KABUL - Vladimir Putin has won his third term as Russia's president, securing nearly 64% of the vote, election officials said according to the BBC.
He has spent the past four years as Russia's prime minister because the constitution would not allow him three consecutive terms as president.
Mr. Putin said he had won in an open and honest battle, but opposition groups are saying fraud was widespread. They plan to hold a protest in Moscow later on Monday.
Independent election watchdog Golos calculates Mr. Putin won just over 50 per cent of the votes - far less than than the election commission's official figure.
Tens of thousands of supporters of Mr. Putin - with Russian flags and banners - took part in a concert outside the Kremlin to celebrate his victory late yesterday.
Making a brief appearance with current President Dmitry Medvedev, Mr. Putin thanked his supporters from "every corner" of the country.
Vladimir Putin, who was president from 2000 to 2008, is vying again for the presidency after four years as prime minister. The constitution banned him from standing for a third consecutive term. (Tolo News)