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Pro- and Anti-Govt. Rallies Held in Russia

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TEHRAN, May 1 (ICANA) – Hundreds of thousands demonstrated across Russia on Sunday, which saw both Kremlin supporters and opponents taking to the streets to celebrate International Workers Solidarity Day, AFP reported.
Sunday, May 01, 2011 7:41:57 PM
Pro- and Anti-Govt. Rallies Held in Russia

United Russia and pro-Kremlin trade unions have claimed that the turnout was at two million, with 25,000 turning up in Moscow. Demonstrators were heard shouting slogans such as, "People, Medvedev, Putin, together we are a force!"

Left Front activists helped to organize opposition protests in central Moscow, where they chanted, “Whether Cairo or Moscow, only through fighting will you obtain rights."

The atmosphere contrasted sharply to demonstrations in the past, where the Russian riot police have been made notorious for their violent dispersal of crowds.

In Saint Petersburg, opposition supporter Ivan Petrenko expressed satisfaction at the counter-demonstrations, saying, “It means we are waking up.”

"It means Putin and Medvedev's government is on its last legs," he added.

Some believe the pro-government rallies were organized to help the government gear up for its upcoming elections. Parliamentary elections will be held in December, followed by presidential elections in March.

Both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are reportedly considering running.

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