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Letter from Moscow: Putin triumphant, but facing choppy waters

The Russian strongman’s referendum delivered him the expected result. But there are troubles on the horizon

Russia’s late June constitutional referendum delivered a strong majority in support of reforms that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036. Almost 78pc of voters supported the measures, election officials say, while turnout was estimated at 65pc. This has given the Kremlin its desired mandate. In a national address at the end of June, Putin urged voters to ensure Russia’s “stability, security and prosperity”. But amid the continuing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Russia, like many other countries, will struggle to deliver on such promises. Economic turmoil Large sectors of the Russian economy were closed during lockdown, with little government support ava



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