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Putin and Medvedev Could Lead May Day March

Marchers carry an oversized Russian flag. Maxim Stulov

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev may lead a mass march on May 1, just a week before the presidential inauguration and the opposition's "March of a Million" protest.

The president's spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, confirmed Wednesday that both Medvedev and Putin had received invitations to participate in the event, co-organized by Putin’s All-Russia People’s Front, Interfax reported.

The May Day march will start at the Belorussky Station and make its way to City Hall, where the country's leaders were expected to deliver speeches, a person close to the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and a member of United Russia told Vedomosti. The source said participants would march under the slogan "Give us justice."

United Russia and labor unions usually organize the annual May Day march, but this year members of the People's Front will contribute for the first time as well.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the People's Front would take part in organizing the march, and said it was logical that the event would be held in support of the government's planned course of action, Vedomosti said. He did not comment on whether Putin would participate.

No final number of planned participants was given, but a United Russia organizer said he hoped 25,000 to 30,000 people would show up.

"Gathering as many people as there were at Luzhniki Stadium on Feb. 23 (reported to be about 200,000), is simply not possible because people have to walk in a column, not just stand. But it will really be a mass rally," the unidentified organizer told Vedomosti.

Opposition group For Honest Elections previously announced that it would hold a March of a Million on May 6, a day before the presidential inauguration, to protest widespread falsifications reported during his selection.

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