MOSCOW, December 10 (Itar-Tass) — Reinforced police squads are on duty in downtown Moscow in connection with mass opposition actions, Itar-Tass reports on Saturday.
There is a great number of policemen and police buses in the area of the Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge, in the Teatralnaya and Pushkin squares as well as in the Bolotnaya Square where there will be a multi-thousand rally “For Honest Elections” that was agreed upon with Moscow authorities.
On the whole, the situation is quiet in the centre of Moscow; there is no massing of people.
Organisers of the rally “For Honest Elections” includes several opposition movements, but preparations for this action was conducted through social networks, in which over 30,000 people expressed agreement to participate.
The rally was initially planned in the Revolution Square. However, Moscow authorities permitted to stage it in the Bolotnaya Square with the number of participants of up to 30,000. This rally can be the most numerous opposition action over the past decade.
Deputy mayor in the Moscow government Alexander Gorbenko said that “action organizers agreed to stage the rally in the Bolotnaya Square that was suggested them by Moscow authorities to preserve security measures”. Gorbenko added that the rally is to be held between 14.00 and 18.00. According to his assessment, 5,000-7,000 people will participate in the event.
The Moscow police department will take all security measures and does not plan detentions at the rally, he added.
At the same time, many users of social networks as well as protesters insist, as before, on holding the action in the Revolution Square and write in their blogs that they will come precisely there. However, Moscow authorities warned against unauthorized marches. Gorbenko noted that organizers of the rally don’t provide for a march. Therefore, any attempts at staging it will be regarded as a violation of law and order.
In the meanwhile, the chief department of the Interior Ministry for Moscow placed information at its site on Friday evening, saying that citizens who will arrive in the Teatralnaya Square and the Revolution Square can come to the Bolotnaya Square across the Lubyanskaya Square, the Staraya Square, the Kitaigorod By-Street, along the Moskvoretskaya Embankment and then across the Moskvoretsky Bridge.
Incidentally, police warned that “the arrival was agreed only along side-walks by groups of citizens without any slogans and streamers”. “Otherwise this will be appraised as a violation of public law and order as well as creation of difficulties for motor traffic,” notes the Interior Ministry’s department.