Vladimir Putin has won the fourth term in as President of Russia with 76.7 percent of votes, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation stated after 99% of votes have been counted.
Photo: EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV
“Thank you for your support,” Putin told crowds on Manezhnaya Square just under the Kremlin walls. “Everyone who voted today is part of our big, national team.”
He laughed off a question about running again in another six years.
"What you are saying is a bit funny. Do you think that I will stay here until I'm 100 years old? No!" he said.
Putin's nearest competitor, millionaire communist Pavel Grudinin, received about 12%.
The race also included Ksenia Sobchak, a former reality TV host, and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky - they got less than 2% and about 6% respectively.
Putin's campaign team said it was an "incredible victory".
"The percentage that we have just seen speaks for itself. It's a mandate which Putin needs for future decisions, and he has a lot of them to make," a spokesman told Russia's Interfax.
Election observers reported some 300 incidents, which attempted to manipulate voters. The OSCE sent some 600 observers to Russia to monitor the election process. They have not issued their report yet.