Opposition politicians have called for nationwide protests on Saturday, August 10, to demand that opposition candidates be allowed to run in the September 8 Moscow council elections, the release of jailed activists, and the resignation of several city officials. Activists had originally requested protest permits in Moscow for Saturday and Sunday, August 11. However, city officials rejected the proposed location and instead authorized rallies on both days between 14:00 (local time) and 16:30 on Akademika Sakharova Avenue - a location outside Moscow's city center. As of Monday, August 5, it is unclear if the organizers will attempt to rally outside of the authorized location. Up to 100,000 people are expected to attend the protests in Moscow.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected around all protest sites. Clashes between police forces and protesters are possible.
Political tensions have increased after opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on July 24 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Approximately 600 protesters were arrested in Moscow on August 3, and another 1400 protesters were arrested in the capital on July 27, amid gatherings 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 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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