March 18, 2018 / 8:24 PM / in 4 months

Russia's Putin thanks voters for election triumph

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, re-elected on Sunday to a new six-year term, thanked voters for their support at a victory rally and said Russia had a great future ahead of it provided its people stayed united.

Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a rally and concert marking the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Crimea region, at Manezhnaya Square in central Moscow, Russia March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Putin, speaking from a stage just off Moscow’s Red Square in front of a cheering audience, said the election result was a recognition of what had been achieved in the past few years, despite difficult conditions.

Before leaving the stage to applause, he led the crowd in a chant of “Russia, Russia!”

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.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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