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MOSCOW, December 24 (Itar-Tass) — Several thousand people already came and people keep coming for a rally under the slogan “For Fair Elections!” on Academician Sakharov Avenue forty minutes before the protest action. Most protesters are carrying white balloons and white ribbons, which are the symbol of the protest action.
The protest rally began at 14:00 Moscow time. People can enter the rally area through 49 metal detectors from Kalanchevskaya Street. No entry is permitted from Sadovaya-Spasskaya Street, where the stage is placed, and neighbouring bystreets.
The traffic is suspended on Academician Sakharov Avenue from Sadovaya-Spasskaya to Kalanchevskaya Street, and up to 21/40, Kalanchevskaya Street from Sadovaya-Spasskaya Street.
Tougher security measures were taken on Academician Sakharov Avenue. The Moscow police pledged to ensure the full law and order.
The speakers at the 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 and anchorwoman Ksenia Sobchak. Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky stated about his intentions to speak up at the rally. Leonid Parfenov, Vlaidmir Pozner and Yuri Shevchuk will deliver video addresses, which will be broadcast on the screens at the rally site.
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 will be 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 staged by the opposition movements, which claimed for 50,000 people to attend the demonstration. However, it is not ruled out that there number will be higher. More than 60,000 people, including 46,000 Facebook users, confirmed their wish to attend the rally in the social networks, which turned in the main venue to prepare and promote the rally. For comparison, people, who intended to come for the previous rally on the Bolotnaya Square on December 10, were 7,000 less then. About 30,000 people attended that rally.