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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Opposition To Defy March Ban

Organizers of an opposition rally in Nizhny Novgorod, planned for March 24, have asked a local court to reverse City Hall's decision to ban the event, Interfax reported.

In a statement released Wednesday, march organizers The Other Russia said the city's reasons for denying their application were not consistent with federal law.

City officials denied the application Tuesday. A source in the mayor's office told Interfax that the decision was based on a letter from the archbishop of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, in which the Orthodox official voiced his disapproval of holding public events on the square named in the organizers' application.

Demonstrators plan to descend on Nizhny Novgorod on March 24 regardless of the city's decision, however.

"We still plan to hold a march there," The Other Russia spokeswoman Yulia Galyamina said Wednesday.

The Other Russia also plans marches in April in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Moscow march is scheduled for April 14; St. Petersburg comes one day later.

The Other Russia includes the unregistered National Bolshevik Party, led by iconoclastic writer Eduard Limonov; the United Civil Front, led by former chess champion Garry Kasparov; and the Popular Democratic Union, which is run by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

The Other Russia has seen other demonstrations canceled by local authorities, most recently in St. Petersburg, where 6,000 demonstrators took to the streets despite a heavy police presence.

Earlier this week, the coalition sent a letter to the European Council's human rights commissioner, Thomas Hammarberg, asking him to evaluate the legitimacy of the authorities' crackdown on its events.