4 Mar 2012

Putin declares victory in Russian presidential election

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claimed victory for a new term as president after early results in Sunday's election showed him taking an insurmountable lead. Putin, who has previously served two terms as president, had received a comfortable 63% of the vote, with 28% counted, according to the preliminary tabulation of the Russia Central Election Commission. He declared victory at a large rally of supporters outside the Kremlin.

putin wins

"I asked you once if we would win and we did win!" Putin said loudly as the crowd, numbering in the thousands, began chanting: "Putin, Putin, Putin!" Meanwhile, observers voiced concerns about large-scale election violations and opposition activists predicted forthcoming protests in Moscow and other big cities.