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The demonstrations, which local media reported were planned for more than 80 towns and cities, were called by Moscow-based anticorruption activist Alexei Navalny to protest the government's plan to increase the retirement age of workers.

MOSCOW-The fate of more than 1,000 people who were detained during nationwide antigovernment protests was still unclear on Monday, a day after Russians went to the polls in regional elections.

Putin, who is 65, has attested that the pension age should be raised to 60 for women and 65 for men because there is an escalating burden on the pension system. The announcement three months ago led to a drop in the president's popularity ratings by 15 points, to its lowest point since Russia's occupation of Crimea...

Thousands of supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny protested across Russian Federation on Sunday against planned increases to the pension age, with a rights group saying at least 153 of them had been detained by the police.

Mr Navalny is serving a 30-day jail sentence connected with an unsanctioned protest in January unrelated to the pension proposal, which was introduced in June. The city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals saw the highest number of arrests - 58 in total, the group said. The protests took a violent turn as protesters tried to march towards parliament and were beaten back by police.

In Saint Petersburg, a largely young crowd of around 1,000 people shouted "shame" and held signs calling for Putin's resignation. The ruling party also lost seats in some regional parliaments to members of the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russian Federation, the news agencies reported, citing election officials. He added that "hooligans and provocateurs" mixed up with protesters and assailed police.

Ahead of the vote a Moscow court jailed Navalny for 30 days after he announced plans to stage a rally against pension reform on election day.

Sergei Sobyanin, the Kremlin-backed incumbent mayor who has run the capital since 2010, was expected to receive about 70 percent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral election.

The rallies got started in the Far East and Siberia when it still was early morning in Moscow, where a downtown demonstration in the afternoon ended in scuffles when riot police stopped participants from marching to the Kremlin. The president responded by offering some concessions, but argued that the age hike is necessary because rising life expectancy in Russian Federation could exhaust pension resources if the eligibility age remains the same. The authorities have not registered his Russian Federation of the Future Party.


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