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Russian Election Chief Hails 'Record' Putin Victory

Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Monday that President Vladimir Putin's "record" re-election results over the weekend showed the country was united behind the longtime leader.

Official results from the three-day election, in which no real opposition was allowed to compete, show the 71-year-old Putin winning a landslide with almost 76 million votes.

"This is a record figure," CEC head Ella Pamfilova said after more than 99% of the ballots had been counted.

"The turnout is a record, an unprecedented 77.44%. This has never happened in the history of the new Russia," she added.

"We proved to ourselves that we are an independent nation... and in the face of the West, we showed that we are united. We are proud of this," Pamfilova said.

Putin was all but guaranteed to win re-election, having silenced or imprisoned all his major opponents.

The Kremlin had cast the election as a moment for Russians to throw their weight behind the so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine, now in its third year.

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