Global News

More than 800 protestors detained in Russian anti-pension reform demonstrations

More than 800 protestors detained in Russian anti-pension reform demonstrations

Mr Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, planned to lead a protest in Moscow yesterday, but last month a court sentenced him to 30 days in prison for breaking protest laws.

Moscow police authorities reported that one person was detained for attacking a police officer and that a criminal case has been opened against that individual, local media reported. Around 50 supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is serving a month-long jail term over an earlier illegal protest, were detained ahead of the rallies, according to independent monitor OVD-Info.

Footage of the protests, which were held in more than 80 towns and cities, showed the police sometimes using force to disperse rallies, beating participants with batons and dragging them away.

Hundreds of people were arrested in Russian Federation on Sunday while participating in protests against pension reform.

Thousands of of people took part in the demonstrations across 25 towns and cities, including in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, and almost 300 were arrested, according to monitoring groups.

Popular opposition leader Yevgeny Roizman, who is a former mayor of Yekaterinburg, said on Twitter that a younger generation took the lead because middle-aged Russians were too scared to protest.

However, United Russia lost the first place to the Communist Party in the republic of Khakasia and Irkutsk and Ulyanovsk oblasts.




As with the presidential election in March, which saw Vladimir Putin return to the Kremlin for a fourth term easily, the focus has moved to turnout due to the lack of suspense over results.

In Moscow, authorities charged two men with assailing police. They are the most unpopular government measure since a 2005 move to scrap Soviet-era benefits, which led to nationwide pensioner protests.

However, life expectancy in Russia remains low, at 66 for men and 77 for women, meaning that 43 percent of Russian men are not expected to reach the age of 65, according to data from the World Bank.

A lawyer for Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund was arrested in Moscow before the rally. Protesters in Moscow chanted "Russia without Putin" and held signs including "Putin, when will you go on pension?"

Sergei Sobyanin, mayor of the Russian capital since 2010, won a predictable victory with 70.02 percent of the vote.

Olga Sokolova, a 52-year-old factory worker, said she was "dumbfounded" when the proposal came because she had hoped to retire from her physically taxing job at 55.

The scale of the electoral setbacks for United Russia is "a unique situation", said Dmitry Orlov, a political analyst who's a member of the party's supreme council.


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