MOSCOW, March 16 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow courts tried the cases of right three well-known oppositionists. Alexei Navalny was fined for violation of the rules of massive events. The Eduard Limonov case will be tried later. Sergei Udaltsov is arrested for ten days. The Moscow opposition decided to change the tactics of street protests. The organizing committee of the For Fair Elections rallies do not intend to negotiate a march with the city authorities. One million people are planning to participate in the march on May 5.
Alexei Navalny told the Kommersant that the results of the Thursday court hearings convinced of senseless negotiations between the authorities and the opposition. The Moscow police also stated that they will not permit unauthorized rallies in May.
The Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov has voiced the idea of ‘a march of millions’ on May 5. “I believe that the best day is May 5. It is necessary just to go out and not to leave the place, until some high-ranking official goes out to negotiate with us, because the previous rallies showed that they do not understand it in another way,” Udaltsov told the newspaper. On Thursday in the Justice of the Peace penal of the Presnensky District Court he was sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest for an attempt to stage an unauthorized march to the Pushkin Square after the rally on March 10. Another member of the organizing committee of the For Fair Elections rallies and a blogger Alexei Navalny was fined 1,000 roubles on Thursday for the participation in disorders on the Pushkin Square on March 5, when the opposition refused to stop the rally, after its authorized deadline expired.
Navalny told the Kommersant that the results of the Thursday court hearings and “the general attitude of the authorities to the protest” made the opposition revise cardinally its policy over massive street actions. “Actually the organizing committee of the previous rallies ended its work, the team of like-minded fellows remained, therefore, it is not needed any longer. The rules, when all people participate in the rallies on the squares authorized by the Moscow Mayor’s Office, do not suit us anymore. I do not see any sense in the negotiations with the Mayor’s Office,” he said.
The Moscow police stated that they are ready for the May unauthorized march. “If the event is authorized, we will ensure order, otherwise, we will suppress it strictly in compliance with the law. Meanwhile, we doubt that the action will gather a million people,” the police said.
A lawyer Nikolai Polozov told the RBC daily that the defence is planning to lodge an appeal soon. According to him, Sergei Udaltsov went on a dry hunger strike, because he considers it as “the only way of protest, which he has against the arbitrariness of courts and police.” Meanwhile, the lawyer is concerned over the health of the oppositionist. Last time he was brought to the intensive therapy ward over the hunger strike. The chairman of the Yabloko Party Sergei Mitrokhin and the A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov also voiced their concerns over the issue. Mironov has already made a proposal that Sergei Udaltsov could have joined his party.