Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Tuesday for a "full investigation" of irregularities in Sunday's parliamentary elections in Russia, citing "serious concern" about the vote.
Shortly after she spoke, the Central Election Commission announced that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party suffered a large loss of seats in the election.
United Russia will have 238 seats, down from more than 300 in the outgoing parliament, or Duma, Central Election Commission head Vladimir Churov announced with 99.99% of ballots counted.
United Russia polled just under 50%, preliminary results showed earlier.
The Communist party will have 92 seats, A Just Russia will have 64, and the Liberal Democrats will have 56, Churov said.
Moscow braced for opposing rallies as the results were announced, and Russian security forces were on high alert.
The opposition Other Russia party announced plans to demonstrate against the election results, while Putin's United Russia will hold a separate rally, the Interfax news agency reported.
Security forces will remain on alert until results are declared, the Interior Ministry said earlier Tuesday. Officials did not say how many extra security forces were deployed or what units they were from.
Clinton was speaking as ministers met at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, whose election monitors also criticized the election.FULL STORY