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Kremlin To Boost Moscow Police Presence For Election, Rallies

A woman walks past police officers gathering just outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 2.
The Russian Interior Ministry plans to send 6,300 police officers from central Russia to Moscow for the March 4 presidential election and subsequent days.

The ministry said on March 2 that the additional manpower would be brought in because of the numerous rallies and demonstrations expected on March 5.

Sergei Udaltsov, head of the opposition Left Front movement, told Interfax that the move "exacerbates the situation" and indicated the authorities "are not confident of their strength."

In the months following the December 2011 parliamentary elections, which the opposition believes were falsified, Russia saw several massive demonstrations, sometimes bringing as many as 100,000 people into the streets.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is widely expected to secure a third term as president in the March 4 poll.

With Interfax and ITAR-TASS reporting