Thousands Of Russians Protest Proposed Government Pension Reforms

Clay Curtis
September 11, 2018

A Russian political rights organization reports at least 291 people were arrested in an attempt to stifle protests on Sunday.

In a statement, Google-owned YouTube said it considered all all valid requests from governmental bodies, adding: "We require advertisers to comply with local law and our general advertising policies".

Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told the Kyiv Post that the results were due to Putin's pension reform plan and worsening economic conditions amid Western sanctions.

The plan calls for the pension age to be raised five years - to 65 for men and 60 for women.

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

The pension reform plan envisages gradually increasing the retirement age to 65 by 2028 from 60 now for men and to 60 by 2034 from 55 now for women.

The independent monitoring website posted the list of the names of 839 protesters detained by the police in 36 cities across Russian Federation.

Protests organised by Navalny have become a vehicle for expressing discontent with Russian President Vladimir Putin and government corruption.

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In Moscow, where the authorities had rejected an application from Mr. Navalny's supporters to protest, around 2,000 people gathered in the central Pushkin Square, the authorities and Reuters reporters estimated.

It said 129 were held in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, 60 in the southwestern city of Krasnodar, and 48 in Perm in the Ural Mountains.

Some of them chanted "Russia will be free" and "Putin is a thief" as riot police looked on and ordered them to disperse or face prosecution.

Sunday's rallies, which had been called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were held in dozens of towns and cities across Russian Federation.

Elections to select the heads of 26 of Russia's 85 regions are also being held on Sunday, including in Moscow. Sobyanin traditionally came to polling station number 90 on Nikolayeva Street. The average life expectancy in the country is 66 for men and 77 for women.

The state media reported an idealized image of Election Day, including video of President Vladimir Putin voting in Moscow.

Sergei Sobyanin, the Kremlin-backed incumbent mayor who has run the capital since 2010, was expected to receive about 70 percent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral election.

United Russia also lost ground to the Communist Party and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) in some areas in weekend elections to regional parliaments.

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