Thousands of communists, veterans and left-wing activists held their own rally in Moscow to mark Victory Day. Organisers say about 50 people were arrested by security forces. About seven thousand people were addressed by the communist politician Guennadi Ziouganov.
“I came here to show how this day should be celebrated,” said one of those taking part. “This is the day to commemorate veterans and to glorify the country we used to live in, not spend it with high-powered official guests from other countries.” Police set up road blocks to keep the demonstrators from making their way towards the Kremlin. The rally organisers say they were banned from using the very road that many Soviet soldiers took as they returned victorious from war.