Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election with more than 75 percent of the vote on Sunday, March 18, that extends his term for another six years and allows him to claim the mantle of the vast country’s longest-serving ruler other than Joseph Stalin.
Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin and ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky trailing far behind with about 13 and 6 percent, respectively. The eight pr4esidential candidates were barred from campaigning last Saturday, but the message to voters was clear from billboards celebrating Russian greatness— a big theme of Putin’s leadership — and Kremlin-friendly media coverage.
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