SIMFEROPOL, March 19. /TASS/. Vladimir Putin is winning 92.15% of the vote in Crimea, which held the Russian presidential election for the first time, Chairman of the regional Election Commission Mikhail Malyshev told reporters.
"According to preliminary data, incumbent President Vladimir Putin garnered 92.15% of the vote, 985,117 voters cast their ballots for him. Some 2.2% voted for Pavel Grudinin, 1.81% for Vladimir Zhirinovsky and 1.64% for Ksenia Sobchak. Other candidates did not clinch a single percent of the vote," Malyshev said.
Almost 100% of protocols of local election commissions have been processed in the republic, he said. Some 1.069 million people cast their votes in the Crimean election or 71.47% of the overall number of eligible voters.
Residents of Crimea, which rejoined Russia in 2014, cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election for the first time. Some 1,206 polling stations were opened in the republic and nearly 1.5 million people were eligible to vote.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the authorities in Kiev who seized power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The Russian president signed the reunification deals on March 18, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.