MOSCOW - An exit poll suggests that Vladimir Putin has handily won a fourth term as Russia 's president, adding six more years in the Kremlin for the man who has led the world's largest country for all of the 21st century.
The vote Sunday was tainted by widespread reports of ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, but the complaints will likely do little to undermine Putin.
Putin's main challenges in the election were to obtain a huge margin of victory in order to claim an indisputable mandate. Exit polls suggest he got more than 70 percent of the vote.
He faced seven minor candidates on the ballot. Putin's most vehement and visible foe, anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, was rejected as a candidate because he was convicted of fraud in a case widely regarded as politically motivated.