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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reports of May Day Violence Dismissed

City officials dismissed Monday widespread rumors in the Russian press of possible violent "provocations" during May Day demonstrations, saying that security for the holiday will be increased only slightly from past years.


"We're following our usual holiday security procedure. We're not under a military regime here," said Galina Sugak, spokeswoman for the mayor's office.


The Russian media jumped on the possibility of violence during the May Day holiday following reports of planned attacks by Chechen terrorists on major Russian cities to revenge the death of Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev.


The frenzy was fueled further last week when Viktor Ilyukhin, Communist Party member and the chairman of the State Duma security committee, said unidentified groups with links to the presidential administration and private guard services would stage uprisings during May Day demonstrations for political reasons.


The popular daily Moskovsky Komsomolets told its readers Sunday how to protect themselves during a riot, suggesting that those caught in a crowd pretend to be drunk, insane or sick in order to break free.


The holiday, to be marked with two morning demonstrations by trade unions and the Communists, will also feature some pomp and circumstance. President Boris Yeltsin intends to "meet with the people of Moscow" in several visits throughout the city, presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev told Interfax.


In preparation for the day, some 2,000 Interior Ministry troops will be moved into the city to guard government buildings and guarantee security on public transportation, bringing the total number of on-duty policemen to 10,000, said Sugak of the mayor's office.


?Traffic for the 1-aya Tverskaya-Yamskaya and Tverskaya streets will be closed from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. in connection with demonstrations; from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. most streets around the Kremlin will be closed to traffic.


?The Americom House of Cinema will show "The Juror" with Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin May 1 to 5 and "It Takes Two" with Kirstie Alley from May 1 to 5. The Dome Theater will be closed until May 6 for technical reasons.


?Theater performances include "The Seagull" at the Taganka Theater on May 3 and 4 and "Romeo and Juliet" at the Satirikon Theater on May 1 and 2.


?City holiday committee officials have planned a series of events to mark May 1. Brass bands and dancers will perform at each intersection along Tverskaya from 12 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Free concerts and festivals will be held in parks in each city district.


?The Bolshoi Theater will perform the ballet "Anyuta" on May 1 and the Classic Ballet Theater will show "Don Quixote" on May 3 and 5 and Giselle on May 4 at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Opera lovers can look forward to several performances including "Iolanthe" on May 1 at the Bolshoi Theater and "Don Giovanni" on May 5 at the Pokrovsky Chamber Musical Theater.


?Concerts during the May 1 holiday include a piano performance of Mozart at the Glinka Museum Organ Hall on May 2 and a performance May 1 by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra at the Conservatory Grand Hall.