President Vladimir Putin received 75 percent of votes cast so far in Sunday’s election, easily winning another six-year term as Russia’s leader.
Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in second with 13 percent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 6 percent, results from the Central Electoral Commission showed with about half of all ballots cast counted.
Putin addressed thousands on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin with a short speech, thanking supporters for the election results.
Turnout was 59.5 percent, according to the commission’s results. Before voting began, there were reports that Russian authorities were worried about a potential low turnout that could affect its perceived legitimacy.