Nowadays Russian officials organize spontaneous rallies in support of Putin.
This is so ex-USSR... Too bad the article does not say what they promise the people for participation in the rallies, or what they threaten them with.
When I was young they usually promised workers free days off for participation in rallies (which usually took a lot less than 8 hours). Slave classes like secondary school and college students were threatened with various troubles. (College students were threatened with expulsion, of course, but you couldn't really kick people out of high school, so we usually just had to listen to our teachers' yelling if we didn't show up.) I don't think anyone bothered with senior citizens.
The same went for all other activism by "volunteers".
In honor of the revival of this time-honored Soviet tradition I'd like to offer to the attention of those who can read Russian, once again, Borya's posting about giving shit for the Olympic games.