Rallies are held across Russia against proposals to raise official retirement age

Rallies are held across Russia against proposals to raise official retirement age
Demonstrations against a draft bill that envisages raising the retirement age were held across Russia on Sunday. The vast majority of the gatherings were sanctioned by the authorities and took place without any incident.

The rallies attracted quite a low turnout and many cities saw only few dozen people showing up, according to opposition estimates. Russia’s law enforcement has not released any official statistics on the rallies yet. Only about 200 people, for example, rallied in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl.

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Человек 200 на митинге против повышения пенсионного возраста в Ярославле pic.twitter.com/hHbXjT4JWI

— Plushev (@plushev) July 1, 2018

One of the largest rallies was held in the city of Omsk, with some 3,000 people showing up, according to opposition activist and vocal critic of Russia’s government Alexey Navalny. The gathering was marred by disagreement between the opposition figures: A supporter of Navalny was prevented from speaking and forcibly removed from the stage.

Another quite massive rally was held in the southern city of Astrakhan, with some 2,000 people participating, Interfax news agency reported, citing the organizers of the rally. All in all, the majority of rallies across Russia were sanctioned by the authorities and were held without incident.

READ MORE: Russian government approves raising of retirement age starting 2019

The protests had been sparked by a bill which was recently introduced by Russia’s government to the State Duma. The proposed provides for a step-by step increase of the retirement age starting from 2019. The retirement age, according to the draft, is set to be increased from the current 60 to 65 years by 2028 for men and from 55 to 63 for women by 2034.

Citizens who have a record of long working years – 45 and 40 for men and women, respectively – would be able to retire two years earlier. Currently, rules on the early retirement for people in risky professions, for disabled persons and for women with five or more children will be upheld.

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