12K Cops Ready Selves for Moscow Protests

As watchdogs call Putin's win 'clearly skewed'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 5, 2012 7:49 AM CST | Updated Mar 5, 2012 7:56 AM CST

(Newser) – Talk of fraud has already tarnished Vladimir Putin's victory in the Russian presidential election; now an international watchdog group says his win, with 63% of the vote, was "clearly skewed," the BBC reports. "The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain," says a rep for the Organization for Security and Co-operation. But in Russia, "there was no real competition and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt."

Despite efforts to monitor voting, there were "procedural irregularities" in "almost one-third of polling stations observed," the watchdog says, calling on Russia to investigate. Moscow may have a more immediate concern, however: The city is getting ready for giant protests over the election this evening, with 12,000 police and troops set to form a "ring of steel" against what could be tens of thousands of demonstrators planning to descend on Pushkin Square, the Telegraph notes. Opposition activists say they've tracked some 4,000 fraudulent vote-related incidents.

Vladimir Putin smiles as he visits his campaign staff in Moscow, late on March 4, 2012.
Vladimir Putin smiles as he visits his campaign staff in Moscow, late on March 4, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who claimed victory in Russia's presidential election, speaks at a rally of his supporters at Manezh square outside the Kremlin, March 4, 2012.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who claimed victory in Russia's presidential election, speaks at a rally of his supporters at Manezh square outside the Kremlin, March 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Government Press Service)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
3%
10%
7%
70%
3%
7%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment