Putin overwhelmingly wins another 6 years as Russian leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin waves after speaking to supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow, Sunday, March 18, 2018. Vladimir Putin headed to an overwhelming win in Russia's presidential election Sunday, adding six years in the Kremlin for the man who has led the world's largest country for all of the 21st century.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) - Vladimir Putin rolled to a crushing re-election victory Sunday for six more years as Russia's president, and he told cheering supporters in a triumphant but brief speech that "we are bound for success."

There had been no doubt that Putin would win in his fourth electoral contest; he faced seven minor candidates and his most prominent foe was blocked from the ballot.

His only real challenge was to run up the tally so high that he could claim an indisputable mandate.

With ballots from 80 percent of Russia's precincts counted by early Monday, Putin had amassed 76 percent of the vote. Observers and individual voters reported widespread violations including ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, but the claims are unlikely to dilute the power of Russia's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.

As