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Opposition Plans Anti-Kremlin March for Dec. 15

The opposition's Coordination Council has announced plans for a march and rally to be held in central Moscow on Dec. 15, a date chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the anti-Kremlin protest movement.

The plans were finalized at a council meeting Saturday, and organizers posted details of the so-called "March of Freedom" the same day on Facebook.

Prominent opposition figures including anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, TV personality Ksenia Sobchak and Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov earlier backed plans to take to the streets to voice discontent with President Vladimir Putin's rule, although Udaltsov suggested that the march could be held on Dec. 8ю

According to Udaltsov, who posted a rally manifesto on Facebook on Saturday, the protest will call on authorities to free political prisoners, undertake a far-reaching program of political and economic reforms and call new presidential and parliamentary elections.

Other demands listed in the manifesto include freezing utilities tariffs, stopping the deterioration of education, health care and science and allowing workers to be represented by independent trade unions.

Udaltsov told Interfax that protest organizers were preparing the official documents necessary to hold the march and that they would be submitted to City Hall at the end of the week. While no preliminary route was announced for the march, organizers insisted that it would take place in the city center.

Under Russian law, protests have to be sanctioned by authorities for a specific place, time and number of participants.

On Saturday, the leaders of the liberal Yabloko party and the unregistered Other Russia movement said their supporters would not take part in the Dec. 15 event.

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