MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. Police have arrested blogger Alexei Navalny, who was trying to carry out an unauthorized rally in central Moscow, TASS reports from the venue.
The police are using loudspeakers to call on people to disperse, as the rally was not authorized by the city administration. "We request you to leave the area, or physical force and impact munitions will be used against you," the police warned.
On April 20, the rally organizers filed an application with the Moscow mayor’s office for carrying out a march from the Tverskaya Zastava Square to Okhotny Ryad Street, 2, with a subsequent rally. The city administration authorized the rally, but let the organizers choose between two venues. According to the first scheme, the march was to be held from Pererva Street to Lyublinskaya Street and the rally itself near the Soldier of the Motherland monument. According to the second variant, the march was to be held from Marshal Biryuzov and Marshal Vasilevsky Streets to the Shchukinskaya metro station and the rally to take place near building 13 on Marshal Vasilevsky Street.
The rally organizers did not agree to the proposed venues. Later, the authorities agreed for the rally to be held at another venue - on Akademik Sakharov Avenue. However, Navalny stated that the organizers do not agree with it. The official rejection to hold an event automatically bans its organizers from holding any other actions on this day.
Navalny called on citizens to join the unauthorized rally. Moscow’s authorities regarded it as "a provocation and irresponsible behavior." Moscow prosecutors, for their part, warned the organizers from holding an unauthorized rally on Tverskaya Street and warned its participants of possible negative consequences.