City officials in Moscow have marked IDAHO by banning the city’s annual gay pride parade.

Officials had given the parade the go-ahead earlier this year after banning the event every year since 2006.

However, last week the city sent a letter to organisers informing them that threats of counter-protests by religious groups and ethnic Cossacks had led it to reverse the decision.

“In the opinion of many correspondents, holding the event could lead to a wave of protests, which could grow into group violations of public order,” it read.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled earlier this year that European laws had been breached when pride marches were banned in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but the city simply ignored the ruling.

Organisers have signalled that they will march peacefully despite the ban.

In past years marchers have been attacked by skinheads and beaten and arrested by Russian police.

The march is due to take place on May 28.

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