Russian police detain almost 300 protesting against pension reform: rights group

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

Russian police detain at least 153 people protesting against pension reform, rights group says

About 2,500 people gathered in Moscow alone, and police made more than 800 arrests nationwide.

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.

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

Supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny protested across Russian Federation against planned increases to the pension age on Sunday, a challenge to the authorities who are holding regional elections on the same day.

As in previous rallies, numerous protesters were young, including minors, and pictures of the police manhandling teens went viral on social media. Russia's second-largest city arguably saw the most robust response with riot police charging at protesters with batons.

The pension reform plan envisages gradually increasing the retirement age to 65 by 2028 from 60 now for men and to 60 by 2034 from 55 now for women.

Almost 300 protesters were detained and some beaten with batons, the rights monitoring group OVD-info says.

Concessions by President Putin, whose popularity has suffered over the issue, have failed to stem the discontent.

His supporters plan to demonstrate across Russian Federation. A total of 452 people were detained there, while in Moscow, 43 people were held after authorities had denied an application to hold a rally, the group said.

The protests started in Russia's Far East, where Navalny's team said that more than 400 protesters took to the streets in the city of Vladivostok chanting "No to pension reform" and calling on Putin to resign.

Mr Navalny had planned to lead the Moscow protest - but last month he was sentenced to 30 days in prison for breaking laws around public demonstrations.

Russia's independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported country-wide clashes between the protesters and the police, with hundreds detained.

In addition to the federal administrative areas - including the city of Moscow - that were electing regional heads in the September 9 polls, 16 regions were electing legislatures, while other areas were holding mayoral and other local ballots. The current life-expectancy for Russian men is 66. However, analysts say it's unlikely that they will have an impact on results, as opposition candidates have been barred from standing.

The Kremlin's candidate in Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, won reelection as mayor of the Russian capital with about 70 percent of the vote.

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