Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has declared victory in his country's presidential elections, after exit polls suggested he has received 60 per cent of the vote.
According to initial reports, preliminary results based on counting completed in 37 per cent of districts show Putin, 59, gaining over 63 per cent of the popular vote.
A little while ago, the BBC reported that Putin had appeared in public alongside President Dmitry Medvedev to speak to the crowds that had gathered in Moscow. In a brief speech, Putin said: "I promised you we would win, and we won. Glory to Russia!"
The turnout for the election is higher than the one held in 2008, which saw Medvedev succeed Putin. For the past four years, and following eight years as President, Putin has been the country's prime minister.
This will be Putin's third term of office as President. In 2000, he became the second person to hold that office when he succeeded Boris Yeltsin. He went on to serve two four-year terms, stepping down in 2008.
Although the Russian constitution prohibits a person holding more than two consecutive terms of office, there is no limit on the total number of terms that can be held. As of 2012, a presidential term of office is six years.
Putin has also served as Prime Minister on two separate occassions. First, from 1999 to 2000, and, again from 2008 to 2012.
Last week, Putin gave a three-hour interview with foreign journalists in which he said that he'd be happy to run for election again in 2018.