Vladimir Putin has blamed the cold wind for the tears welling up in his eyes during his victory speech after Russia's presidential elections.
When preliminary results gave him 63 percent of the vote, Putin appeared before a 100,000-strong crowd outside the Kremlin looking overcome with emotion. It was the third time he was elected president.
"We have shown that no one can force anything on us. Glory to Russia!" he said.
But Russia's "strong man" reassured his close supporters that his watery eyes were a result of the biting wind, not the emotion of the moment.
"It was windy, the tears were real but they were caused by the wind," he said.
Protesters claiming the election was riddled with fraud will amass in Moscow's central Pushkin Square. Local reports say 12,000 police officers have been deployed.
Syria has lauded the return of Putin to the Russian presidency. The front page of pro-government daily Tishrin reads: "Russia brings back the strong man to the Kremlin".