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Tougher security measures taken at Moscow protest rally site

December 24, 2011, 13:02 UTC+3

The rally organizers stated that the former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev and a business Mikhail Prokhorov will participate in the demonstration

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MOSCOW, December 24 (Itar-Tass) — Tougher security measures were taken in the area, where a protest rally under the slogan “For Fair Elections!” is to be held on Academician Sakharov Avenue. Reinforced police patrols and the OMON police commandoes are on duty there. The situation on the avenue is calm, the preparations for the rally continue.

The Moscow authorities earlier stated that, “according to the available reports, the participants of unauthorized public events intend to come for a rally on Academician Sakharov Avenue.” “The law enforcement agencies jointly with the rally organizers are taking measures to avert violations of the public order and probable acts of sabotage from the protesters,” the Moscow authorities said.

Security measures were toughened on the Pushkinskaya Square in downtown Moscow , where the LDPR supporters are to meet with the declared number of protesters at 2,000 people. The police patrols were reinforced on the Manezh Square, where no actions are expected.

The rally under the slogan “For Fair Elections!”, which the authorities permitted, will be already the second major protest action in the Russian capital, which is held over some reports in the media and the Internet about numerous violations and rigging at the elections to the State Duma on December 4.

The rally was organized by the opposition movements, which stated that the number of protesters will make 50,000 people. However, it is not ruled out that their number will be higher. At least the social networks, which turned in the main venue to prepare and promote the rally, more than 60,000 people confirmed their intentions to the participate in the protest action, about 46,000 of them are Facebook users. For comparison, people who wished to come for the rally on the Bolotnaya Square on December 10, were 7,000 less then. Finally about 30,000 people participated in that rally.

The speakers at the Saturday rally are declared to be blogger Alexei Navalny, writer Boris Akunin, poet Dmitry Bykov, the leaders of the opposition movement Solidarity Boris Nemtsov, Garry Kasparov, Ilya Yashin, A Just Russia deputy Gennady Gudkov and anchorwoman Ksenia Sobchak. Leonid Parfenov, Vladimir Pozner and Yuri Shevchuk will deliver video addresses, which will be broadcast on the screens at the rally site.

The rally organizers stated that the former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev and a business tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who intends to run for Russian presidency, will participate in the demonstration. However, activists of the Left Front said in their microblogs that Prokhorov will be barracked.

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