Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anti-Yeltsin Marchers Stage Angry Protest

Thousands of pro-communist demonstrators marched through central Moscow on Friday, in a final protest against President Boris Yeltsin and his government before the April 25 referendum on confidence in his rule.

The protestors handed out leaflets to vote "Nyet-Nyet-Da-Nyet" during Sundays vote: against the president, against his economic reforms, for presidential re-elections and against re-elections of the people's deputies.

Under the watchful eye of the militia on horseback, protestors waved red flags and marched from Mayakovsky Square to the government buildings on Staraya Ploshchad.

Loud applause erupted when alleged coup plotter Anatoly Lukyanov joined the demonstrators, waving at the crowd and shaking hands with his admirers. In an interview, he warned what might happen if Yeltsin wins Sunday's vote of confidence.

"We need a coalition of patriotic forces during this time", Lukyanov said, walking arm-in-arm with his supporters. "The referendum will not solve anything. People are being misled by propaganda on TV. Yeltsin's decrees - if he wins the referendum will lead to totalitarianism". Marchers were temporarily stopped at Pushkin square, by large trucks and rows of militia. After repeated shouts of "Shame on the militia", authorities allowed them to march around the vehicles, but enraged protestors kicked and hit the trucks.

At least one truck driver who had been called to the scene to blockade the thoroughfare was dragged out of his vehicle and beaten up by an angry mob. Waving her fist in the air and pointing at the fight, a demonstrator screamed at the militia asking, "You call this democracy? "

Stopping briefly at Moscow's city council on Tverskaya Street, demonstrators shouted "All power to the Soviets" and "Luzhkov resign", continuing down toward the Bolshoi Theater and on to Lubyanka Ploshchad.

Perched on top of a truck, leaders from several pro-communist parties addressed the crowd, while loudspeakers blasted the national anthem of the former Soviet Union.

"Yeltsin is an enemy of the people", said Nelly Sisova, 60, a retired economist. "He has violated our constitution and ruined our army. Because of him, the younger generation is now selling on the streets, even our Lord Jesus Christ was against trade".