Russia’s outgoing and incoming presidents have joined thousands of workers in a rally through the streets of Moscow to mark International Labour Day.
Current leader Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, who is due to be inaugurated for a third term as head of state next week, led the May Day march for part of the way.
More than 120,000 people turned out, together with an estimated two million workers joining similar rallies across Russia.
Commentators say the appearance of the two leaders highlights the close relationship between several workers’ unions and the Kremlin, that has been carried over from Soviet times. Despite the cosiness, many demonstrators called for better workers’ rights and slammed plans to change the public pension system.
Russia’s Communists, liberals and nationalists all hold separate rallies on May Day. More than 5000 people joined the red march across central Moscow, with crowds gathering just metres from far-right supporters.
Around 8500 police were on standby.