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Kremlin Planning 'Anti-Terrorism' Rallies to Match Corruption Protests — Report

Police officers walk at a symbolic memorial at Technologicheskiy Institute subway station in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 5, 2017. Dmitri Lovetsky / AP

The Kremlin is planning anti-terrorism rallies across Russia in response to Monday's deadly bomb attack on the St. Petersburg subway system.

Demonstrations will be held in large Russian cities on Saturday, Apr. 8, the Kommersant newspaper reported late on Tuesday, citing an unidentified source close to the presidential administration.

“The authorities are often blamed for not sharing the people's grief. One of their goals is to prove that this is not true,” the unnamed source told the newspaper. “We haven't been given any target numbers or slogans, but it's clear that there should not be fewer people than there'd usually be [at a regional demonstration]."

The report said that special attention would be given to 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.

One senior Russian official has already called for all rallies to be temporarily suspended following the attack, which killed 14 and injured more than 50.

Yury Shvytkin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, told Russian radio station Govorit Moskva that protests could be targeted by terrorists.

"We have a serious threat close to our borders,” Shvytkin said. “We should refrain from holding any planned rallies, especially now.”

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