Hundreds of people were arrested in a political protest in Moscow called by detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Saturday, July 27, demanding that authorities allow opposition-aligned candidates to run in the September 8 elections to the Moscow City Duma. Thousands of people reportedly took part in the protest close to the Moscow mayor's office and some 317 were detained. Police cordoned off some streets in the central part of the capital; eyewitness video confirmed demonstrators broke through one of the cordons on Tverskaya Street.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected in Moscow over the coming hours. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Additional political protests are possible in the capital and other urban centers across the country ahead of the September 8 elections.
Political tensions have increased after opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on July 24 and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
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 elections. Similar protests were held on July 14 and July 15 in the capital, with police reportedly arresting some demonstrators.
Individuals in Moscow are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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