Opposition politicians and activists are calling for supporters to gather in Moscow on Saturday, July 27, despite not receiving permission from the city government. The rally is expected to begin at 14:00 (local time) outside of the City Hall. Tensions have increased after opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on Wednesday, July 24, and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Police officers also raided the offices of four opposition politicians on Wednesday night. Opposition figures have been organizing daily protests to denounce the rejection of several candidates in the upcoming Moscow City Duma elections and to call on election officials to include more opposition candidates on the ballot.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected around the protest site. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Related protests are possible in other urban centers across the country.
An estimated 20,000 people participated in a massive protest on July 20 in Moscow to denounce a decision by the Moscow City Election Committee to exclude opposition candidates from the September 8 city council election. Similar protests were held in July 14 and July 15 in the capital. The police have reportedly arrested some demonstrators.
Individuals in Moscow are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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