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Dozens In Russian City Protest Corruption, Police

Dozens of people protested today in the Russian city of Barnaul against corruption and other ills, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The rally was organized by the Union of Public Organizations of Altai Krai.

The protesters called on police to stop violating people's constitutional rights, saying illegal actions by the police pose a direct threat to the safety and security of the city's population. They said the situation "paves the way for extremism and undermines the authorities."

The demonstrators condemned the decision by municipal authorities to cancel mayoral elections. They said authorities in two other cities in the region, Biisk and Rubtsovsk, planned to follow suit.

The protesters' demands include launching an immediate and transparent investigation into the alleged acceptance of a World Bank credit by the local authorities in the 1990s which they claim negatively affected at least 200,000 city residents.

The protesters also questioned the legitimacy of the local authorities' decision to provide employees of the local Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Prosecutor's Office with plots of land to build summer homes.

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