Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Protests in Russia

What's the Russian equivalent of 200,000 to 300,000 people protesting in Washington, DC? Does 10,000 people protesting in Moscow make the grade?

Russia pension protests: Fresh anti-reform rallies held
Further protests against pension reforms have taken place in Russia, despite the recent concessions offered by President Vladimir Putin.

Independent observers say more than 10,000 people took part in rallies in Moscow. Other cities also saw demonstrations.
Communist protesters in Moscow
The initial proposal was to raise the retirement age for women to 63 from 55, and for men to 65 from 60.

On Wednesday he said the pension age for women would only be raised to 60.

Mr Putin has said reform is a financial necessity, but it has been met with a hostile reception and led to a steep fall in his popularity…

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has previously said the decision was motivated by the fact that Russians are living longer and leading more active lives…

In a TV address last week, Mr Putin said the move to raise the retirement age for men and women had been delayed for years and risked causing inflation and increasing poverty.

Postponing it further would threaten the stability and security of Russian society, he said.

"Any further delay would be irresponsible," he said. "Our decisions should be just and well-balanced."

Until his TV address he had attempted to distance himself from the row, and had in the past promised that the pension age would never be raised on his watch.

Tens of thousands have rallied across Russia in recent weeks.

Sunday's Moscow protest saw many carrying the red flags and banners of the Communist Party, the principal organiser of the protest.

A smaller protest was held by the centre-left Just Russia party, which police said attracted some 1,500 people.

Unusually for Russia, protesters against the reforms come from all sides of the political debate…

Most economists and many Russians agree there is a problem. The population is getting older and the state is spending more and more on pensions.

After the economic chaos of the early 1990s, Russia's population plummeted. The birth rate has since shown some signs of improvement, but it is not happening fast enough.

Based on current trends, 20% of Russians will be over 65 by 2050, says the UN…

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