Political activists and independent politicians are organizing another mass rally in Moscow on Saturday, August 3. The demonstration is expected to begin at 14:00 (local time) and is being organized by the headquarters of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Protesters are demanding authorities to allow opposition-aligned candidates to run in the September 8 elections to the Moscow City Duma. As of Sunday, July 28, it is unclear if Moscow city officials have granted a permit for the event. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are expected around the protest site. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The August 3 protest was announced after over 1300 people were detained during an unauthorized rally in Moscow on Saturday, July 27, near the Moscow mayor's office. Police officers reportedly beat some demonstrators with batons as they dispersed the crowds. 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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