Few eyebrows were raised by the result of the Russian presidential election, where Vladimir Putin, faced with no meaningful opposition, won six more years with a whopping 76 percent of the vote. More interesting was the complete lack of congratulations from Western leaders, while those from China, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Belarus, Venezuela, and Bolivia scrambled to wish Putin well for his new term. Relations between Russia and the West have plummeted in recent weeks after the U.K. accused the Kremlin of a nerve-agent attack on British soil targeted at a Russian exile and former spy. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has questioned the fairness of the election, but said: “We want to remain in dialogue.” NBC News has posted Russian surveillance footage that shows apparent vote-rigging in Sunday’s election, with individuals stuffing multiple papers into ballot boxes.
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