Putin wins Russia's presidential election

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Vladimir Putin on Sunday stormed to victory in Russia's presidential election on Sunday, giving him another six years in power as Moscow's relations with the West plunge to new Cold War lows. Now, he faces seven challengers but no serious threat to his rule.

A woman exits a polling booth as she prepares to cast her ballot in the presidential election at the Lenin state farm outside Moscow, Sunday, March 18, 2018.

"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in USA elections, destructive cyberattacks and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

Government employees, as well as workers as private companies, have reported coming under pressure to vote. Prime Minister Theresa May and a slew of other administration officials had come to the same conclusion days prior.

She said officials quickly sealed a ballot box in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don where ballot stuffing was reported.

"Over the past four years, Russian Federation has engaged in a campaign of coercion and violence, targeting anyone opposed to its attempted annexation", she said. Navalny himself is barred from running due to a conviction he calls politically motivated. The Kremlin and election officials say any fraud will be stamped out.

Russian authorities had appealed to patriotic feelings by holding Sunday's election on the anniversary of Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula - so tensions in Ukraine clouded the presidential vote.

The biggest headache for Putin's campaign was the possibility that many voters, including Putin supporters, would not bother to come to the polls because they felt the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

Most people who spoke to AFP said they voted for Putin, praising him for restoring stability and national pride after the humiliating collapse of the USSR.

He called for a boycott of the "undemocratic" election.

With most of her staff off preparing for the big reveal at a concert hall nearby, Shkliarov found himself nearly alone in his candidate's eerily quiet offices, a former factory on the banks of the Moscow River.

By 1900 hours Moscow standard time, the turnout in the Presidential Elections in Russian Federation 2018 had already exceeded 52 percent with clear lead in favour of President Vladimir Putin.

It said that a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which bombards a website with data requests in an attempt to overwhelm it, hit between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on polling day.

Voters were casting ballots across the world's largest country, from the Pacific coast to Siberia and Moscow.

As US authorities investigate alleged Russian hacking and other interference in President Donald Trump's 2016 election, Russian authorities claimed that foreign powers are seeking to interfere in Sunday's vote.

Central Election Commission said that voting procedure is (was) monitored by about 1,500 global observers from 109 countries.

Mr Navalny accused Ms Sobchak of discrediting the opposition by joining the race.

In an interview with BBC television, Johnson said, "What people want to see is some of the very rich people who are directly associated with Vladimir Putin.whose wealth can be attributed to their relationship with Vladimir Putin, it may be that the law agencies, that the police will be able to put unexplained wealth orders on them, to bring them to justice for their acts of gross corruption". Polls suggest none besides Putin will receive more than 7% of the vote.

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