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Tens Of Thousands Protest Putin At Anti-War Rally In Moscow

The riot, ahead of Sunday's referendum on whether Crimea should leave Ukraine and join Russia, was not broadcast by Russia's state-owned television news channels.

Posted on March 15, 2014, at 7:34 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands gathered in Moscow on Saturday to protest a referendum backed by the Kremlin in which Crimea would leave Ukraine and join Russia.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

It's the largest anti-government rally in Russia since 2012, and was attended by two members of Pussy Riot, according to the Associated Press.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Attendees waved both Russian and Ukrainian flags, and chanted, "Say no to war" and "Putin, go away."

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Nearby, several thousand rallied in support of Russia in the "Brotherhood and Civil Resistance March" and wore red.

Tatyana Makeyeva / Reuters
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Tatyana Makeyeva / Reuters

Russia's state-owned television news channels only showed footage from the smaller, pro-Russian rally, and not the anti-war, anti-government one.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

"Don't believe it when they say that we are few, that we are weak," said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of Pussy Riot, during the rally. "Together we will change this country."

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
A woman wearing a shirt with the words "Stop Putin."
Stringer / Reuters

A woman wearing a shirt with the words "Stop Putin."

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A couple take a photo at the protest.
Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

A couple take a photo at the protest.

The referendum, which will be held Sunday, has been criticized internationally as illigitimate.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Troops believed to be Russian entered Crimea two weeks ago, and Russia's state-owned television news stations have alleged there has been aggression toward ethnic Russians living in the peninsula.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
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