British Columbia

Vladmir Putin supporters show up at pro-democracy march

A rally in Vancouver to show solidarity with Russia's opposition became heated as supporters of President Vladmir Putin crashed the event.

Vancouver rally to show solidarity with Russian opposition crashed by Putin supporters

People with pro-Vladmir Putin signs crashed a rally Sunday at the Vancouver Art Gallery organized by the opposition. (Jeff Harrington/CBC)

A rally in Vancouver to show solidarity with Russia's opposition became heated as supporters of President Vladmir Putin crashed the event.

A Putin supporter identifying himself as Simon Spacewalker, says he came to the Vancouver Art Gallery to let Canadians know he doesn't support the conflict in Eastern Ukraine either, and according to him, neither does Putin. 

Reporter Jeff Harrington recorded the confrontation

Opposition supporter Irina Wirth said she can't believe the pro-Putin faction had the nerve to show up.

"I just couldn't hold it when I saw these outrageous slogans," said Wirth."They live in Canada, they take advantage of the Western lifestyle and they came here supporting Putin's regime."

Jeff Harrington speaks with Irina Wirth: RAW VIDEO.

The rally on the front of the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery attracted about 100 people.

It was planned before the killing of opposition-leader Boris Nemtsov in Russia Friday night.

Nemtsov's death has raised tensions within and outside Russia.

The regime has suggested several motives for Nemtsov's killing including Islamic extremism, a provocation against the state staged by opponents, or reasons related to his personal life.

Opposition supporters created a make-shift memorial for slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov at a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver Sunday. (Jeff Harrington)

But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Nemtsov told him two weeks ago that he planned to publish proof of Russia's involvement in Ukraine's separatist conflict.

Tens of thousands of people marched through Central Moscow today mourning the well-known critic of the president.

with files from the CBC's Jeff Harrington


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