Western Efforts to 'Demonize' Putin Unify Russians - Russian Lawmaker

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Vladimir Putin's annual news conference - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The efforts of the western countries aimed at "demonization" of Russian President Vladimir Putin have backfired and the Russians have rallied behind the politician, Alexey Pushkov, a member of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Monday.

On Sunday, Russia held a presidential election. Over half of the Russians backed re-election of the Russian leader, according to preliminary figures of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC).

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"The demonization of Putin in the Western countries had a reverse effect in Russia — an unprecedented unification of citizens around his figure. The election has proven this fact," Pushkov said on his Twitter account.

The latest figures from the CEC show that voting data from over 99 percent of polling stations has already been processed. According to the election commission, Putin gathered support of over 76 percent of voters, while Pavel Grudinin of the Communist Party is second with over 11 percent.

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