As a day of voting ends in Russia the latest figures from the Interfax news agency point to Vladimir Putin holding 63.42 percent vote-share with 30 per cent of the ballots counted.
That figure has risen from the first exit polls which showed him holding a 58.3 percent lead and communist leader, Gennady Zyuganov his closest rival with 17.7 percent.
That means the 59-year-old will not have to face a second round and he will go back to the Kremlin for a third term.
The Ria-Novosti news agency are reporting the Communists are refusing to recognise Mr Putin’s victory.It quotes Gennady Zyuganov saying, “I cannot recognise [the election] as honest, fair or worthy.”
Putin supporters have begun a rally on Lubyanka Square in Moscow, opposite the headquarters of the old KGB in bitter cold and the snow falling.
According to official figures the turnout is over 63 per cent.