The “Beautiful Petersburg” civil society group is planning to hold a rally in St. Petersburg on Saturday, August 3, in solidarity with political protesters in Moscow. City officials approved a permit for 200 people to gather at Lenin Square at 14:00 (local time). The gathering is being organized to protest the arrest of over 1300 people during a demonstration in Moscow on July 27.
Political activists and independent politicians are calling for a mass demonstration in Moscow on August 3 to demand authorities allow opposition-aligned candidates to run in the September 8 elections to the Moscow City Duma. The protest is expected to start at 14:00 with a peaceful march along the Boulevard Ring. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are expected around the protest sites. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
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 14-15 in the capital, with police reportedly arresting some demonstrators.
Individuals in Moscow and St. Petersburg 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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