Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinReuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday appeared headed for a landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election.

Shortly after the last polls closed, Russia’s Central Election Commission said Putin won 87% of the vote with about 60% of precincts counted, assuring him six more years in power.

The results were expected, as Putin only faced competition from three token rivals and any public criticism of him was stifled.

Putin gave a victory speech late on Sunday night, saying his victory showed that Russians trusted his leadership.

"I want to thank all of you and all citizens of the country for your support and this trust," Putin said at his campaign headquarters in Moscow, as quoted by AFP.

He added that his country would not be intimidated.

"No matter who or how much they want to intimidate us, no matter who or how much they want to suppress us, our will, our consciousness -- no one has ever succeeded in anything like this in history. It has not worked now and will not work in the future. Never," Putin stated.

The Russian President also mentioned the death of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, saying it was a "sad event", and that he had been ready to release him in a prisoner exchange.

"As for Mr. Navalny. Yes, he passed away. This is a sad event," Putin said, using Navalny’s name in public for the first time in years.

"A few days before Mr. Navalny passed away, some colleagues told me... there was an idea to exchange Mr. Navalny for some people who are in prison in Western countries... I said 'I agree,'" he claimed.

Navalny died on February 16 at Penal Colony No. 3 in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region about 1,900 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both blamed Putin for Navalny’s death, as have many other Western leader. Biden said on the day of Navalny’s death he did not yet know exactly what had happened to him, but that it was the fault of Putin and his "thugs."

Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, accused Putin of being responsible for his death and indicated she will pick up her husband’s mantle, for a “happy, beautiful Russia.”