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Siberian pensioner gives rope to regional minister in suicide message after minuscule payment rise

Siberian pensioner gives rope to regional minister in suicide message after minuscule payment rise
A retired woman in Novosibirsk has made headlines after giving the regional social development minister a length of rope in a protest against the government’s decision to raise pensions by just over $1 next year.

The rope was accompanied by a bar of soap. These two items are strongly associated with hanging a person in Russian culture. She also bought the minister some matches and salt, all of which cost exactly 89 rubles.

The Novosibirsk region’s government wants to raise the minimum monthly living allowance for elderly people next year by 89 rubles ($1.36) to a sum of about $135. It’s the amount that every Russian citizen living there is guaranteed to receive each month regardless of their circumstances and, in practice, most pensioners get more.

One woman apparently decided that the minuscule rise was insulting, however, since she decided to send the region’s minister responsible for the pension system, Yaroslav Frolov, a pretty obvious message.

“I have no words to express how grateful I am to the minister for the rise of my pension. I want to thank him with this modest gift,” the pensioner said before going to his office. This was filmed by a Russian consumer rights watchdog group.

When asked about the gift by journalists, the minister said he didn’t believe it was right for him to judge the woman and stated that every citizen has a right to ask regional officials about how they do their jobs.

Novosibirsk Region’s legislative assembly is scheduled to vote on the government’s proposal in late October. The region is located in the southern part of Western Siberia, bordering Kazakhstan.

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