Legislation establishing two special zones for popular political events in Moscow came into effect on January 7. Those hoping to organize demonstrations will no longer have to request authorization, only inform the park’s management.

­The two areas Moscow authorities designated for rallies and political debates are situated in two city parks: Gorky Park in the city center, and Sokolniki in the southeast. Each can host up to 2,000 people.

Starting January 7, anyone seeking to arrange a rally must inform the park’s management no earlier than 15 and no later than three days before the event.

Russian media and activists have dubbed the areas Moscow’s ‘Hyde Parks,’ referring to the London park where anyone can freely express himself in the ‘Speakers’ Corner.’

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