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Putin rally draws tens of thousands of supporters ahead of presidential election

2018-03-04 09:47:11       source:ABC News

March 3, 2018

Vladimir Putin addressed tens of thousands of supporters at a concert venue in Moscow Saturday, a political rally held two weeks before a presidential election in which he faces virtually no opposition.

To chants of "Russia! Russia!" the president addressed the crowd in the capital's central Luzhniki stadium for the concert event, which blended modern Russian pop music culture with Soviet-style mobilization. The stadium, which has a capacity of 81,000, was packed, and police estimated the total crowd -- which spilled outside of the venue -- to be 130,000.

It was an unusually large effort by authorities to show Putin’s support, a vast jamboree promoting the Russian leader in a race where even his opponents say they have no chance of winning. A lineup of Russia’s best-known musicians had been called up to accompany Putin, who arrived midway through, and sang the national anthem with Russia’s gold-winning Olympic hockey team.

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