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Kaliningrad Communists Quit Opposition Alliance

KALININGRAD, Russia -- Communists in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast have announced that they quit an alliance of opposition forces, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Igor Revin, the Communist Party's branch leader in the western exclave, said the party is quitting because the opposition coalition canceled a mass protest scheduled for March 20. The Communists say that by calling off the protest the opposition has "cheated thousands of its supporters."

Konstantin Doroshok, leader of the NGO Spravedlivost (Justice) and a leader of the opposition alliance in Kaliningrad, says the decision to cancel the planned protest was taken late last week in light of the local authorities' intention to forcibly disperse the gathering, which was to be held in the Pioneer Stadium. He said officials were planning "serious provocations."

At the end of January, opposition forces in Kaliningrad held a protest of several thousand people to demand the resignation of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Kaliningrad Oblast Governor Georgy Boos.

The decision to convene the March 20 protest was taken at that gathering.