Tom Parfitt
London Telegraph
March 4, 2012

Mr Putin won 58.3 per cent of the vote, enough to avoid a second-round runoff, an exit poll from the state controlled All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) showed.

An different exit poll, from the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), showed Mr Putin won 59.3 per cent of the vote. Official results from most polling stations will be published on Monday.

Election observers and opposition politicians reported widespread legal violations at polling stations across the country as Russians cast their ballots.

Several hundred thousand observers affiliated to the five candidates are monitoring the vote as citizens made their choice at 95,000 stations in regions spreading across ten time zones.

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