Five Takeaways From Putin’s Orchestrated Win in Russia

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia emerged from the three-day, stage-managed presidential vote that ended Sunday declaring that his overwhelming win represented a public mandate to act as needed in the war in Ukraine as well as on various domestic matters, feeding unease among Russians about what comes next.

Mr. Putin said the vote represented a desire for “internal consolidation” that would allow Russia to “act effectively at the front line” as well as in other spheres, such as the economy.

The government was dismissive of a protest organized by Russia’s beleaguered opposition, in which people expressed dissent by flooding polling places at noon. A correspondent for the state-run Rossiya 24 channel said that “provocations at polling stations were nothing more than mosquito bites.” Official commentators suggested that the lines showed a zeal for democratic participation.

Mr. Putin, 71, will now be president until at least 2030, entering a fifth term in a country whose Constitution ostensibly limits presidents to two. The vote, the first since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, was designed to both create a public mandate for the war and restore Mr. Putin’s image as the embodiment of stability. Still, Russians are somewhat edgy over what changes the vote might bring.

Here are five takeaways:

While the victory was a foregone conclusion, Putin’s numbers exceeded expectations.

There is a pattern to presidential votes involving Mr. Putin: His results get better each time. In 2012, he received 63.6 percent of the vote, and in 2018, after presidential terms were extended to six years, he got 76.7 percent. Pundits were expecting the Kremlin to peg the result at around 80 percent this time, but Mr. Putin received an even higher percentage, closer to 90 percent, although the count wasn’t yet final.

Mr. Putin’s reported share of the vote has gotten higher with each presidential election.Credit…Maxim Shemetov/Reuters
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