City Hall has rejected a request by opposition leader Eduard Limonov to hold a rally on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad on March 31, saying a pro-Kremlin group has dibs on the venue, Interfax reported Friday.
The Young Russia movement will hold a blood donation drive on the square, the report said. The group's events often coincide with the opposition's rally requests, providing city authorities with a pretext to refuse the latter.
A representative for Limonov's The Other Russia coalition said alternative venues were proposed, but the group will nevertheless try to rally on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad. Similar attempts ended in police crackdowns in the past.
Limonov's former ally, rights veteran Lyudmila Alexeyeva, has filed a separate request to rally on Pushkin Square on March 31. The request is pending approval.