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Navalny Challenges Moscow Authorities' Refusal To Allow Protest In City Center

  • RFE/RL

Aleksei Navalny (file photo)

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny is pushing back against the Moscow authorities' proposal that he hold a protest planned for June 12 at a location outside the city center.

In a video posted on his YouTube channel on June 1, Navalny criticized city officials who denied organizers permission to hold a march down Moscow's main thoroughfare, Tverskaya Street, and a rally on Okhotny Ryad near the Kremlin.

He accused the officials of "boorishness."

On May 31, Moscow security department chief Vladimir Chernikov said that the city was proposing two other sites much further from the heart of the city.

He said that if held on the central streets where Navalny had sought permission to stage them, the march and rally might disrupt events connected to Russia Day holiday celebrations.

In his video, Navalny said that activists in 209 cities across Russia planned to hold demonstrations on June 12.

He said that the authorities have in some cases granted permission for rallies only in remote locations, such as a village 88 kilometers from the city of Nizhny Tagil and a forest near the city of Syktyvkar.

Navalny is seeking to build on momentum after organizing nationwide anticorruption protests on March 26 that drew unexpectedly large crowds.

The Kremlin foe and anticorruption crusader is trying to get on the ballot for a March 2018 election in which President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a new six-year term.

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