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Russia Celebrates May Day Holiday

Two million Russians joined rallies by major political parties and trade unions, according to Interfax news agency, as the country celebrated the Spring and Labor Day national holiday on Sunday.

In downtown Moscow, rally participants held up banners and slogans such as "Workers Unite in the Struggle for Your Rights," "Workers' Control at Production," and "Fighting Corruption."

Russian Federal Independent Union leader Mikhail Shmakov and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin congratulated the Russian people on May 1, vowing to try to provide better education and medical care to citizens.

Russian police have been on high alert for the holiday, which will last until Tuesday.

According to police officials, security measures are aimed at preventing terrorists targeting the celebrations.

In Soviet times, May 1 was celebrated in Russia as International Workers' Day and featured massive rallies. In 1992, the name of the day was changed to Spring and Labor Day, which remains a national holiday.

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