About 100,000 people have responded to reformers' calls and rallied in support of Boris N. Yeltsin, who is under attack by Communist Party hard-liners for demanding Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev step down.
"Gorbachev, go away," "Gorbachev resign," chanted the spirited crowd that on Sunday filled a huge square next to the Kremlin in central Moscow.Hand-painted signs reflected their support for Yeltsin, president of the Russian republic, and disdain for Gorbachev, his political rival.
"Red Filth, Hands off our Yeltsin," read one, "Gorbachev, The People Despise You," another. A third sign read: "Uncle Gorby, My Granny and I Don't Trust You Anymore."
In a nationally televised interview last week, Yeltsin accused Gorbachev of sacrificing reforms to gain personal power, and demanded he resign.
"The Soviet media is unleashing a campaign of lies and slander against our leader," said Bella Denisenko, a lawmaker from the Russian republic.
The demonstration in Manezh Square was the third in as many days. On Friday night, thousands of people rallied in support of free speech. The next day, more than 75,000 soldiers, veterans and others demonstrated in support of the military and government.