Police are setting up metal barriers along the perimeter of Triumfalnaya Square in central Moscow as opposition groups are preparing to stage a new unsanctioned rally to protest election fraud, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports.
On Tuesday evening the square saw a rally that drew up to 5,000 people, including both opposition and pro-Kremlin youth groups. More than 300 people were detained while five had to seek medical assistance as a result of a police crackdown.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 people are holding an authorized rally on Pushkin Square, less than a kilometer away, in support of the governing United Russia party, a spokesman for the city Main Internal Affairs Administration said.
Reinforced police patrols are on standby to ensure security.
Police have detained about 900 people over two nights of protests against alleged fraud in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won a much reduced majority.
On Tuesday, a Moscow court sentenced anti-regime blogger Alexei Navalny to 15 days in jail for disobeying police orders during Monday’s protest. Ilya Yashin, leader of the opposition Solidarity movement, was also jailed for 15 days.