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MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. A rally on the occasion of Crimea’s reunification with Russia that began at 18:00 hours Moscow Standard Time on Red Square has brought together tens of thousands of people, an Itar-Tass correspondent said in an eyewitness account from the site.
The crowd was waving the Russian national tricolors, St. George’s flags, as well as the banners of main political parties and a host of public movements.
Many people brought posters with them. The most typical slogans said ‘Crimea Is With Us’, “Welcome Back’, ‘We Are Together’, ‘We Stand For Peace’, ‘Russia and Crimea Are One’, ‘Crimea is the Russian Land’, ‘We Don’t Need Others’ Property, But Won’t Give Away What’s Our Own’, ‘We Trust Putin’, and ‘Long Live the Fraternal People’.
The rally was broadcast to a huge outdoor screen installed on Manezhnaya Square located in a stone’s throw from Red Square and the Kremlin. A specially organized corridor, which begins at Revolution Square metro station, provides access to Red Square but anyone wishing to get to the rally has to pass metal searchers.
At the time of reporting, Red Square was densely crowded with people.
Meanwhile, the mood in Crimea during Vladimir Putin's address and the signing of the agreement was joyful. Cafes in Simferopol were overcrowded with scores of local residents and reporters dropping in to watch a live broadcast from the Kremlin during the signing of the agreement to admit Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia, Itar-Tass coorespondent reports.
Vladimir Putin’s words about an unfair stance of the West, according to which the referendum in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol were allegedly at odds with the rules of international law, and the phrase “Thanks for their recalling the rules at all” were welcomed especially stormily, as well as the very moment of the signing of the agreement to admit Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia as its new constituent parts. Many western reporters working on the streets and in cafes with interpreters marveled on and on at seeing the reaction of local residents.
TV-sets were on everywhere - in restaurants, hotels, supermarkets. “I know for sure that you will not speak about our joy and will not show it,” one of a cafe visitors told western reporters. “But it is enough today that you have at least seen it,” she said. “’We are in Russia, we have been waiting for that, and we believe in our country - the Russian Federation,” her companion added.