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Moscow Protests Against Terrorism

A bomb tore apart a subway train on Monday in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, killing 14 people and wounding more than 40. 

On Thursday, with the government's approval in a city that regularly denies permits for public assemblies in downtown Moscow, a reported 50,000 people gathered to pay tribute to the victims of the attack. 

The demonstration was organized by the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions, whose permit request for a mass rally outside the Kremlin was approved within hours, despite the fact that public-assembly permits must be requested at least 10 days in advance. The Mayor's Office explained the anomaly by saying the demonstration would be “apolitical.”

According to the newspaper Kommersant, the demonstration was the Putin administration's initiative. The president's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, however, told reporters this week that he is unaware of any “signals” from the Kremlin, and claimed that the Kremlin wasn't involved in organizing the event.