Hundreds arrested in protests against Russian pension plans

Moscow mayor's surefire reelection marred by public anger over proposal to raise retirement age

Police officers detain a protester during a rally against planned increases to the nationwide pension age in Moscow, Russia, on September 9, 2018.

Google said it required all advertisers to act in accordance with local laws, the BBC notes, and officials argued that videos violated a law prohibiting political campaigning within 24 hours of an election.

Pension reforms have caused widespread public anger, and Mr Navalny's supporters have planned rallies in more than 80 cities to capitalise on this.

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

Mr Putin softened the initial plan to raise women's retirement age to 63.

In total, OVD-info (a monitoring group previously backed by George Soros and the U.S. government) claimed more than 1,000 people were detained by security services, with over 450 of them in Saint Petersburg.

Concessions by President Putin, whose popularity has suffered as a result, have failed to stem the discontent.




The group said there had been detentions in 19 Russian cities, with most occurring in St Petersburg.

The rallies got started in the Far East and Siberia when it still was early morning in Moscow, where a downtown demonstration in the afternoon ended in scuffles when riot police stopped participants from marching to the Kremlin.

A government plan to increase the age for collecting state pensions brought protests across Russia's 11 time zones Sunday even though the opposition leader who called them was in jail.

Their compliance with the request also came after Russian Federation warned the company last week that "meddling" in the Sunday elections could result in court action, according to AFP.

In Moscow, where the authorities had rejected an application from Navalny's supporters to protest, around 2,000 people gathered in the central Pushkin Square, the authorities and Reuters reporters estimated. After the bill on the pension reform was submitted to Russia's parliament in June, Putin's approval rating fell from a peak of 74 percent in 2015 to 45 percent on August 5 - the lowest point since 2013, according to Russia's FOM polling agency.

Russia's independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported country-wide clashes between the protesters and the police, with hundreds detained. Average life expectancy for men in Russian Federation is 66 and for women 77.

The pro-Putin party retained its grip on power in 17 other gubernatorial elections including for mayor of Moscow, where Sergei Sobyanin won 70 percent of the vote on turnout of just 31 percent. The authorities have not registered his Russian Federation of the Future Party. The authorities refused to authorize most of the meetings, declaring them illegal.

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