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Russian Federation pension protests: Police break up opposition rallies

Russian Federation pension protests: Police break up opposition rallies”

News reports and tallies from the OVD-Info organization that monitors political repressions showed at least 40 arrests connected with the protests elsewhere, including 12 each in the cities of Khabarovsk and Tomsk.

As in previous rallies, numerous protesters were young, including minors, and pictures of the police manhandling teens went viral on social media.

The protests took place as people went to the polls on Sunday to select the governors of 22 regions, including the Russian capital.

After being amended by Mr. Putin, the reforms envisage raising the retirement age for men to 65 from 60 and to 60 from 55 for women.

After an immediate backlash from the public, Putin agreed to decrease the new retirement age for women to 60.

Mr Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, planned to lead a protest in Moscow on Sunday, but last month a court sentenced him to 30 days in prison for breaking protest laws. Mr. Navalny said the move was created to derail the protests which took place in more than 80 towns and cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. The city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals saw the highest number of arrests - 58 in total, the group said. Striking a police officer is "is punishable by law", he said.

Supporters of Alexei Navalny, the leader of the liberal Russian Federation of the Future party, were quick to slam the US-based multinational company for what they described as a surrender in the face of illegal demands made by the administration of President Vladimir Putin, Efe news reported. Riot police observing from the sidelines charged the marchers with raised batons when some tried to rush through the barriers. In St. Petersburg, the crowd appeared to exceed 1,000.

The proposals have been heavily criticised by Russia's usually subservient press, with Moskovski Komsomolets, a popular Moscow newspaper, describing them as the "most unsafe and risky reform of President Putin's 20-year rule".

Russia's independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported country-wide clashes between the protesters and the police, with hundreds detained. Police in the video are seen trying to carry away a person by force. Navalny said the move was created to derail the protests which took place in 80 towns and cities, including Moscow and St Petersburg.

The Moscow mayoral election is being held on September 9, on the single voting day.

"The state should have found the money it needed in the budget or through fighting corruption", 19-year-old Yegor Zhukov said at the St. Petersburg protest.

Sputnik English reported on an "unauthorized march" in Moscow with about 2,000 protesters rallying against the pension reform.



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