Reactions as Vladimir Putin secures a fifth term as Russia president after tightly controlled vote

Catch up on the developing stories from around the globe making headlines.

Vladimir Putin has secured an unprecedented fifth term as president of Russia.

Vladimir Putin secured an unprecedented fifth term as president of Russia Monday, as the election commission announced the results of a vote in which he faced no serious challenges and which happened amid the strictest crackdown on opposition and free speech since Soviet times.

Putin claimed his overwhelming margin was proof that Russians had placed their “trust” and “hopes” in him, while politicians across Europe rejected the vote as a sham and condemned Russia's efforts to stage elections in occupied parts of Ukraine that it claims as its own territory.

Here's what Putin, European leaders and others are saying:

“Of course, we have lots of tasks ahead. But I want to make it clear for everyone: when we were consolidated, no one has ever managed to frighten us, to suppress our will and our self-conscience. They failed in the past and they will fail in the future." — Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

"The elections took place in an ever-shrinking political space, which has resulted in an alarming increase of violations of civil and political rights, and precluded many candidates from running, including all those opposed to Russia’s illegal war of aggression." Statement from the European Union

“There is no legitimacy in the imitation of elections.” Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, in nightly radio address on Sunday

“I am happy with everything and want everything to continue as it is now.” Dmitry Sergienko, Putin supporter voting in Moscow

“The results are, of course, stunning. It’s a serious signal to the West, which has sought to destabilize the domestic situation in Russia.” — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, during a meeting with officials after congratulating Putin in a call

“Searches at entrances to polling stations, attempts to check ballots before voters put them into ballot boxes, detentions of voters who came to vote noon. Now there is a report that at one polling station in Moscow police has demanded that a chairman of a commission (of poll workers) open a ballot box and give them a ballot with something written on it. It is the first time in my life that I see such absurdity.” — Stanislav Andreychuk, co-chair of Golos independent election watchdog, on Telegram

"I’m glad that people outside the confines of the political prison that is called Russia currently are able to express their opinions ... For example, Russians that voted in in Lithuania, just 3% of those who came to Russian embassy in Vilnius voted for Vladimir Putin. Others decided either to ruin the paper or to vote for any other candidate that was there on the ballot.” — Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuanian foreign minister

“The polls have closed in Russia, following the illegal holding of elections on Ukrainian territory, a lack of choice for voters and no independent OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitoring. This is not what free and fair elections look like.” — David Cameron, U.K. foreign secretary, on X, formerly known as Twitter

"We consider this so-called election in Russia last weekend to be neither free nor fair … Russia, as the chancellor has already said, is now a dictatorship and is ruled by Vladimir Putin in an authoritarian manner.” — Christina Hoffmann, spokeswoman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

"The election in Russia was an election without a choice. Holding so-called elections in parts of Ukraine, parts of Moldova and parts of Georgia is contrary to international law. It is therefore all the more remarkable how many Russians made it clear this weekend that they do not see eye to eye with this Russian president. That you go to a polling station even if you are accompanied by soldiers — that fills me with the utmost respect.” — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock