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Putin Lovers, Obama Haters, And Everyone In Between Celebrated May Day In Moscow

Tens of thousands turn out in the city, including for a march on Red Square for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union.

1. For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia held a huge May Day parade right on Red Square, in the heart of Moscow.

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP / Getty Images

2. Thousands of members of Russia’s trade unions turned out for the holiday, which was a big deal in Soviet times because of its celebration of the worker.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

3. In the 20 years since the end of the Cold War, May Day became a holiday mainly celebrated by Communists nostalgic for Soviet times. Today marked the holiday’s return to the mainstream, embraced by the Kremlin once more.

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

4. People waved flags and balloons and some brought their kids.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

5. The kids seemed to have fun.

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP / Getty Images

6. Some brought accordians.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

7. And balloon tanks! What’s a workers’ holiday without balloon tanks?

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP / Getty Images

8. Others brought their love of the Russian president. Here, workers carry a sign reading, “We believe in Putin!”

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

9. These signs read, “Putin is right!” and “I’m proud of my country.” Red Square’s St. Basil’s Cathedral can be seen in the background.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

10. These party animals were on hand too. In the center stands Sergei Sobyanin, mayor of Moscow.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

11. Nearby, the Communists amassed.

AP Photo/Denis Tyrin

12. Some carried pictures of Vladimir Lenin.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP / Getty Images

13. And Lenin and Stalin…

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP / Getty Images

14. Then things got really weird. Here’s a man in an Obama mask carrying a bomb that reads “NATO.”

AP Photo/Denis Tyrin

15. This man’s sign reads: “The failure of Darwin’s theory! A big-eared black monkey is trying to run the world.”

Первомай в Москве

— adagamov (@Рустем Адагамов)

16. And another: “Obama — you blatantly lie and never blush. Good thing you’re black!”

"Obama – you blatantly lie and you dont blush. Good thing you’re black." - sign at Communist May Day rally in #Moscow

— KiritRadia (@Kirit Radia)

17. There was more than blatant racism. Here, a couple carries a picture of Lavrenti Beria, the ruthless and feared head of the secret police under Stalin.

Вот это тоже красиво (фото: Евг.Фельдман/Новая)

— adagamov (@Рустем Адагамов)

18. Happy May Day, Moscow.

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP / Getty Images

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Miriam Elder is the Foreign Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 7217 BCE0 F2F3 1AD8 943A B334 208B 3E4A 03F4 6E9D
Contact Miriam Elder at miriam.elder@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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