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Sunday's sanctioned opposition rally on downtown Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square ran calmly and without major violations, however several protesters tried to hold an own unsanctioned meeting, RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
"Serious incidents have not been noticed, but policemen detained several persons for firing petards and several others for attempting to break a fence," Viktor Biryukov, Moscow police spokesman said.
Requests to sanction opposition rallies were invariably turned down by former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was recently sacked. New Mayor Sergey Sobyanin sanctioned this month's rally last week, but gave permission for only 800 activists to take part, instead of the requested 1,500.
The majority of Moscow's rights activists accepted the conditions. The sanctioned rally was organized by the rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group, Memorial and the For Human Rights movement.
Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva came to the square. "It is an achievement that we have been able to accept the terms of the authorities," she said.
However, two key opposition figures, Eduard Limonov and Konstantin Kosyakin, did not submit to the terms and are still insisting that the requested number of 1,500 should be allowed to gather on the square. They tried to hold an own unsanctioned meeting on Triumfalnaya Square.
Policemen attempted to arrest Limonov, leader of the Other Russia movement, three times, but Limonov's backers managed to drive back the policemen.
"The meeting ran good, but Limonov's grotesquery casted a gloom on it," human rights advocate Lev Ponomaryov said.
MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti)
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.