About 5,000 Samara residents rallied on the central Kuibyshev Square on Saturday to protest what they called electioneering by the ruling United Russia party, Interfax reported, citing organizers.
Local police, however, put the number of participants at 1,000.
The event, held under the slogan “United Russia to the Trash Can,” called on people not to vote for the party, said Lyudmila Kuzmina, one of the organizers who heads a local consumers rights watchdog, Interfax reported.
All opposition candidates were denied registration ahead of next month’s mayoral elections in Samara, Kuzmina said. Most of the rejected candidates participated in the rally, she added.
Samara is one of the few big cities not controlled by United Russia. Its incumbent mayor, Viktor Tarkhov, is a member of the Just Russia party.