Putin hails all-but-final election victory but critics made voices heard despite harsh suppression

Source: cbsnews.com cbsnews.com

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President Vladimir Putin basked in a victory early Monday that was never in doubt, as partial election results underlined the Russian leader's total control of the country's political system. After facing only token challengers and harshly suppressing opposition voices, Putin was set to extend his nearly quarter-century rule for six more years. Putin, 71, hailed the overwhelming early results as an indication of "trust" and "hope" in him - while critics saw them as another reflection of the preordained nature of the election. "Of course, we have lots of tasks ahead. But I want to make it clear for everyone:...