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Organizers Offer Cash to Boost Crowds at Terror Attack Memorial Concert

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The organizers of a memorial concert to honor the victims of the St. Petersburg terror attack are paying would-be movie extras in a bid to boost crowds at the event. 

An advert promoting the concert appeared on Massovki.net, an online forum used to recruit extras for television shows, movies and other events, on Wednesday.

The advert promised 400 rubles ($6.70) for anyone attending the event in Moscow's Park Pobedy on Thursday April 6, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported. The wording on the advert was later changed, describing the money as "compensation for travel costs." 

When a Novaya Gazeta reporter called the number listed in the advert, a woman confirmed the details on the forum but refused to say who had organized the concert.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday that the Kremlin has planned anti-terrorism rallies in response to Monday's deadly bomb attack on the St. Petersburg subway system.

The demonstrations, which will reportedly be held in large Russian cities on Saturday, Apr. 8, will be geared toward cities which saw a large turnout during mass anti-corruption protests on March 26. The protests, organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were the largest Russia has seen since 2011-2012.

The Kremlin has denied the claims, telling reporters that regional authorities may be planning independent memorial events. 

It is not the first time Russian media discover that organizers of pro-Kremlin public events have hired extras for cash to create the impression of mass attendance. Last month, the Meduza news outlet revealed that extras had also been hired to attend the concert devoted to the three-year anniversary of Crimea annexation.

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