Opposition activists have called for a rally in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, September 17, to protest electoral fraud following the municipal elections that took place on Sunday, September 8. Participants plan to gather at Lenin Square at 19:00 (local time).
A heightened security presence and transportation and business disruptions are expected near the protest site. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out. Similar demonstrations may be held in other major urban areas.
State security services carried out raids on the homes and offices of hundreds of opposition activists throughout Russia on September 12, following the significant electoral losses of pro-Putin candidates in the September 8 elections. Mass protests took place across the country in the lead up to the elections, particularly in Moscow after a ruling in mid-July that barred more than 50 opposition candidates from running for a seat on the Moscow City Duma. Political tensions have been increasing since opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on July 24 and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Individuals in 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 and their home governments.
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