Moscow: A teary-eyed Russian strongman Vladimir Putin on Monday secured a landslide victory in what he called an "open and honest" presidential polls, storming into the Kremlin for a record third term amid allegations of fraud.
"I promised you we would win, and we won," Putin said, with tears rolling down his cheeks. "Glory to Russia!" "We have won in an open and honest battle. We proved that no-one can force anything on us," he told tens of thousands of his supporters at a victory rally in downtown Moscow.
The 59-year-old ex-KGB spy, triumphed in the presidential election held on Sunday, securing almost 64 per cent of the total votes cast, the Central Election Commission said.
Vladimir Putin triumphed in the presidential election securing almost 64 per cent of the total votes cast.
Putin won back the presidency, which he held for two terms from 2000-2008 before spending the last four years as the country's Prime Minister after swapping with his close aide Dmitry Medvedev.
"Preliminary results show that Vladimir Vladmirovich Putin has been elected President of the Russian federation," Election Commission head Vladimir Churov announced.
His nearest rival was the Communist party boss Gennady Zyuganov, who trailed far behind.
However, international observers led by Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) claimed that the ballot was marred by irregularities and fraud.
"Conditions (for the campaign) were clearly skewed in favour of Vladimir Putin" while the vote count was "assessed negatively in almost one-third of polling stations observed due to procedural irregularities," they said.
Heidi Tagliavini, the head of the Election Observation Mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), demanded a probe into all allegations.
Independent Russian elections monitor Golos backed the OSCE allegations, saying the vote was neither free nor fair.
The Golos claimed that many voters cast their ballots either right at their state-run units or under their bosses' watchful eyes. It said "carousel voting," in which busloads of voters are driven around to cast ballots multiple times, also was widespread.
Putin's opponents have complained of widespread fraud and refused to recognise the results which would see him as the president for a six year term.
As contours of his landslide victory started filtering post-midnight, Putin made a brief joint appearance with incumbent Medvedev to thank his supporters from "every corner" of the country.
Minutes after the official announcement of Putin's victory, police and troops rolled out in force in the Russian capital as opposition parties planned a mass protest against the Presidential elections.
The demonstration planned in Moscow's famous Pushkin square could be a test whether the opposition forces can maintain the momentum of public protest that has brought tens of thousands of people to the street in months of unprecedented outcry.
The Russian Interior Ministry acknowledged reports of violations but said they had not been sufficient to impact the result of the vote.
Putin's main rival Gennady Zyuganov, who received 17.17 per cent of the vote, said, "I cannot recognise these elections as fair, honest and worthy".
"I see no reason to congratulate anyone."
Third place went to tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov with 7.82 per cent. Maverick ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a fixture in past elections, came fourth with 6.23 per cent while former upper house speaker Sergei Mironov trailed in fifth place with 3.85 per cent.