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Over 8,500 police and security officers
Over 8,500 police and security officers will be on duty at next month's Eurovision 2009 song contest in Moscow, an Interior Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Representatives of 41 European states plus Israel will take part in the competition, which is to take place at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex, built for the 1980 Olympic Games.

"Over 5,000 officers of law enforcement agencies and about 3,000 security guards from private security firms will be involved in maintaining public order and security every day," said Maj. Gen. Nikolai Trifonov, the deputy chief of the ministry's public security department.

"We don't expect any terrorist attacks, but we do not rule out the possibility of unsanctioned protests," he said, adding that the contest would coincide with the May 1 Spring and Labor Day and the May 9 Victory Day public holidays.

Spectators and participants will begin arriving at the Russian capital from May 1, and 11 designated hotels will be placed under constant police guard.

The semifinals are due to take place on May 12 and 14, and the final on May 16.

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