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Vendors Protest Moscow Market Closure

MOSCOW -- About 100 vendors from a major Moscow market that was shut down have launched a hunger strike in front of city hall in an effort to get the market reopened, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Krasnogvardeisk outdoor market was one of the largest in Moscow before officials closed it last month in order to redevelop the area.

Sergei Udaltsov, coordinator of the opposition Left Front movement that is taking part in the protest, told RFE/RL the strikers were demanding a cancellation of the mayor's decision to shut down Krasnogvardeisk.

The protesters say the Moscow authorities' decision last month to shut down the market is illegal. They say the decision to close Krasnogvardeisk was made without any warning and has left more than 1,500 vendors jobless.

The strikers are demanding a meeting with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to discuss the issue.

A representative of the mayor, Nikita Kuznetsov, came out to meet the protesters and promised to look into how vendors could be compensated for their losses.

This is the second demonstration by Krasnogvardeisk market vendors held near the Moscow mayor's office. The first was held on March 16 but there was no response to their demands.

Read more in Russian here