A pro-Kremlin movement against protest rallies has asked Moscow City Hall for permission to hold a large-scale demonstration denouncing Ukraine's political protests of a year ago, a news report said.
The Anti-Maidan movement — whose name refers to Ukraine's Maidan protesters — expects to draw 10,000 people to its rally planned for Feb. 21, TASS reported Thursday, citing one of the leaders of the group and member of the ruling United Russia party, Dmitry Sablin.
The rally is planned to be held on the first anniversary of the date when Ukraine's Moscow-backed former president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled his country's capital, having been toppled by pro-European protesters on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev and around the country. It will be held under the slogan: "We won't forget, we won't forgive."
Organizers have asked for authorization to hold the rally on Ploshchad Revolyutsii in central Moscow, next to Red Square, Sablin was quoted as saying.
City Hall has a number of options for its response: It may allow the rally as requested, or relegate it to a less central location, or may prohibit it altogether.
The Anti-Maidan movement was established last month with the stated aim of forestalling popular uprisings in the country. Its other high-profile leaders include Alexander "the Surgeon" Zaldostanov, leader of the Night Wolves patriotic biker gang with whom President Vladimir Putin was once pictured riding a Harley Davidson trike.