>> Russians walk up through another six years of Vladimir Putin on Monday. He secured more than 75%,of the vote. A vote that was never a question. Putin is backed by State TV, and the ruling party remains very popular.>>
> We will think about the future of our great motherland, about the future of our children, and by doing so we are surely destined for success.>>
That means it was our destiny. How can we get away from it, we have already made peace with it. That victory sets up Putin's time in the Kremlin to be second only to soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. But how many Russians actually cast a ballot will be closely watched.
Critics allege officials compel people that come to the polls to pamper voter turn out afraid many will be bored of a one sided race and stay home. Early tallies were less than Moscow hoped, at about 60%. However, in a victory speech, Putin was quick to call it a vote of confidence.
>> None of the seven candidates who ran against Putin stood a chance, they were all pre-approved and his biggest critic Alexei Navalny was never allowed to run.
Putin loyalists say his victory vindicates his tough stance towards the west that reached a peak in a pre-election speech where Putin revealed new nuclear weapons he said, could get around a US missile shield. Moscow has also locked horns with the UK over the poisoning of a former Russian spy.
What's less certain is a successor. On Sunday, Putin laughed off the idea of yet another term in office. He must step down in 2024, and Kremlin insiders say there's no indication of who his heir might be.