Vladimir Putin has won the presidential elections in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin won the election overwhelmingly on Sunday, according to official results, after a day marked by accusations of fraud made by the opposition.

With 98.41% of the polling stations counted, Vladimir Putin, 65, won 76.64% of the votes, the Electoral Commission reported.

The 65-year-old president, who thus achieved a fourth term and could remain in power until 2024, surpassed the communist candidate Pavel Grudinin, who won 11.83% of the votes, the ultranationalist Vladimir Jirinovski (5.69%) and the journalist close to the liberal opposition, Ksénia Sobtchak (1.65%).

Putin told his supporters, gathered in the vicinity of the Kremlin, that he saw victory as "the confidence and hope" of the Russian people. "We will work hard, responsibly and efficiently," he said.

In his speech, Putin again pointed to the West and argued that the accusations against Russia over the poisoning in London of a former double deserter spy "are lies, trash, nonsense" and assured that his country "has destroyed all the chemical weapons" of the that it had, according to international treaties.

The Kremlin had turned participation into its main objective, in order to legitimize an election whose outcome offered no suspense.

But the main opposition, Alexei Navalni, separated from the elections by a judicial condemnation, accused the Kremlin of artificially increasing the mobilization by filling in the ballot boxes or organizing the mass transport of voters to the polling stations.

"They need participation, the result is that Putin's victory with more than 70% [of the votes] has been decided in advance," Navalni told the press, saying that real participation was lower than in 2012.
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