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Originally published Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 3:57 AM

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Russian authorities probe fake vote-rigging videos

Russia's top investigative agency says it is investigating a number of videos containing fake evidence of vote-rigging ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

The Associated Press

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MOSCOW —

Russia's top investigative agency says it is investigating a number of videos containing fake evidence of vote-rigging ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

The Investigative Committee said Thursday it was trying to determine the authors of the videos, dated March 4, that contain fake evidence of fraud.

The move appears to be an attempt to accuse Kremlin critics of foul play ahead of the vote, in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is all but certain to reclaim the presidency. It follows Putin's claim that the opposition was preparing to fake evidence of vote-rigging to discredit the vote.

Kremlin critics accuse authorities of producing the videos, which are circulating on the Internet, to discredit genuine evidence of what they fear will be a fraudulent election on March 4.

Videos of vote-rigging at December's parliamentary vote helped trigger massive anti-Kremlin rallies.

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