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Regional Russian Protest Turns Political

The protest in Kirov was initially meant to call for new kindergartens and social allowances for young couples.
KIROV, Russia -- A protest against social conditions in the Russian city of Kirov turned into a political demonstration after local authorities refused to allow the rally, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Dozens of young parents in the central city of Kirov decided to hold a protest in front of the city administration building on November 23 to demand social allowances for young couples and more kindergartens.

The municipal authorities rejected their application, saying supporters of the ruling United Russia party planned to gather on the same location on the same day.

The young parents decided to hold the protest today despite the ban. Dozens of them brought placards saying "Vote for Any Party Except United Russia!"

Dozens of supporters of United Russia also showed up.

RFE/RL's correspondent asked a United Russia supporter whether she was paid for taking part in the gathering.

The protester, who refused to give her name, said that each participant received 225 rubles ($7) for taking part in the 90-minute rally.

About a dozen police were present monitoring the situation. No clashes were reported.

Read more in Russian here