Russian opposition to take to streets again

Moscow: The Russian opposition vowed to stage another mass rally Saturday despite increasing pressure from authorities, who arrested nearly 1,400 people at a protest last week and have launched a criminal probe into the movement. The unauthorised march along Moscow's leafy boulevards will be the latest in a series of demonstrations after officials refused to let popular opposition candidates run in next month's city parliament elections.

The local issue has boiled over into one of the worst political conflicts of recent years, with rallies of up to 22,000 people and police violence against demonstrators. More than 6,000 people said on Facebook they would take part in the march along Moscow's so-called Boulevard Ring on Saturday to "bring back the right to elections". Authorities installed barriers along the route ahead of the protest. Candidates needed to collect signatures from city residents to stand in the polls but officials said they were disqualified because some names were forged.

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