When asked whether he cast his vote for Putin, 60-year-old pensioner Sergei Grachev said it was a silly question. "You have to work really hard in Moscow to find a Putin supporter," Grachev said. "I voted against Putin but I know it is useless because by hook or by crook he will get the result he needs. We are a big country, you know."
Despite the results, Putin is in for tough times, said Lilia Shevtsova, a senior researcher with the Moscow Carnegie Center.
"During the campaign Putin did consolidate his core electorate and he must have managed to win some of the swing votes too but that was not enough to justify the results of the vote which was most certainly rigged," Shevtsova said. "Putin lost credibility and legitimacy as he certainly lost Moscow, St. Petersburg and other big cities.