Shall I sit here until I turn 100? No!"

The electoral commission said official turnout was 67 per cent, but there have been broad accounts of workers being coerced to vote and other irregularities.

Central election commission chair Ella Pamfilova outlined to reporters Monday authorities' efforts to fight violations and hold a transparent election.

France, Germany and the USA then issued a joint statement backing the United Kingdom, saying there was "no plausible alternative explanation". European Union foreign ministers will discuss the crisis when they meet Monday in Brussels.

On Sunday, Vladimir Putin cruised to victory in Russia's presidential elections with more than three quarters of the vote, easily beating the handful of contenders who stood in opposition.

Pamfilova said that with 99.8 percent of votes counted, President Vladimir Putin has 76.7 percent of the vote, his highest score ever.

"It goes without saying that not everything depends on us - as with love, both sides have to be involved, otherwise there can be no love at all", he said.

Mikhail Zygar, the former editor-in-chief of Russia's only independent news channel, Dozhd, wrote in TIME that "Putin's psychology underwent an irreversible transformation" following his term as prime minister. "The West at the moment is rather fragmented because of transatlantic tensions and Brexit", he said. The Kremlin is now responding back to these allegations with its own.

"The president called on Russian authorities to shed light on the responsibilities for the unacceptable attack in Salisbury, and to firmly regain control of any programmes that have not been declared to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons", it said.

However, he said that "Russia is needed when it comes to solving the big global conflicts".

Thus, for the most part, Russians have reacted to Putin's aggressive foreign policy quite positively.

"Our elections have proved once again. that it's not possible to manipulate our people", she said.

"From these heights, Putin will now be able to do everything he deems necessary", Komsomolskaya Pravda said. "The priority in the next term is to build on that".



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