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Putin supporters hold mass demonstration in Moscow

Thousands of United Russia supporters gathered on Monday on Moscow’s central Manezhnaya Square to celebrate both the party’s victory in the parliamentary elections and Russian Constitution Day.

Entitled “Glory to Russia!” the event brought together activists from pro-Kremlin youth movements, trade unions and supporters of the ruling United Russia party led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The party has also nominated Putin as its candidate for next year’s presidential election. The party won the December 4 poll with almost 50 per cent of vote and secured 238 seats in the lower house. Addressing the participants, the Deputy Secretary of United Russia's General Council Presidium, Andrey Isaev, said the party’s victory would help Russia develop in the right direction and find stability. The new goal of the party is to secure Putin’s victory at the March 2012 poll, Isaev said. December 12 marks 18 years since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was approved. Vyacheslav Lysakov, head of the motorist group Svoboda Vybora (Freedom of Choice) said that it is a big holiday for the country. “The Constitution and Putin will give us stability. We need a strong Russia,” he said as cited by Interfax. Dmitry Rogozin – Moscow’s permanent representative to NATO and the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities – noted that Russia is living through uneasy times.Some forces in Europe are eyeing it as “easy prey”. “They have bombed Iraq, they have ruined Libya, they are approaching Syria, they have trampled the people of Yugoslavia, but they also think about Russia. They are waiting for a moment when they could take advantage of our country’s weakness,” Rogozin said. According to the diplomat, there are no leaders in Europe who are capable of countering Washington’s dictatorship. However, he said, “We have such a leader – it’s Vladimir Putin.” The politician added that Putin is ready to stand up for Russia and “we are ready to stand up for him.” Rogozin observed that there are no true leaders among the parliamentary opposition. He recalled that on Saturday – when a mass protest rally against the election result was held on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square – none of the State Duma opposition factions appeared at the event. Today’s meeting ended peacefully with the crowd singing Russia’s national anthem.