Thousands join pro-Putin demo in Moscow

Tens of thousands of people are marching along the Moscow River to take part in a campaign rally in support of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Tens of thousands of people are marching along the Moscow River to take part in a campaign rally in support of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin is running for a third term as president in an election on March 4. He is seen as certain to win, but is facing a strong challenge to his authority from a protest movement that has drawn large crowds to its rallies in Moscow.

Today’s pro-Putin rally is a response to the opposition protests.

Most of the participants appear to be workers paid by or dependent on the state, including teachers, municipal workers and employees of state companies.

Some say they were promised two days off in return for attending. Many are reluctant to explain why they came, though some offer genuine praise for Mr Putin.

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