Jan 4, 2014, 5:43 AM EST
Russian president Vladimir Putin has backed off his ban on “gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets” during the Olympics in Sochi.
Those demonstrations not connected with the Olympics may now be held if approved by the Interior Ministry that runs Russia’s police and Sochi city officials, according to RIA Novosti.
They’ll have to pick a city square where rallies or protests could be held, according to the report citing a Kremlin spokesman.
Authorities are generally stingy about granting permission for demonstrations to opposition groups, according to The Associated Press.
In August, Putin signed a decree outlawing any such demonstrations in Sochi from Jan. 7 through March 21, a span that includes the Olympics and Paralympics.
The easing on the restriction comes days after two suicide bombings in Volgograd, a city of one million 400 miles northeast of Sochi, raised concern over Olympic security.
In June, Putin signed a law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations toward minors.
- David Boudia scraps springboard plan; Nick McCrory retires 0
- Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross confident after defeat in Brazil showdown 1
- Lindsey Vonn loses super-G standings lead, closes in on another record (video) 0
- Marcel Hirscher’s historically dominant win just about ends Ted Ligety’s title hopes (video) 0
- Lindsey Vonn lost in the fog in Bansko super combined 0
- Elana Meyers Taylor wins historic bobsled World Championship (video) 1
- World’s most athletic couple takes the next leap 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)