Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual phone-in session with Russians in Moscow, on December 15, 2011. The carefully stage-managed annual phone-in, which allows Putin to flaunt his charisma and a natural ability to command attention, is designed to boost his image and show he remains in control of Russia. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)???Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures while a national call-in TV show in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Putin said Thursday the results of Russia's parliamentary election reflected the people's will, and that the opposition had alleged vote fraud purely to strengthen its position. "The results of this election undoubtedly reflect the real balance of power in the country," he said, speaking in a national call-in TV show. "It's very good that United Russia has preserved its leading position." He added that a drop in support for his party was a natural result of the global financial crisis of 2008 that has taken its toll on the country.

By From left to right: AFP/Getty Images

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