Russian Federation: 1,000 detained in anti-government protests

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Thousands of of people took part in the demonstrations across 25 towns and cities, including in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, and almost 300 were arrested, according to monitoring groups.

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"If needed, Mr Putin could still step in as the "good tsar" to insist [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev's team reduces the age increases, preserving the essence of the reform but appearing to compromise", the paper says.

Despite the nature of the protest, many of those who took part were young. "But they're even being denied the right to protests", Irina Akopenkova, 47, told AFP in Russia's second city.

Opponents of the pension reforms, which envisage raising the retirement age for men to 65 from 60 and to 60 from 55 for women, staged protests across Russian Federation as voting took place.

Moscow, Sep 10 Police in Russia detained at least 839 people in nationwide protests against a proposed government pension overhaul, a Russian independent monitoring group said.

President Vladimir Putin endorsed the plan, which was submitted by the government to the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament. 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.

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The pulled videos showed Navalny calling for Russians to demonstrate in the country to protest a plan to raise the nation's retirement age, BBC News reported. Striking a police officer is "is punishable by law", he said. Riot police ordered them to disperse or face prosecution.

In Moscow, where the authorities had rejected an application from Navalny's supporters to protest, around 2,000 people gathered in the central Pushkin Square, the authorities and Reuters reporters estimated.

Some of them chanted "Russia will be free" and "Mr. Putin is a thief".

Authorities in the capital have organised festivals and food fairs at polling booths to drive up participation and lend legitimacy to Putin ally Sobyanin's next term as mayor.

However, United Russia lost the first place to the Communist Party in the republic of Khakasia and Irkutsk and Ulyanovsk oblasts.

Elections will also be held for the governorships of another 25 of Russia's 85 regions.

The results had some "rough edges" and they will be dealt with, Putin said during a State Council meeting on Monday in Vladivostok.

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