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Opposition Plans Large Anti-Kremlin Protests on July 26

The opposition will hold anti-Kremlin demonstrations on July 26 and hopes for a large turnout not only in Moscow but also nationwide and in other countries, an organizer said Monday.

"A huge event is planned for July 26: a rally and a march in Moscow, as well as events in other cities," said Sergei Davidis, an organizer and member the opposition Solidarity movement, Interfax reported. "If we can manage it, the event will happen all over the world."

He said opposition supporters in several European countries have already expressed interest in staging demonstrations of their own.

"This won't only be a Russian event," he said.

But Moscow participants may have to settle for a simple rally, rather than a combined march and rally, because of tough protest rules passed last month, he said.

The planned protests would be the first since tens of thousands of people marched peacefully in Moscow on the Russia Day holiday on June 12. The main organizer is the May 6 Committee, of which Davidis is a member. The committee, named after the day that opposition activists and riot police officers clashed violently during a rally in Moscow, is comprised of members of the unregistered Other Russia party and representatives of the Solidarity, Occupy Moscow, Autonomous Action, Left Front and White Ribbon movements.

Davidis said that in addition to decrying President Vladimir Putin's rule, the July 26 protest in Moscow would show support for activists who face criminal prosecution in connection with the May 6 violence on Bolotnaya Ploshchad. Police have arrested 13 suspects on charges of inciting riots and assaulting authorities during the Bolotnaya protest, held on the eve of Putin's inauguration.

Opposition activists say police provoked the violence by disrupting the protest march and rally, the route and terms of which had been authorized by city authorities earlier.

Davidis said the May 6 Committee was ready to offer legal and financial help to those who have been detained.

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