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City Hall Approves May 1 Opposition Rally at Bolotnaya

Demonstrators at an opposition march along Bolshaya Yakimanka on Feb. 4. Igor Tabakov

Moscow City Hall has approved an opposition march and rally in central Moscow on May 1, when a pro-Kremlin labor march is also scheduled.

The opposition event will begin with a march from Kaluzhskaya Ploshchad along Bolshaya Yakimanka, before concluding with a demonstration on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, a source in the city administration told RIA-Novosti. The same route was used for an opposition event on Feb. 4 protesting falsifications in December's State Duma elections.

The march is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. and the rally at 3:30 p.m., with no more than 5,000 participants permitted. The Feb. 4 event, the third major opposition rally protesting the Duma vote results following events on Dec. 10 and 24, drew an estimated 50,000 demonstrators.

The opposition has also asked City Hall for permission to hold a "March of a Million" on Tverskaya Ulitsa on May 6, the day before President-elect Vladimir Putin's inauguration.

On May 1, a march co-sponsored by Putin's All-Russia People's Front with the slogan "Give us justice" will travel along a route from Belorussky Station to City Hall. Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have both been invited to the event.

Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said he would celebrate his 62nd birthday, which is Wednesday, on May 1 on Pushkin Square, RIA-Novosti reported.

Zhirinovsky promised attendees of the 2 p.m. event hot porridge, stewed meat, tea and perfume.

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