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As youth activists in multiple Russian cities plan to join global climate strike, Moscow leader struggles to obtain permit

Arshak Makichyan, a Moscow student who has been picketing weekly to push for action on the global climate crisis, wrote on Twitter that he had been denied a permit to join an international climate strike on May 24. On May 20, Makichyan posted an image of an official document denying government approval for a protest in the Russian capital. The document claimed that there would be no suitable location in the city for 500 activists to gather without disturbing other citizens. Makichyan expressed doubt about that claim and argued, “it’s meaningless to protest in the forest.”

Later in the same day, the activist wrote that pickets in Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Saratov, and Yaroslavl were approved for May 24. On that date, youth activists around the world plan to skip school to participate in the second Global Strike for Climate. The strike movement was founded by 15-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Makichyan has led its Russian division amid strict protest regulations by holding one-person pickets and posting photographs of other young people holding signs marked “#LetRussiaStrikeForClimate.”

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