Former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev has urged protesters to return to the streets of Moscow. His dramatic call follows claims that Vladimir Putin’s voting figures in last weekend’s presidential election were massively swollen by fraudulent means. A dissidents’ group – the League of Voters – alleged that Putin’s vote had been boosted from 53 to 64 per cent by falsified returns from polling stations and the ‘bussing in’ of voters. The League, which trained volunteers to monitor the election, admitted Putin would still have won the presidency, but said the official result was an ‘insult’ to Russians.In a radio interview, Gorbachev said: ‘It is clear there was something up with these elections.’ The 81-year-old added: ‘The time has come to listen.’ Putin’s victory was branded an ‘insult to civil society’, opposition group the League Of Voters declared today. The celebrity-backed group said the result which swept the former Russian prime minister back into the presidency was massively swollen by fraudulent votes.
‘Against the backdrop of widespread violations, the League finds it impossible to recognise the results of the 2012 presidential elections in Russia,’ it said. Cheating boosted the winner’s vote from just over half to almost 64 per cent, the group claimed in a statement issued at a news conference. While Putin would have easily won anyway, the result represented an ‘insult’ to Russians, claimed leading writer Boris Akunin and other