MOSCOW: Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin and outgoing head of state Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday joined over 100,000 people in a Soviet-style mass march through Moscow to celebrate the May 1 labour day.
Putin and Medvedev led a column of workers through central Moscow as participants unfurled banners for their factories and waved Russian flags to the sound of kitsch orchestral music.
Police said in a statement that around 120,000 people were taking part in the march, similar numbers to those said by the opposition to have shown up at anti-Putin demonstrations over the last months.
Putin, who was wearing a suit without a tie under the bright spring sky, is due to be inaugurated as president in a May 7 ceremony after his March 4 election victory which the opposition claims was de-legitimised by fraud. He is returning to the Kremlin job he held from 2000-2008 after a four year stint as prime minister while the post of head of state was occupied by Medvedev, who was widely ridiculed as a seat-warmer.