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MOSCOW, September 15 (Itar-Tass) —— The march of the opposition has begun in central Moscow. Columns of demonstrators went from Strastnoy Boulevard toward Sakharov Avenue.
The largest is the column of Left movements. At the head is Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov. Other opposition leaders -- Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Yashin, Garry Kasparov, the Just Russia Party's Gennady Gudkov, who was stripped of the status of a Duma member on Friday, his son, State Duma member Dmitry Gudkov, Just Russia member Ilya Ponomaryov and TV anchorwoman Ksenia Sobchak are participating in the demonstration.
Up to 5,000 people gathered at Pushkinskaya Square and the nearby areas by 14:00 Moscow time, the press service of the Moscow police department reported.
The situation on the whole is calm. There have been no incidents.
However, police noticed masked people in the crowd. In this connection, Moscow police officially ask the organizers to ensure that public order is kept and prevent violations of the law.
The demonstrators march from the crossing of Strastnoy Boulevard and Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street through Strastnoy, Petrovsky, Rozhdestvensky and Sretensky Boulevards to Turgenev Square. A rally will begin at 16:00 on Academician Sakharov Avenue, right on the road, at the Garden Ring.
About 25,000 people are expected to participate in the rally. The number was agreed on with the Moscow mayor's office.
Security measures are tightened up in Moscow. Police already said that they would stop provocations during the march and the rally.
About 7,000 policemen and Interior Ministry troops ensure order and security at the demonstration.