07MOSCOW1703, MOSCOW GEARS UP FOR WEEKEND OF DEMONSTRATIONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1703 2007-04-13 16:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4455
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1703/01 1031636
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131636Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9259
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001703 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/13/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW GEARS UP FOR WEEKEND OF DEMONSTRATIONS 
 
 
Classified By: Acting Pol M/C Colin Cleary.  Reason:  1.4 (d). 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) Saturday, April 14, promises to be a banner day for 
Moscow, with three major groups --the anti-government Other 
Russia, the anti-immigrant Movement Against Illegal 
Immigration, and the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Guard 
scheduled to stage separate demonstrations around the city. 
Other Russia's efforts have attracted the most attention, 
both from the government and the media.  Their efforts to 
stage a "March of Dissent" have been nixed by the Moscow city 
administration, but Other Russia leaders seem determined to 
persist, which could lead to a confrontation with the police. 
 Other Russia's latest attempt to protest takes place against 
the background of earlier marches in Nizhniy Novgorod and St. 
Petersburg that were forcibly disrupted by the authorities. 
The April 14 Moscow event will be immediately followed by an 
April 15 demonstration in St. Petersburg, then an April 28 
encore in Nizhniy Novgorod.  Ambassador has conveyed our 
concerns to Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak.  End summary. 
 
---------------- 
March of Dissent 
---------------- 
 
2. (SBU) The umbrella organization Other Russia (OR) April 13 
remains determined to push forward with its plans to march in 
central Moscow April 14 in spite of increasingly strenuous 
efforts by city authorities to dissuade them.  Other Russia's 
"March of Dissent" demonstration site and alternate march 
routes have all been rejected by the city, allegedly on the 
grounds that the pro-Kremlin youth group "Young Guard" had 
filed for a meeting permit first. Other Russia has in turn 
rejected an alternate meeting site (Turgenev Square) and the 
offer of a march on the city's outskirts (Tushino), and 
persisted with its plans to assemble on Pushkin Square in 
central Moscow, then march to Turgenev Square. 
 
3. (U) In response, Moscow law enforcement has termed the 
March of the Dissenters a "provocation," and has promised 
"special security control" at metro stations near Pushkin 
Square.  The city, reportedly, is assembling about nine 
thousand police and internal affairs troops including, 
according to Other Russia representatives, special forces 
troops from other Russian regions. 
 
4. (SBU) Moscow law enforcement has also stepped up its 
pressure on OR march organizers. The Prosecutors Office has 
officially warned ex-Prime Minister and OR leader Mikhail 
Kasyanov not to participate.  OR leader Garry Kasparov has 
also been warned.  Both intend to participate, as does 
National Bolshevik Party and OR leader Eduard Limonov, who 
also received a letter from the Prosecutor. 
 
5. (C) In an April 11 conversation, a fatigued Kasparov 
confirmed that OR intended to defy the march ban, but 
insisted that March of Dissent participants would go out of 
their way to avoid confrontation.  He worried, however, about 
"provocations" that could lead to clashes between marchers 
and the police or marchers and thugs brought in for that 
purpose.  OR had assembled a team of "15 - 20 lawyers" to 
cope with the detentions Kasparov expected would occur when 
"about five thousand demonstrators" converged on Pushkin 
Square.  (Others predict a much smaller turnout.)  He noted 
that attempts by "For Human Rights" NGO activist Lev 
Ponomarev to broker an agreement via Human Rights Ombudsman 
Vladimir Lukin and Presidential Council Human Rights 
Chairwoman Ella Panfilova had come to nothing.  On the bright 
side, Kasparov said, was the fact that OR had been allowed to 
print and distribute a special edition newspaper advertising 
the march. 
 
6. (C) Kasparov recalled with relish that at one point during 
OR's negotiations with the city, the convention center site 
had been offered as an alternative, then hastily withdrawn 
after city authorities realized that its relatively central 
location, large number of bystanders, and proximity to a 
natural rallying point (Ostankino television tower) made it 
ideal for OR's purposes. 
 
7. (C) Kasparov was relatively pleased with the more relaxed 
attitude of St. Petersburg authorities, who had allowed an OR 
meeting for April 15 after banning its predecessor.  He 
welcomed what he said was Governor Matviyenko's willingness 
this time to meet with OR Petersburg's march organizers, 
although he noted that her invitation had gone hand-in-hand 
with what he said was a demand by the city prosecutor that OR 
 
MOSCOW 00001703  002 OF 002 
 
 
meet, but not march. Kasparov was also pleased with what he 
described as an imminent "schism" in Grigoriy Yavlinskiy's 
Yabloko party, with its St. Petersburg Yabloko branch 
agreeing to formally join the March of Dissent. (Note:  After 
the April 11 conversation with Kasparov, the St. Petersburg 
Yabloko leadership was summoned to Moscow by Yavlinskiy, who 
reportedly ordered it not to participate in the march. 
Yabloko since has issued a sta
tement criticizing both the 
city authorities and OR for their unwillingness to avoid 
confrontation.) 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Chechen Friendship Society's Dmitrievskiy 
and Chelnysheva Briefly Detained 
----------------------------------------- 
 
8. (C) The Nizhniy Novgorod-based Stanislav Dmitrievskiy and 
Oksana Chelnysheva of the Fund for Tolerance (previously the 
Russian-Chechen Friendship Society) told us April 13 that 
they were briefly questioned when boarding a train for Moscow 
on April 13.  Both were orally warned of "negative 
consequences" if they participated in the March of Dissent. 
The two were briefly questioned upon arrival in Moscow by 
"very polite" police, who told them they were acting on 
request of their Nizhniy Novgorod police colleagues. The 
Moscow police told Dmitrievskiy and Chelnysheva they saw no 
reason to detain them.  According to Kasparov, OR march 
participants boarding a train from Rostov on Don were 
detained, in one case for two days, before being released. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
Movement Against Illegal Immigration March 
------------------------------------------ 
 
9. (SBU) Also scheduled April 14 is an anti-government and 
anti-"Orange Revolution" demonstration, staged in central 
Moscow by the Movement Against Illegal Immigration.  The 
Movement's pamphlets rail against corruption, immigration, 
and the political elite, but they especially take aim at the 
"liberals" and the "false opposition," which suggests that 
their demonstration is as much an effort to channel the 
discontent of some away from OR.  The Movement is predicting 
that 1,500 will turn out for the protest. 
 
---------------------------- 
The Pro-Kremlin Young Guards 
---------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU) Finally, the well-financed, pro-Kremlin youth group 
Young Guard will convene as many as 15 thousand of its own 
for a meeting --"Against Revolutionary Chaos and Orange 
Tainted Meat"-- to be held in front of Moscow University and 
at Pushkin Square.  If the last such event is any guide, many 
will be bussed in from the regions, and most will have little 
idea of why they are there.  Like the Movement Against 
Illegal Immigration event, Young Guard's demonstration is 
clearly intended as a counter to OR's.  The Moscow University 
Young Guard event in a clear reference to OR's March of 
Dissent, has been designated a "March of Agreement," and its 
purpose is to showcase support for the status quo.  Both 
Young Guard events will feature music and the crowd will be 
addressed by regional and national political personalities. 
 
----------------------------- 
Ambassador Registers Concerns 
----------------------------- 
 
11. (C) Ambassador has raised our concerns about the 
treatment of demonstrators with Deputy Foreign Minister 
Kislyak. 
BURNS

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