Opposition rally in Moscow on Sunday, 26 February

Organizers had at first advertised a “silent” protest in which participants would ring the Kremlin’s Revolution Plaza area by linking arms and wearing white. The “Big White Circle” would have no signs, no banners, no slogans and no speeches.The estimated number of marchers needed to fill the space was 34,000.

However those plans have been derailed. First, an online attack took down the main website, www.Feb26.ru, that organizers had been using to promote the event. The site had been widely promoted on Tweeter, Facebook and Vkontake but was down on Monday and only back up late Tuesday with limited functionality.

As organizers worked on restoring the website the city of Moscow denied a permit to hold the protest at that location, instead suggesting they hold it at Naberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko, a deserted area near the outskirts of the city centre.

Opposition leaders cancelled efforts at obtaining a permit and have called on protesters to come to Moscow’s Sunday’s Maslenitsa festivities downtown and at 4pm be ready to burn effigies symbolizing an end to “Putin’s Political Winter.” Burning effigies is a traditional part of a Maslenitsa festival signaling the end of winter.

Meanwhile as shown by this independent cameraman  (Russian language video), administrators in the city of Lermontov attempted to block out organizers from filing permits for a local protest march.: