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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

St. Petersburg Allows Dissenters' March

ST. PETERSBURG -- Authorities have said opponents of President Vladimir Putin can go ahead with a Dissenters' March this weekend during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, protest organizers said Monday.

Opposition coalition The Other Russia is planning the march on Saturday, the second day of the three-day conference.

"The authorities have allowed the march but only on the sidewalk," said Andrei Dmitriyev, a local leader for The Other Russia.

"I think they wanted to avoid a scandal that would have been provoked by banning the march," he said.

The authorities had previously said the march should take place outside the city.

Riot police wielding batons beat, kicked and chased protesters at a Dissenters' March in the city on April 15, which drew about 3,000 people. A similar march in Moscow a day earlier was also violently dispersed.

A spokesman for Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Monday that Moscow would not allow a march planned for June 11, RIA-Novosti reported.