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MOSCOW, February 02, (ITAR-TASS). An opposition march in downtown Moscow on Sunday, designed to call on the Russian authorities to release activists jailed in a 2012 mass riots case, gathered 2,000 people - far less than the agreed number of 15,000, and ended without incidents, the Russian Interior Ministry reported.
The participants marched from Pushkinskaya subway station along boulevards to the Sakharov Avenue, a ministry statement said.
The event gathered RPR-Parnas opposition party leaders Mikhail Kasyanov and Boris Nemtsov, as well as opposition politician Gennady Gudkov, members of the Solidarnost (Solidarity) movement, the Left Front and other organizations.
Traffic police blocked traffic along several boulevards in the Russian capital’s center shortly before the march.
The case of mass riots on Bolotnaya Square in downtown Moscow was launched after events that took place on May 6, 2012, when an opposition rally sanctioned by the authorities turned into clashes with police. Over 400 people were detained for violations of law, more than 30 police officers were injured, just as a few dozen other people.
The case was initiated under the Russian Criminal Code’s Article 212 on mass riots and Article 318 on use of violence against representatives of authorities. Some 30 people were involved in the case. Criminal charges against eight of them were dropped as a result of a presidential amnesty timed to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution in December 2013.