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Applications submitted for new opposition marches in Russia

MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) - The organizing committee for the opposition March of Dissent has applied to stage political actions in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the committee said Monday.

Marches of Dissent by political parties as part of the Other Russia organization are planned for June 11 in Moscow, and June 9 in St. Petersburg, but no response from authorities has been received yet. A similar march was held in Moscow in April, and about 250 people were detained, including the leader of the United Civil Front, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

The April March of Dissent, which police moved to break up before it even began, was intended as an expression of popular discontent with the government of President Vladimir Putin, and organizers claimed they were trying to use peaceful pressure to persuade the authorities to hold free and fair elections next year.

The Other Russia organization includes the People's Patriotic Union led by former Premier Mikhail Kasyanov, the banned National Bolshevik Party, the United Civil Front led by Kasparov and the Republican Party.

Human rights advocates in Russia and abroad have criticized the Kremlin for tightening its grip on democracy and human freedoms ever since Vladimir Putin took presidential office in 2000. However, polls show that the majority of Russians support the country's leader for stability and economic growth Russia has enjoyed under his rule.

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