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02:56 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Moscow City Hall Rejects Sept. 15 'March of Millions'

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Moscow city authorities have rejected the opposition’s application for a “March of Millions” demonstration on September 15, city security chief Alexei Mayorov said on Tuesday.

(This story, originally issued at 21:05, has been revised to indicate that the "March of Millions" application was rejected.)

Moscow city authorities have rejected the opposition’s application for a “March of Millions” demonstration on September 15, city security chief Alexei Mayorov said on Tuesday.

“Because the organizers [submitting the application] allowed violations to occur at a previous event, we did not even review their application,” Mayorov said.

Sergei Udaltsov, the coordinator of the Left Front opposition movement, confirmed that the mayor’s office had rejected the opposition’s request for a march by up to 50,000 people down Moscow’s main street, Tverskaya, followed by a rally on Borovitskaya Square just outside the Kremlin walls. Udaltsov said the group was preparing a new application that would propose the same route and rally venue.

Negotiations between the city authorities and the opposition over the venue and size of demonstrations have in the past dragged on for days before a permit is finally issued.

Meanwhile, Mayorov said that City Hall had approved a separate application for a march and rally on September 15 by up to 17,000 people down Bolshaya Yakimanka Street to Bolotnaya Square, a route used several times before for opposition demonstrations.

“We have approved a march down Bolshaya Yakimanka and a public rally on Bolotnaya Square [all in central Moscow] with a turnout of up to 17,000,” he said, identifying the organizers as "Sonin and Tsukanov," who said their rally would address "problems of democracy and social problems in Russia."

A total of four applications for public rallies on September 15 were filed.

The opposition said that at the “March of Millions” rally it would demand the release of those arrested during a previous demonstration on May 6, the release of "political prisoners," an end to reprisals and the dismissal of Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Udaltsov said previously.

A parallel "March of Millions" is planned on the same day in St. Petersburg.