Putin declared victory...after the presidential election's first round...with a lopsided 64% of the vote...and police decided to get rough on unhappy protesters.
Poll monitors charged there were at least 3,000 reports of election fraud...and urged an official probe.
Widespread use of 'carousel' voting (the same voters bused from work to many polls) ...and misuse of absentee ballots...were alleged to be the latest fraud methods...after more than 90,000 webcams were installed at polling places.
In Moscow...a teary Putin addressed his supporters:"We have won, glory to Russia."
Voter turnout was estimated at more 58%.
After election results were announced...20,000 protested in Moscow's Pushkin Square...and 550 were detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg...including protest leader Alexei Navalny.
Will the crackdowns continue? Have protests peaked...as anger subsides...and the reality of 6 years of Putin rule sets in?
NEW!!! TO WATCH: 1:00 Video Protest REPORT
TO SEE: 6 Post Election Rally/Protest Arrests Fotos:
Putin didn't need to cheat. But his old system was on autopilot. Supporters couldn't stop even if they wanted to...even with their 'easy to spot' primitive methods.
TO WATCH : 1:17 CCTV VIDEO of Dagestan election fraud.