People look at a poster of candidates inside a polling station during presidential elections in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory on Sunday, extending his rule over the world's largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.Putin has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia's defenses against the West and to raise living standards.In a widely-expected result, an exit poll by pollster VTsIOM showed Putin, who has already dominated the political landscape for the last 18 years, had won 73.9 percent of the vote. The longer-term question is whether Putin will soften his anti-Western rhetoric now the election is won.Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000 .How long Putin wants to stay in power is uncertain.
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