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Russian Authorities Probing Allegedly Fake Vote-Rigging Videos

Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin
Russia's top investigative body says it has launched an investigation into several video clips allegedly containing fake evidence of vote-rigging ahead of the March 4 presidential election.

A spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said that the Investigative Committee was trying to determine the creators of the videos, pre-dated March 4, that he said contain falsified evidence of fraud.

The move follows Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's claim on February 29 that the opposition was preparing fake evidence of vote-rigging to discredit the poll.

Critics say authorities posted the fake videos on the Internet to discredit genuine evidence of fraud during the March 4 vote, which Putin is all-but-certain to win.

Videos of vote-rigging at December's parliamentary vote were a catalyst of massive anti-Kremlin rallies.

With AP, Interfax, and Ria Novosti reports