Vladimir Putin with a record of wins in the first round of presidential elections in Russia

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to exit polls, and predictably, wins a landslide victory in the first round of presidential elections held Sunday in Russia. Surveys conducted at the exit polls, giving him the victory with an index of 73.9% to 76.3% of the vote.

It not only significantly higher than the previous elections in 2012 (when Putin won with 63.6 per cent), and exceeds the previous record, set by Putin in 2004, when he expressed support 71.31% of the voters.

Survey data are confirmed by the first results of the official counting of votes: as reported by the Central election Commission (CEC) of the Russian Federation after processing of 50.08% of final reports Putin is gaining 75,01% of the vote. The candidate from the Communist party Pavel Grudinin is second from 13.39% of the votes, the third place candidate from the liberal democratic party Vladimir Zhirinovsky from 6.34% of votes.

The results of the other five candidates vary while in the range from 0.63 to 1.42%.

As said by the CEC head, Ella Pamfilova, as of 18:00 Moscow time the turnout was 60%, which also exceeds the level of the 2012 presidential election.

The results of exit polls

According to the polls, who conducted the exit polling, the Fund “Public opinion” (FOM) and all-Russia centre of studying of public opinion (VTSIOM), Putin scores, respectively, 76.3% and 73.9 per cent of the vote.

In second place is Grudinin: he is gaining from 11.2% (VTSIOM data) to 11.9% of the vote (FOM). In third place – Zhirinovsky (6% in the survey FOM; 6,7% – VTSIOM).

Fourth, there is a candidate from the party “Civil initiative” Ksenia Sobchak. According to FOM, voted for it 2% of the electorate, according to the polls of 2.5%.

Followed by Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko): voted for 1% of survey participants FOM and 1.6% in the polls. The leader of the Party of growth Boris Titov supported from 0.7% (FOM) to 1.1% (VTSIOM). Sergei Baburin (party “Russian national Union”) in actipole FOM receives 0.7% of the votes, the polls – 1%. For the leader of the “Communists of Russia” Maxim Suraykin voted from 0.6% (FOM) to 0.8% (VTSIOM).

Exit poll the poll was conducted on 1,200 polling stations in 68 subjects of the Russian Federation. The survey polled more 162.6 mln thousands of people.

During an exit poll by FOM were interviewed 112,7 thousand people. The study was conducted on 1127 polling stations in 737 settlements of 83 regions of the Russian Federation.

The turnout and course of voting

Current presidential election was held at a record high activity of voters. As the head of the Central election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, the voter turnout held on Sunday presidential elections of the Russian Federation on 18:00 Moscow time amounted to 60%.

Supervising the operation of the system CEC member Anton Lopatin said that change in the smaller side turnout may not. But it may increase given the fact that the vote in most parts of European Russia were carried out before 20:00 GMT and abroad ended even later.

As reported in the CEC, the final data on the turnout will be presented along with outcome data vote. However, the already known regions of the leaders.

Traditionally actively voted in the North Caucasus. Thus, in the Stavropol region voter turnout may be a record in the history of voting in the region in presidential elections: according to 18:00 MSK, in the province voted 62,97% of the voters (in 2012 – 47,47%). In Kabardino-Balkaria as of 18:00 voted 83,31% of the total number of voters (in 2012 – 64,20%). In Ingushetia, the turnout was also higher than in past elections.

Actively voted the residents of some regions of Siberia and the Urals. In the Northwest the leaders in turnout by 18:00 steel Leningrad (61,32% of the electorate) and Murmansk region (60,2%).

However, neither the CEC nor the interior Ministry has not registered any serious violations and incidents, which could affect the vote. “If the CEC divided by the real complaints and fake complaints, I real complaints on my table saw unit. The real message of the piece,” – said the first Deputy Chairman of the Central electoral Commission Nikolay Bulaev. He also said that the CEC “have not yet received any serious complaints from any party”.

The monitoring group election observation of the Council under RF President on development of civil society and human rights (HRC) have not detected serious violations in the voting day, told TASS the Chairman of the HRC Mikhail Fedotov. “No, the monitoring group of the Council of such violations is not fixed, – said he, answering the question whether the voting irregularities, which influenced the will of the citizens. Principled, serious violations were registered”.

So far we know of only one serious incident that occurred in the Moscow suburb of Lyubertsy, where the precinct election Commission decided to annul the results of voting because of ballot stuffing. As Chairman of the election Committee of the Moscow region Irina Konovalova, in this phase it is decided “to declare the elections invalid, invalid ballots”. Two members of the election Commission suspended, they face criminal liability.

The first election in the Crimea

Residents of the Crimean Peninsula, which joined Russia in 2014, participated in the elections of the President of the Russian Federation for the first time. At 18:00 Moscow time the turnout in Sevastopol was 65.7%, in Crimea – 63%. To work on the Peninsula accredited by more than 40 international observers from 20 countries, including from Israel, Italy, France, Sweden, Cyprus, Ukraine.

Observers on a press-conferences in Simferopol has shared his impressions of the elections, calling them “real democracy.”

“Violations we saw, we saw real democracy, pure democracy, I can say that Crimea is the most democratic place in the world”, – told reporters the international observer from Finland, human rights activist Johan Backman.

Agreed with him and the observer from Serbia, political analyst Dragan Trifkovic. According to her, the organization of elections in Crimea virtually eliminates the possibility of corruption and mistakes. “Absolutely organized. This is a very good example of democracy,” she said.

According to Beckmann, the elections in Crimea were “as transparent as possible, successfully,” they were “well organized”, while “the people voted in a festive mood.”

“There is a saying that Russia starts with Crimea. Today I would say that democracy begins with the Crimea. But Western provocations, attempts to intervene in political processes in Crimea were not successful,” he added.

Disrupted the vote

In most foreign countries, where he held presidential elections, no serious incidents were reported, with the exception of Ukraine, where the vote was actually broken. Polling stations organized in Ukraine for the vote, were closed on Sunday at 21:00 MSK, but from tens of thousands in this country of the Russians, they, in fact, are available only to the members of diplomatic missions. For others who wished to vote in the Embassy and the consulates General in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Lviv, the path was blocked by a cordon of nationalists and security forces cordon.

“The polls for the election of the President of Russia, organized by the Russian Embassy and consulates General of Russia in Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa closed in accordance with the regulations,” – said on Sunday evening, the correspondent of TASS in the press service of the Embassy. There is stated that during the day none of the voters could not get behind the cordon, put up around the buildings. The police and the national guard after the expiration of time to vote still hold the perimeter from diplomatic buildings, the radicals – gradually diverge.

Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov announced on 16 March that the regime of protection of the Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine “will not be provide access to them citizens of the Russian Federation for voting at elections.” In this regard, in the night of 18 March, the Russian Embassy in Kiev and Consulate General throughout the country were cordoned off.

In Kiev, several hundred police and National guard soldiers completely blocked the traffic on the site Povitroflotskyi Avenue, where the Embassy, but the building itself was fenced with three-meter metal grid. Similar measures were adopted in Odessa, Lviv and Kharkiv.

Inside the offices, people could only get when having a diplomatic passport and only after a thorough inspection at a temporary checkpoint.

The second cordon in front of the buildings have turned fighters of the Ukrainian nationalist organizations. They are within the allotted voting time was on duty nearly all the diplomatic missions, with the exception of Odessa.