UK-UKRAINE-CRISIS-RUSSIA-RALLIES:Ukraine crisis triggers Russia s biggest anti-Putin protest in two years
Reuters People take part in an anti-war procession and a rally in Moscow March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

By Maria Tsvetkova and Jason Bush

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia saw the largest opposition protest in almost two years in Moscow on Saturday, as Muscovites took to the streets in their thousands to demonstrate both for and against President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine.

Crimeans vote on Sunday on whether to reunite with Russia after pro-Russian forces took control of the peninsula, triggering the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War.

Most Russians strongly back Putin’s actions and see Crimea as rightfully part of Russia. But a minority are horrified, fearing that Putin is risking war with another Slavic country formerly seen as a brother nation.