In the shadow of the Kremlin and amid the lights, music and bitter cold of the victory rally for Vladimir Putin, euronews tasted opinions as the 59-year-old prepares to take up presidential power again. Were all in the square backing the winner?
“We have voted, today’s the election day and we came to cast our vote in support for Putin. We are here to show we are numerous and we are against “orange” (democratic, liberal) revolutions,” said two members of the crowd.
Another believed his country was setting a standard for the world to heed. “We support Putin. It’s America who should follow our example, and not vice versa – our country is strong, and we have to be the leading example for the world”.
Not all in the crowd were in support as two men explained. “Everybody here is bought – here’s the man who was offered around 1,000 roubles (around 26 euros) to march in a column”.
“Yes,” explained his companion,“it was 1,000 roubles for anyone taking part in this meeting. People were fed, given drinks and sandwiches, they were then entertained with music, and they were organised in columns and marched to the meeting”.
The square emptied very quickly after Putin had finished his victory speech and as they left our correspondent saw lines of buses there, it seems waiting to take home members of the crowd.