Mr Putin said he would ask elections chief Vladimir Churov to “thoroughly check all possible violations about which you have spoken" as he met with all the election losers save Gennady Zyuganov, the communist challenger who came second and who has refused to recognise the result, at a health complex on the edge of Moscow on Monday.
Mr Churov is known among protest leaders as "The Magician" because of his apparently magical power to ensure smooth elections for the ruling authorities.
Officials from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other organisations said there was evidence of irregularities at one third of the polling stations it observed, including evidence of ballot-box stuffing. Monitors called for alleged violations to be investigated immediately.
Another, from the Obama State Department:
We are encouraged to see so many Russian citizens voting, monitoring voting in their local precincts, exercising their constitutional right to free assembly, and expressing their views peacefully about the political and electoral processes. The number of Russian election observers who monitored this vote is unprecedented and a sign that Russian society seeks to participate in the improvement of Russia’s democratic institutions. We also recognize the government’s efforts to reform the political system, including the reintroduction of direct elections for governors, the simplification of party registration procedures, and the reduction in the numbers of signatures needed to register presidential candidates.
Is there no thug he won’t suck up to?