Global Note: Russian Crowd Control

Moscow is gearing up for the upcoming national elections, Soviet style. Under a new law, ostensibly to ease traffic problems, rallies in the capital are banned in front of historical monuments, ruling out much of the city center. Demonstrators also have to maintain a density of two protesters per square yard. And at indoor events, there must be a seat for every attendee. "The law is ridiculous," says Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of a liberal opposition party in the Moscow duma. "If you have five full chairs and someone arrives late, you are not allowed to let them in."


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