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Opposition hoping for violence-free rally despite police buildup

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Some 2,000 riot police have been deployed in central Moscow for a fresh opposition rally expected to bring together about the same number of activists, but the organizers, optimistic after a recent violence-free rally in St. Petersburg, hope Monday's action proceeds as peacefully.
MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) - Some 2,000 riot police have been deployed in central Moscow for a fresh opposition rally expected to bring together about the same number of activists, but the organizers, optimistic after a recent violence-free rally in St. Petersburg, hope Monday's action proceeds as peacefully.

The rally organized by the Different Russia movement in St. Petersburg Saturday was its first without police violence since the launch last December of a series of Dissenters' Marches, intended to protest authorities' alleged attempts to stifle democracy.

The demonstration in Russia's second city was held against the backdrop of a high-profile international business forum, and some analysts explain the unusual police restraint by authorities' unwillingness to tarnish the country's image with foreign investors.

The Kremlin drew harsh criticism from the West last month when police dispersed a similar rally in the Volga city of Samara during a Russia-EU summit there. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov and other Different Russia leaders

were then detained in a Moscow airport to keep them from attending.

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