July 1, 2020 / 6:19 PM / a month ago

More than 73% of Russians have backed changes that could extend Putin's rule -prelim results

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during a video conference call, dedicated to the conflict in Syria, in Moscow, Russia July 1, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - More than 73% of Russian voters have backed constitutional changes that would allow Vladimir Putin to run again for president twice, electoral data showed on Wednesday after counting of more than a quarter of votes.

Russia gave families financial windfalls on Wednesday on the final day of the vote on constitutional changes that could allow Putin to stay in power until 2036, a prospect that prompted a small protest by Kremlin critics on Red Square.

Reporting by Anton Zverev; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Chris Reese

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