More than 100,000 people turned out in the Chechen capital of Grozny on Tuesday for a birthday celebration in honor of President Vladimir Putin, a news report said.
Most of those in attendance were young people decked out in the colors of the Russian and Chechen flags, the Interfax news agency reported from the scene. A video of the parade posted on Instagram by a Dozhd TV journalist showed one massive procession of people carrying a huge Russian flag and another carrying a Chechen flag.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who led the parade, took to his Instagram account to post photos and details about the event.
“We are united in support for our national leader, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin! … I had the fortune and honor of being alongside those who will build the new Russia, defend and bring fame to our science, sports and culture,” Kadryov wrote.
"Young people held in their hands thousands of portraits of Vladimir Putin and [first Chechen President] Akhmad Kadyrov. In the square, there was a ceremony dedicated to Vladimir Putin's birthday. Those who spoke stressed the huge role of Vladimir Putin in the rebirth of the Great Russia, the renewal of peace and stability in Chechnya," he added.
According to Interfax, a rally and concert were scheduled to take place later in a city square. State Duma deputy Adam Zelimkhanov as well as other officials of the republic were expected to be in attendance.
Putin, who turned 62 on Tuesday, took the day off and marked his birthday in the Siberian taiga, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing his press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
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