Fury over pension changes hurts Putin allies in Russian regional elections

Fury over pension changes hurts Putin allies in Russian regional elections

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny - now serving a 30-day prison sentence for organizing unauthorized public events - called for the rallies, which were held in dozens of towns and cities to protest a government proposal to increase the state pension age by five years.

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. An Associated Press journalist counted at least 30 people detained at that protest. He says it was an attempt to thwart protests across dozens of Russian cities, including Moscow and St Petersburg.

The election-day protests against the pension-reform plan that were organized by Navalny triggered harsh crackdowns by riot police in several cities and led to criminal charges against some of the more than 1,000 protesters detained nationwide.

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

Almost half of those detained were rounded up in St. Petersburg, according to the OVD-Info.

The demonstrations were called to protest changes to the pension retirement ages that were hiked from 55 years for women and 60 for men to 63 and 65 respectively.

The policy caused Vladimir Putin's poll ratings to take a hit of around 15%, with the Russian president later softening his stance.

Marcus Mariota, two other Titans injured in NFL's longest-game on record
Lightning forced two delays of about two hours each Sunday, and it took Miami more than seven hours to complete a 27-20 victory. Perhaps 10,000 fans remained at the finish. "I felt we handled it well, but in the end we didn't do enough to win the game".

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

He said the protests had nothing to do with the elections and highlighted that Google took down the ads in various regions, even if they didn't have elections scheduled for Sunday.

Viktor Fedoseyev and Vasil Kostylev, who were detained in central Moscow in connection with the protests, have been charged with assaulting an officer, according to the Open Russia civic movement established by former Russian tycoon and Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

A lawyer for Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund was arrested in Moscow before the rally.

The Moscow mayoral election is the highest-profile of the votes, but serious opposition candidates have been kept off the ballot paper in favour of incumbent Sergei Sobyanin.

"Putin and his government have plundered the budget for the past 18 years", Mr Navalny's team said in a pre-protest statement.

There will also be run-offs for the governors of Khakasia, Primorsky Krai, Vladimir Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai, where United Russia candidates will compete with candidates from the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, a nationalist group.

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