Internet InfoMedia putin urges russians to unite on ukraine war
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A day after a rubber-stamp presidential election, President Vladimir Putin said he would not back down in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

His most beloved crooner sang a nationalistic ballad with an appeal to Russians: “The Motherland is calling. Don’t let her down.”

His favorite band belted out a moody song about wartime sacrifice.

And then he took the stage, under a banner celebrating the 10th anniversary of Crimea’s seizure from Ukraine, to remind thousands of Russians gathered on Red Square that his fight to add territory to Russia wasn’t over.

President Vladimir V. Putin, a day after declaring victory in a performative election, signaled on Monday that the war against Ukraine would continue to dominate his rule and called for unity in bringing the people of eastern Ukraine “back to their home family.”

“We will move on together, hand in hand,” Mr. Putin told the crowd, boasting of a restored railroad line that he said would soon connect to Crimea through territory taken from Ukraine. “And this is precisely what really makes us stronger — not words, but deeds.”

The display of nationalistic fervor came as the capstone of a three-day election whose foregone conclusion prompted comparisons of Mr. Putin’s Russia to other authoritarian dictatorships. On Sunday night, the state news swiftly declared that he had won more than 87 percent of the vote.

Underscoring the artificial nature of the election, Mr. Putin brought the three puppet competitors the Kremlin had picked to run against him onto the stage on Red Square and offered each a turn at the microphone, saying they all took “different approaches” but had “one Motherland.”

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