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Vote that could extend Putin’s power in Russia was a ‘fraud’, critics claim.

President Vladimir Putin won more than 75% of the vote that could allow him to stay in power until 2036 – but critics say it was “a total fraud”.

Exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khordorkovsky claims the referendum was not held according to any voting rules, which allowed him to “invent any figure he wanted”.

He alleged that the Russian President held the vote because he “doesn’t want to appear in the eyes of the international community and in the eyes of Russian society as yet another central Asian dictator”, setting the stage for a bid to rejoin the G7.

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