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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nashi Teens Fete Putin's 7th Year

Itar-TassThousands of young people gathering on Prospekt Akademika Sakharova for a Nashi-sponsored rally on Sunday.
Some 15,000 young people rallied throughout the city center Sunday for an event organized by the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi to celebrate the seventh anniversary of President Vladimir Putin's election.

Participants, dressed in identical red hats and white T-shirts, handed out glossy pocket brochures titled "The President's Messenger" on Pushkin Square, Triumfalnaya Ploshchad and Prospekt Akademika Sakharova, near Leningradsky Station, among other locations.

The brochure bears an image of a cell phone with the state coat of arms, the two-headed eagle.

The same image was also on the hats and T-shirts.

The 30-page booklet warns of the dangers facing the country if the people are not vigilant and cautions that Russia could lose its independence. It is illustrated with photos of Hitler; Andrei Vlasov, a World War II general who fought on the German side after being captured; Eduard Limonov, leader of the unregistered National Bolshevik Party; former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov; and U.S. President George W. Bush.

As part of the cell phone motif, Nashi organizers urged Moscow residents to send instant text messages to Putin at a special number. Those gathered at Pushkin Square were able to read some of the messages as they were flashed across a giant screen.

Nashi leader Vasily Yakimenko said that a collection of the messages would be published later, Interfax reported.

The Interior Ministry had 5,000 police mobilized to provide security for the event, with 2,500 located in the city center, Interfax said.