Updated March 18th, 2024 at 07:02 IST

Vladimir Putin Secures Fifth Term as Russian President After Scoring Landslide Victory

Russian President Vladimir Putin tightened his grip on power after he claimed a landslide victory in the 2024 Russian Presidential Elections.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. | Image:AP
Advertisement

Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin tightened his grip on power after he claimed a landslide victory in the 2024 Russian Presidential Elections. In the polls which were denounced by his critics as  “obviously not free nor fair”, the Russian leader won with 87% of the vote, The Guardian reported. With this, Putin claimed another six-year term as the president of the country which is currently embroiled in a war against Ukraine. The election officials announced that this year's turnout was 73.33 per cent. While Putin's win in this year's polls was not doubted, it is pertinent to note that this is the biggest share of the vote he has claimed in any of his previous presidential wins since 2000. 

After the authorities declared him as the winner, the Russian leader gave an address at his campaign headquarters on Sunday evening.  The 71-year-old Russian president brushed off Western criticisms of the Presidential polls. “What did you want, for them to applaud us? They’re fighting with us in an armed conflict … their goal is to contain our development. Of course, they’re ready to say anything,” he said. While giving an update about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Putin claimed that he was “securing” Russia's borders from “pro-Ukrainian military units” and insisted that as president his main tasks would be “strengthening Russia's defence capacity and the military,' The Guardian reported. 

Advertisement

When asked if Russia would engage in any sort of conflict with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Russian leader gave a cryptic response on the matter.  “I think that everything is possible in the modern world … everyone understands that this would be one step from a full-scale third world war. I don’t think that anyone is interested in that," he said. After counting 75% of the votes, Russia’s electoral commission declared Putin as the winner. The second position was bagged by Communist Party candidate, Nikolai Kharitonov.

How the West reacted to Putin's victory? 

Shortly after Putin's victory was announced, European Council President Charles Michel congratulated the Russian leader for his landslide victory. “Would like to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in the elections starting today," Michel wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. However, the EU Council president's wish was not free from snide remarks. “No opposition. No freedom. No choice,” he added. Meanwhile, the United States maintained that the Russian elections were “obviously” rigged. “The elections are obviously not free nor fair given how Mr Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him,” White House National Security Council Spokesperson said in a statement. 

During his evening address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also mentioned Putin's victory in his evening address to the nation. "These days, the Russian dictator imitates another "elections." Everyone in the world understands that this person, like many others throughout history, has become sick with power and will stop at nothing to rule forever," the Ukrainian leader averred. "This imitation of "elections" has no legitimacy and cannot have any. This person must end up on the dock in The Hague. This is what we must ensure. Anyone in the world who values life and decency," he added. 

Advertisement

Published March 18th, 2024 at 07:02 IST