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The upcoming Saturday is about to set a record in the amount of mass rallies and marches that will take place in Moscow. The opposition is organising a march For Honest Elections from Oktyabrskaya to Bolotnaya Square, Poklonnaya Gora will be a location for an action in support of the presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, LDPR will have its rally in Pushkinskaya Square, and Konstantin Borovoy reserved Sakharov Avenue for a rally For Honest Elections, For Democracy – without nationalists and communists. It is noteworthy that though in different locations, but all the mass events are due to begin at the same time.
Two latter events, Novye Izvestia writes, look funny in light of the two main events: the “white ribbons” march and the rally on Poklonnaya Gora. These two politically polar events are competing openly in attracting forces. While organisers of the march For Honest Elections hope to attract 30-50 thousand participants, the activists of the rally in Poklonnaya Gora, which has been called unexpectedly an anti-Orange, plan to bring together even more participants under the main slogan “We Care for What We May Lose.”
The newspaper writes about the information that was reported by the media, which claims that “managers” of the Poklonnaya Gora rally make teachers and other state-run staff to participate voluntarily-obligatory in the “correct” rally. For that purpose, schools were instructed to fill their quotas by teachers who are not involved in lessons on the day. Teachers of Moscow universities also complain a about similar pressing from their managers.
The rally in support of Putin will last for one hour, Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes a representative of the organisational committee Alexander Mikhailov. Deputy Chairwoman of the Patriots of Russia Party Nadezhda Korneyeva said that the meeting might be longer. “The event will be organised in the format of a rally without a march, as there were certain problems with the city authorities,” Mikhailov said. He quoted the main slogans: “Our flag is tricolour, not white,” “Orangism /orange revolution contagion/ not to pass,” and “No ruining the country.”
Meanwhile, the upcoming march For Honest Elections takes the system opposition apart from the non-system opposition, RBC reports. On Wednesday, three candidates – each of them using a separate excuse – refrained from speaking at the event. It was announced on January 31, that the organising committee of event For Honest Elections invited Gennady Zyuganov, Sergei Mironov and Mikhail Prokhorov to make speeches. The organisers agreed to allow Grigory Yavlinsky to speak, too. Later on, Zyuganov said he did not want to speak. Sergei Mironov is not sure whether he will go on stage. Prokhorov definitely will not speak, but will participate in the march.
The Mayor’s Office approved participation of 50,000 in the event on February 4, Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. Over 26,000 users of social networks have confirmed their participation (the opposition’s experience with past large-scale events shows that the figure at least doubles). Organisers of the event decided to divide the march in columns for convenience and security reasons. The numbers of participants in every column will demonstrate preferences of those opposing.