On Monday, April 30, the Moscow district attorney’s office released a statement warning against holding unauthorized protests in the city. Late last week Moscow city officials denied opposition activists Alexei Navalny and Lyubov Sobol from holding an anti-government rally in the city on Saturday, May 5. Navalny and Sobol rejected an offer from officials to hold their protest in an alternative location outside of the city center. As of Tuesday, May 1, the activists are still planning on holding a march along Tverskaya Street between Belorusskaya Square and Okhotny Ryad. Localized traffic disruptions and heightened security measures are anticipated in Moscow up to and during Putin’s inauguration. Clashes between demonstrators and police are likely as the protest is not authorized.
Additional anti-government demonstrations are planned on Sunday, May 6, prior to President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin on Monday, May 7.
Official authorization is required for all protests and other large public gatherings in Russia; police sometimes use force to disperse unauthorized demonstrations. Navalny organized a number of large anti-government rallies in Moscow in late 2017 and early 2018. Putin faced no serious opposition in elections held in March 2018, easily winning a fourth term in office. Prominent opposition leader Navalny was barred from running due to previous arrests.
Individuals in Moscow, and Russia more generally, are advised to avoid any potential protests as a precaution and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.