Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sverdlovsk supporters flown in to Putin rally

At a rally to support presidential candidate Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, Feb. 17, more than 800 supporters from the Urals region of Sverdlovsk were brought in.

Of the 800 who attended, 600 of them traveled by train, while approximately 200 others flew in for the event, with The Union Federation splitting the cost of the workers' trip with their employers, TheMoscowTimes.com reports.

Moscow City Hall approved plans for the march and rally in support of Putin's presidential bid at Luzhniki stadium on the national "Defender of the Fatherland Day" holiday. Organizers estimated that there were approximately 40,000 participants at the event.

Additionally, a pro-Putin group held an "anti-orange" rally at Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow on Feb. 4, in which speakers shouted anti-Western slogans and demonstrators held signs with messages praising Putin's leadership, according to TheMoscowTimes.com.

Despite the event drawing tens of thousands of people, there were reports of many participants being forced or paid to attend.

Putin's main supporter base is outside of Moscow, mostly among the blue-collar workers, who view Putin as a "guarantor of stability," according to TheMoscowTimes.com.