This Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared victory in the presidential election, pulling a Chris Brown by weeping profusely during his victory speech. Yet the win is bittersweet for Russia's most beloved V-card swiper: the president, who is headed for his third term, faces allegations of "massive fraud" from opponents, as well as widespread feelings of disillusionment among members of the middle class who don't want to see Putin take on a third term.
One of the most popular yet highly controversial political figures in Russia, Putin was accused of voter fraud in the December parliamentary elections, leading to large-scale protests all across the country. Yet by Monday, more than 68 percent of boxes had reported that Putin led his closest rival, Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov, by almost a 4-to-1 margin, snagging just under 65 percent of the vote to Zyuganov's 17 percent.
Despite his opposition's claims that the election was unfair — with protestors arguing that Putin allies padded voter rolls — Putin appeared before supporters in Manezhnaya Square to claim his victory, visibly overcome with emotion as he urged Russians to focus on national unity in the face of political divisiveness:
"We have won in an open and fair fight. We have shown that our people can easily tell apart the desire for novelty and renewal from political provocations that have only one goal in mind — to break up the Russian state and to usurp power…We are appealing to all people to unite for our people, for our motherland, and we will win. We've had a victory! Glory to Russia!"
Uh…you tell 'em, I guess, Puti-Tang. Word. Now excuse me while I make your tear-stained punim my desktop background.