Russian elections: Your views

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin 04 March 2012
Image caption Mr Putin returns to the Kremlin after four years with Dmitry Medvedev in power

Russia's presidential elections were "clearly skewed"in favour of the winner, Vladimir Putin,international monitors have said.

Preliminary results showed that Mr Putin, who is currently prime minister, won more than 63% of the vote - opposition groups have called for mass protests.

BBC News website readers across Russia give their reaction to the news.

Dmitry Perekalin, Moscow

For many Russians this year's election was the litmus test for our democracy.

In the run-up to last night's vote, Mr Putin was widely expectedly to win, despite ever-increasing voter discontent.

Nevertheless, I volunteered as an independent election observer in the district of Otradnoe in Moscow.

It was important to show that our election processes could withstand international scrutiny.

I cast my vote for the Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. His chances were slim but he represented political plurality.

I didn't witness any irregularities at the polling station. Although it is difficult to assess what happened in Russia's further-flung regions.

However, I did notice that many young people abstained from voting.

In Russia there are high levels of political apathy amongst the young. They do not feel their vote can make a difference.

Young Russians believe that any type of substantive reform is years away.

Most people who turned out to cast their ballots were middle aged or elderly.

You could class them as the conservative voters. People who still remember the bread lines and empty shelves and who crave economic and political stability rather than reform.

It is not surprising that Mr Putin won. It was inevitable.

Sergey Kuryatkov, Tula

Image caption 'I'm pleased Putin won by such a wide margin'

Mr Putin's victory was predictable. Our country has enjoyed sustained economic growth and only Mr Putin can guarantee its continuation.

People feel secure in the knowledge that their standard of living will only get better under his leadership. The other candidates only offered dull rhetoric.

Mr Putin is a tried and tested politician. His policies benefit the whole of Russia. Other politicians only appeal to select groups.

Mironov is too unknown. Whilst Prokhorov is widely favoured by the rich, his programme appeals to them.

I am pleased that Mr Putin won by such a wide margin. That shows, to my mind, that people do not want deviations from the economic course that the country took up.

The opposition managed to rock people's minds and emotions declaring that those elections were rigged.

The quality of opposition is very poor. For any democracy that is a very bad sign.

Russians want the political opposition to evolve and actually be a contender during the next round of elections.

Ruslan Susidko, Krasnodar

I'm deeply disappointed by the election results.

Many Russians would argue that there was ballot box stuffing and vote rigging.

Image caption 'Russia will change, with or without Mr Putin'

It's no secret that local officials were under colossal pressure to ensure that Mr Putin won.

He was expected to make a poor showing at the polls - his party has fallen out of favour with the general population - but instead he has miraculously won a term in office.

His popularity is on the wane and in this instance the true wishes of the Russian people have been ignored.

Most people view today's victory with a degree of cynicism. For the moment we have resigned ourselves to a Russia were Putin is in charge.

Everyone knows these elections merely gave us the illusion of free choice.

However, Mr Putin's tenure in office will be markedly different to previous years.

People want change and people will protest.

We are no longer afraid to demonstrate or voice our concerns.

This has rattled the establishment. Russia will change, with or without Mr Putin.

Julia, Novorossiysk

I'm a 29-year-old mother of two. It's disappointing to think that most of my youth will surely be spent under this regime.

I feel hopeless. It will be another six or possibly even 12 years of Putin. Nothing will change. There will be corruption and lawlessness.

The politicians will continue to shamelessly treat us like fools.

Russia is a rich country but the healthcare for the children here is in a state of decay.

The doctors are swamped with patients and the conditions in the children's hospital are a disgrace.

The education system is buckling. Teachers' salaries are so ridiculously low - around 5,000 rubels a month - that many are forced to leave and there are scarcely any good teachers in schools anymore.

The authorities in Russia don't really care about the people. They only care about their own power and prosperity and the people are being brainwashed.

Sadly, a lot of them believe that Putin is the only option. I am disgusted by the fact that the authorities are trying to make it seem like the protesters are the traitors.

They want to make it seem like protesting against Putin is protesting against Russia. It all smacks of the personality cult.

I want change but I don't want it to come to a point when it happens the way it's happened in Libya. I want peaceful change.

For some reason we just cannot shake off the hard times, and it's been that way for generations.

There was a brief period of hope and freedom in the 1990s; I remember how excited my parents were - now I'm at an age they were then and I'm utterly frustrated.