Putin, Medvedev Grab a Beer After Leading Labor Rally

May 1, 2012 7:49am

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and his protégé, outgoing President Dmitri Medvedev, apparently worked up quite a thirst after leading over 100,000 people in a May Day march down a main avenue in Moscow to mark International Labor Day.

The two Russian leaders visited a local pub for a beer and some food following Tuesday’s rally.

According to video posted on the website newsru.com, the table was already set with food and drinks when the pair walked in with a gaggle of press in tow, but they opted to grab a tray, cafeteria style, to see what else was on the menu.

When they got to the beer section Medvedev marveled at the variety of drinks on tap but was happy to find an old Soviet-era brew was still available. “Still tastes good,” he said as he clinked glasses with Putin and two other men.

The annual May Day parades are still massive events in Russia, where they held special significance in the Communist Soviet Union.

Police estimated that around 150,000 people turned out for various rallies. The Moscow Times reports that at least some rally-goers were government workers who were told attendance was mandatory. The paper says they were bused in and paid for their time.

The largest rally of the day was organized by the ruling United Russia party. Other smaller rallies were held around the capital. The main opposition groups, who gathered tens of thousands of people for unprecedented protests against Putin in recent months, canceled a rally that was slated for today to focus on what they hope will be a massive rally on Sunday, the eve of Putin’s inauguration.

Organizers are calling it the “March of Millions.”

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