The decor may have been reminiscent of US-style electioneering, but the rhetoric was decidedly Cold War as Vladimir Putin addressed a 5,000-strong rally of his United Russia party.
Urging supporters to vote in the general election on December 2 – the Russian President accused foreign governments of plotting against him and described opposition leaders as “jackals”.
“There are those confronting us who don’t want us to implement our plans, because their plans for Russia are totally different. They need a weak and sick state. They want to have a disorganised and disoriented society, a divided society, so that they can carry out their own deals behind its back at our expense,” he said.
Putin said victory next month would ensure success in March’s presidential vote.
Polls put United Russia at more than 60 per cent, leaving little room for the opposition. And with the minimum voting theshold to enter parliament now at 7 per cent, many parties may be squeezed out alltogether.