The former Russian army general - Alexander Lebed - looks set to play the role of kingmaker between now and the second round of the country's presidential elections.
His campaign for the first round gave him a comfortable third place with a healthy 15 per cent of the vote.
Now the two leading candidates are beating a path to his door to get a share of his votes in next month's runoff.
General Alexander Lebed was in a confident mood as he arrived to vote, Sunday.
He came a surprisingly comfortable third in the presidential elections, giving him a vital kingmaking role in the final round between the two front-runners next month.
"If we are to believe the figures - and we have to - then about 16 million people have put their faith in me. One thing is left - confirm their expectations. This I will do."
SUPERCAPTION: Alexander Lebed, candidate
The communist candidate - Gennady Zyuganov - appears to be on the point of offering Lebed the post of Prime Minister should he win the final round.
And President Boris Yeltsin is reported to have met him in the Kremlin Monday to offer the post of deputy Prime Minister, with special responsibility for law and order.
Pavel Felgenhauer, Military Affairs Correspondent for the publication Sevodnya, believes Lebed will choose Yeltsin's camp.
"Lebed most likely would not go with Zyuganov. His politics are towards Yeltsin and I think he could settle for something below Prime Minister...being first deputy prime minister responsible for reform of the army and the fight against corruption and law and order."
SUPERCAPTION: Pavel Felgenhauer, Military Affairs Correspondent for Sevodnya magazine
As the man who ended a blood-thirsty conflict in an ex-Soviet flashpoint, Transdniestria, Lebed added to his already glowing military reputation won in Afghanistan.
His support of the ordinary conscript soldier - a rarity in Russia - made him a hero to the troops. The same no-nonsense approach to politics evidently struck a chord with many voters.
At their barracks on Monday, conscripts were going through their paces.
Lebed's strong performance was greeted with quiet satisfaction.
Some even thought that he might even have got more votes.
I think he would support the army. I'm sure he would have got a lot more votes, only most of his supporters thought he wouldn't get many and gave their votes to other candidates. He's liked by a lot of us.
If he had been defence minister things would be a whole lot better in the army. And the war in Chechnya would have been a different story.
With the focus firmly on Lebed, it's not just the press who are beating a path to his door.
The General is likely to call the shots whether he supports Yeltsin or Zyuganov.