MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian opposition will hold on Sunday a protest action in downtown Moscow, including a march and a meeting at the site of last year’s violent clashes with police.
The action, which has been authorized by the Moscow Mayor’s Office, will carry traditional demands – freedom to political prisoners, free and fair elections, political reforms, and independent courts.
The authorities permitted up to 10,000 people to take part in the rally, organized by the so-called Opposition’s Expert Council.
The protesters will gather at Kaluzhskaya Square at 05.00 pm Moscow time (13:00 GMT) and march toward Bolotnaya Square opposite the Moscow River from the Kremlin.
Moscow police will deploy 5,000 law enforcement officers and interior troops to ensure security and order at the event.
Meanwhile, Russian opposition’s Coordinating Council is planning to hold an even larger protest rally on Bolotnaya Square on May 6 to mark the first anniversary of last year’s mass protests that turned violent.
Over 650 people were detained at a May 6, 2012 rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to a controversial third presidential term as police clashed with protesters.
Those events have led to the so-called “Bolotnaya case,” in which more than a dozen defendants face charges ranging from inciting mass unrest to using violent force against law enforcement officials.
The riot allegations are fiercely disputed by the opposition, which blames the police for provoking the clashes and claims the case is political.