Final Russian election results show Vladimir Putin overwhelmingly won a fourth presidential term with 76.67 percent of the vote, his highest score ever.
The Central Election Commission said Monday that communist Pavel Grudinin came in a distant second with 11.78 percent.
Third was ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.66 percent. The only candidate to openly criticize Putin during the campaign, liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak, won just 1.68 percent. Four other candidates also ran in Sunday’s vote.
Putin’s most serious rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.
The electoral commission said official turnout was 67 percent. But observers reported widespread ballot stuffing and unprecedented pressure on Russians to vote.
Despite those problems, the win gives Putin a strong mandate to pursue his conservative nationalist policies at home and abroad. In the previous presidential election in 2012 Putin polled 63.6 percent of the vote.