MOSCOW, March 4 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti)
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- About 600,000 Russians to Monitor Presidential Elections Online
- Russia Enters ‘Day of Silence’ before Presidential Election
Vladimir Putin secured a third term in the Kremlin on Sunday after recording a resounding victory at Russia’s presidential polls amid allegations of electoral violations.
"We won in an open and honest fight!" a jubilant Putin, flanked by outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev, told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in downtown Moscow. "We urge everyone to unite around the interests of Russia."
"I told you we would win and we won!" he said, his voice cracking with emotion and his eyes moist.
With over 98 percent of all ballots counted, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin received 64.61 percent of the vote, followed by Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov (17.17 percent).
“I cannot recognize these elections as fair, honest and worthy,” Zyuganov said. "I see no reason to congratulate anyone."
The elections took place against the backdrop of mass demonstrations that were triggered by allegations of vote fraud in favor of Putin's United Russia party at December's parliamentary polls.
Protest leader Yevgenia Chirikova told RIA Novosti that she had witnessed “disgusting” vote fraud at a polling station in her hometown of Khimki, just outside Moscow.
“I don’t know why anyone would need such a victory,” she said. “There have been so many people insulted not only here, but all across Russia that it’s frightening to think what will happen tomorrow.”
"These were not elections, but a disgrace," opposition Left Front movement leader Sergei Udaltsov said on his Twitter blog. "They spat in our faces again. "Tomorrow we hit the streets!"
There was a heavy security presence in downtown Moscow, with trucks full of riot police parked outside major metro stations.
The Russian Interior Ministry acknowledged reports of violations but said they had not been sufficient to impact the result of the vote.
Election officials said the vote at a north-west Moscow polling station could be annulled over reported violations. Results from a number of polling stations in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan were also being looked into, election officials said. Observers representing Putin's campaign also reported a number of violations at the elections, mostly of a “technical” nature.
The mood at Putin headquarters was celebratory.
“This was the cleanest election in Russian history," Putin campaign chief Stanislav Govorukhin said.
“Today is a clear sign that the people have made their choice for a great Russia,” said Russian film director and Putin supporter Nikita Mikhalkov. “The part of the opposition that does not listen to anything and tries to declare the elections illegitimate doesn’t interest Putin.”
Some 70,000 Putin supporters celebrated near Red Square as the results of exit polls were released.
"He's an ideal president!" a young woman said at the celebration, which was shown on state television.
Other participants told RIA Novosti they had come to downtown Moscow for a pop concert and had no idea a Putin rally was due to take place.
No other candidate at the polls gained more than 10 percent. Independent candidate Mikhail Prokhorov comes third with 7.65 percent, beating Russian political veteran Vladimir Zhirinovsky (6.24 percent). The A Just Russia party candidate and former Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov received just 3.83 percent of the vote.
Turnout was 64 percent, Central Election Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov said.
None of the candidates opposing Putin represented the burgeoning protest movement, although all have - to varying degrees - expressed sympathy with its demands, which include a rerun of last year's vote.
Zyuganov urged earlier protesters "to show restraint and comply with the law."
Russia's largest independent election watchdog, Golos, listed on its website almost 3,000 reported violations. These could not be independently verified.
Putin had ordered web cameras installed at 91,000 of Russia's 96,000 polling stations in an attempt to prevent the elections being marred by vote fraud allegations.
Almost 700 international observers monitored the elections, including from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States Council's International Assembly, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
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- hobbitofnyweb cameras were a scam.20:35, 04/03/2012I watch the web camera for one polling station from 1 hour before opening until they cut off the video. The video cut off at the close of the polling. So the cameras are a scam or "snow job". There is no way to watch what happens to the votes in the boxes after the poll closes, and during the votes count until reported!!!! The location I watched showed no odd events. However, all bet of the state of that station's votes being fair ended the second the poll closed. I do believe the voting itself was correct and proper. I question that those votes will be counted and recorded. It is simply to easy to switch out results. The cameras do not show if the election was fair or not. I am sure Russia will have a new leader after the election. But like Flordia's Bush vote of 2000, I do not believe this leader was elected by the people.
- enzoProud of you21:50, 04/03/2012There was only one winner today in Russia: Democracy! Thank you to the Russian People and congratulations to the President.
- free_mind50(no title)22:34, 04/03/2012congratulations
- mrgenieMany things went wrong22:41, 04/03/2012I know of some people who went to vote, and then when they came there they already voted LOL, well, that is, someone voted for them! ROFL
Anyway, despite such incidents, I'm sure the majority of the Russians want Russian industry to be destroyed and in 2020 to 2030 see the destruction of the Russian Federation. Most people want this, that's why they vote for Putin. He made clear in the last 12 years he will not modernize Russian industry and takes care very well of his family and friends. That's what the Russians want, to be depending 100% on the EUR and USD from abroad for raw materials, without any chance for Russia to survive after the time of oil and gas. Too bad, I love this country, it's so beautiful. But unfortunately most people here want it to be destroyed just like Putin wants Russia to be destroyed.
- RizaAfghanLoL23:30, 04/03/2012Blah Blah Blah LoL
You are a paid US puppet :)
As much as you want, you can talk bullshit, you can't take away Putin's Vote.
What Russia was in 2000?
Putin changed Russia from 0 to 60% only in 8 years from 2000 to 2008 and i am sure he will do much better than any other leader that's why People of Russia voted for him.
West and Europe don't like him because Putin is anti-west and Anti-Europe and against puppets like you.
Please continue your bullshit. No one is stopping you. ;)
- rochefortfrancoisVictory!22:42, 04/03/2012This is the world greatest day since the collapse of the soviet union. The rise of Putin Russia! A multipolar world growing!
- RizaAfghanCongrats23:08, 04/03/2012Congratulations Mr.Putin! :)
I hope you stand by your words and change Russia to a better Russia.
- AtossaHail Putin! Hail Victory!23:31, 04/03/2012.
Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered !!!
- aPUTIN - PRESIDENT 2012 to 2024!23:50, 04/03/2012Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN - PRESIDENT 2012 to 2024!
Cry you Western BITC*ES the FREE World has won!
Western "humanitarian" TERRORISM is FINISHED!
GOD BLESS MOTHER RUSSIA!
- cheruskEndlich zurueck00:42, 05/03/2012Mach' Russland groesser und unbesiegbar.
- ArmenianOpponents cry McFaul01:18, 05/03/2012A little correction to the title and the story makes a lot better sense - Putin Hails Vote Victory, Opponents Cry McFaul!
I want to congratulate Vladimir Putin, the great Czar of Eurasia for his astounding victory.
- p2o2rianWhatever01:40, 05/03/2012Whatever was said, whatever is being said and whatever will be said - Russia needs Mr Putin, the World needs Russia, and <b>our based civilization based on Christian-Latin principles and Law needs Great Russia</b>.
Thanks to all who voted for Mr Putin!
- nicoleThe Real USA02:36, 05/03/2012Congratulations Mr. Putin,
I would have voted for you.
welcome peace on earth, Bye Bye US monopoly
WATCH AND FIND OUT ABOUT USA.
the REAL USA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSBMXsx1O6I
- email@example.comCongratulations to Putin on his win02:51, 05/03/2012Russian President Vladimir Putin.
I know this is not the end of the election though as there will be many protests in the days ahead over electorial fraud (real or imagined).
I will interested to see if there will be any change in the way Russia is run after Dmitry Medevdev steps down and assumes his new role as Russian Prime Minister.
- lexingtongreenOPPONENTS CRY FOUL08:07, 05/03/2012The only reason why opponents cried foul at the election of Vladimir Putin, was because they were CHICKEN (FOWL).
- TrenchPressIs Putin the right man for the world?08:14, 05/03/2012Iran has nuclear weapons called Russia, China, etc. Did Vladimir Putin's victory assure it? http://trenchpress.com/?p=8853
- kazmisA Powerful President09:06, 05/03/2012My Russian fellows do not be shy with the victory of a powerful President of Russia, even he made some tricks to win. Making such tricks in front of the world media and observers really proves him a powerful President for the country. World is really waiting for such a person to hold the world.
- NaijaboyThank you Russians.11:56, 05/03/2012I'm just lost of words to xpress how xcited i am to the news of Mr Putin wins. This is a victory not only for Russia but the World at large. The people of Nigeria congratulate Mr PUTIN on his victory.
- dykalglogic12:10, 05/03/2012How do the critics of election results explain THE EXIT POLLS which predicted 60%+ ?????
- lmCongrats Putin, United Russia and all Russians.15:08, 05/03/2012Well Clinton what you think now? I am sure the West and it printing presses will have to eat there words, I am also sure they have not stop but thinking of the next plan of attack.
The West is not interested in democracy in Russia but a total break up of the country using it own foolish people who are willing to be called useful idiots, and mind you the West thinks all Russian are foolish make no mistake of it.
What they wanted was a weak president who they can control but it was not to be, we all know how the EU and the West sees Russia and it will never change because Russia stands in their way of world dominance.
It is a simple logic here if I am paying you a salary or however you want to put it to create so called civil society thru NGO (pressure groups) then whose tune are you dancing too?
Because Putin is independently minded a subversive attack were implemented thru the opposition and NGO’s where by using quiet diplomacy hoping that the demonstrations turn violent through out Russia. To carry out this Russia must be weaken to such a point that countries of strategic importance around Russian would be made to feel vulnerable that they would seek protection from the West, Then Russia disintegrate into pieces cave up for their mineral resources this is why Russian needs a strong military for one day the rich resources in the far East of Russia may become to irresistible not too be ignored that temptation of military option will overcome wisdom by its so called friends.
Russia only ally is its military might. In the words American statesmen, America has no permanent friends but permanent interest. Some Asia countries, South America, Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, all friends became foes after their usefulness was used up look at it more closely.
To end Putin is not anti EU or USA but loves his country dearly and its people. I love Putin he is a true leader of a nation.
Putin here is a list of things you must put right, Corruption, the military industries, hazing in the military, health care, pensions, housing, wages, and most of all be careful of the middle class for they benefited under your watch now wants to turn against you. VIVA RUSSIAN AND ITS PEOPLE.
- tarigBest wishes for Russia and Putin20:30, 05/03/2012My heartily congratulations for the election of Vladimir Putin.
Wishing you peaceful, strong and prosperous Russia; and greater role in the stability, development and justice in world affairs.
I am sure you will compensate developing nations from the failed hopes resulted from previous U.S. presidential election.
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During Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A session some members of the Valdai International Discussion Club asked him several questions. How united is the West in its desire to punish Russia? Which EU countries are in favour of isolating Russia? Is this even possible? And what is going on in Ukraine?