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‘No freedom’: EU chief ‘congratulates’ Putin on win as vote starts

EU chief Charles Michel on Friday sarcastically congratulated Russia's Vladimir Putin on winning reelection against no real opposition -- as voting was only just beginning.


“Would like to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in the elections starting today,” European Council President Michel wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“No opposition. No freedom. No choice.”

Putin looks certain to claim a new term that will extend his iron grip over Russia for another six years.

The vote from Friday to Sunday comes as the West has sought to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine and after the Kremlin has ruthlessly crushed all genuine opposition at home.

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of deceased Putin foe Alexei Navalny, has called on the West not to recognise election results.

A victory by Putin would see his reign outstretch that of Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin, making his rule the longest in Russia since Catherine the Great.

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