After stepping down for 4 years to get round the Russian constitution, Vladimir Putin has once again been elected President of Russia.
With almost all the votes counted, the 60-year-old has secured the top job with nearly 64 percent of the vote.
The road back to the presidency involved becoming Prime Minister and allowing Dmitry Medvedev to take over. But with that legal hurdle and elections over, Putin is set to serve a six year term and probably a further six after that, say analysts.
“We have shown that our people can tell the difference between a desire for renewal and political provocation that only aims to split our country and to usurp its power,” said Putin, at a victory event in Moscow late on Sunday night.
Russia’s electoral commission showed that Putin’s nearest rival, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, managed just 17 percent of the vote.
Opponents in the presidential race have complained of widespread fraud and are planning protests today in Moscow.