Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.
MOSCOW (AP) — Tens of thousands have gathered in downtown Moscow in the largest anti-government demonstration since 2012, protesting against Sunday’s Kremlin-backed referendum in Crimea on whether to break away from Ukraine and merge with Russia.
Impressive pictures from Moscow today. There is another Russia. pic.twitter.com/pejvw4LRtq
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) March 15, 2014
Demonstrators waved Russian and Ukrainian flags on Saturday while opposition activists — including the two members of the punk band Pussy Riot who served prison terms for an anti-government stunt — shouted “Say no to war!” and “Putin, go away!” from a stage.
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) March 15, 2014
Not far away near the Kremlin, several thousand people dressed in matching red costumes marched in formation to show their support for Russian intervention in the region.
— NBC News Pictures (@NBCNewsPictures) March 15, 2014
Support for reclaiming Crimea, where a majority of residents speak Russian, has intensified amid relentless state television coverage of the region.