Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pro-Putin rally to be held in Yekaterinburg

Authorities in Moscow on Thursday approved a mass opposition protest on February 4 allowing tens of thousands to challenge the domination of Russia by Vladimir Putin a month before presidential polls open.

By procuring official permission for the rally, people will be able to take to the streets without worrying about being instantly arrested. The event will be the third such rally in Moscow in less than two months. A counter protest will occur on the same day in Moscow with a similar pro-Putin rally occurring in Yekaterinburg, AFP reports.

The city hall sanctioned the anti-Putin protest march south of the Moscow river for up to 50,000 people from noon to 3 p.m. local time.

"The city hall has agreed to one of the variants put forward (by the opposition) that is acceptable to both sides," Alexander Gorbenko, the deputy mayor of Moscow, said, according to AFP.

The protest comes ahead of the presidential elections on March 4, in which Putin is standing for a third term in the Kremlin after his four year stint as prime minister. The protest will include a march, helping protestors to keep moving during the coldest time of the year and to create a lively spectacle.

While the protest movement has shown vulnerabilities in Putin's once powerful popularity, he is still anticipated to win the presidential polls in the absence of any strong challengers.