Thousands of supporters cheer as Vladimir Putin claims victory in the presidential election (photo: dpa)

Russia presidential election: Putin claims victory

Vladimir Putin has declared victory in Russia's presidential elections after exit polls and preliminary results gave him around 60 per cent of the vote. Mr Putin is returning for a third term as president after spending the last four years as the country's prime minister. But as Mr Putin was addressing thousands of supporters at a rally outside the Kremlin and announcing a victory won 'openly and honestly', on Sunday, March 4, opposition groups were claiming widespread fraud and have called for mass protests, writes GIS expert Professor Hedlund who watched the historic event in Moscow.

AND so, the election is finally over. The Russian people have voted for Vladimir Putin to return to ...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Nobody ever held any doubt that Mr Putin would win. But the way in which he had to actually fight for the win has stunned everybody
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