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Opposition Seeks Permission to March to Kremlin

Opposition activists rally on Novy Arbat March 10. Vladimir Filonov

Opposition activists asked Moscow City Hall on Monday for permission to hold a “March of a Million” rally on May 6, the day before President-elect Vladimir Putin’s inauguration.

“Now let's see how City Hall reacts,” Sergei Udalstov, a co-organizer of the rally and leader of Left Front, wrote on Twitter.

He said the event, also dubbed the People's March, is to start at 3 p.m. on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad, near the Mayakovskaya metro station, and an expected crowd of thousands of people would march down Tverskaya Ulitsa to Manezh Square, just outside the Kremlin walls.

The march is to be the latest installment in a series of large opposition demonstrations started after the disputed State Duma elections in December.

But organizers may have to look for a compromise with city authorities, who have previously refused to approve the downtown route.

Tverskaya Ulitsa has been booked by United Russia and trade unions for a pro-Kremlin May 1 march that might be led by Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.

Udaltsov's wife, Anastasia, on Monday denounced a YouTube video featuring her husband allegedly attacking a journalist with a camera during a weekend rally in Ulyanovsk as “a provocation.” Udaltsov's supporters have made a slowed-down version of the video that indicates that it was edited to portray the opposition leader in a negative light.

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