Police officers in Moscow arrested prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny outside of his home on Saturday, August 25. According to Navalny’s spokeswoman, he was briefly taken to a hospital for treatment for a suspected broken finger while being detained. Navalny is expected to have a court hearing on Monday, August 27. It is unclear why Navalny was arrested; some media reports suggest it is in connection to the rally he organized in Moscow on January 28. His supporters claim it is an attempt by the government to prevent the upcoming nationwide protests scheduled for September 9.
In early August, Navalny called for nationwide protests to denounce the government’s recently proposed pension reforms. Regional elections are also scheduled to take place the same day. Specific details regarding the protests have not been released as of Sunday, August 26. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected near demonstration sites.
Thousands of people across Russia participated in protests over pension reform on July 28, denouncing government plans to raise the age at which citizens can begin collecting pension funds. Around 12,000 people reportedly protested against the proposal in Moscow.
Russian government officials have proposed raising the pension age from 55 to 63 for women and from 60 to 65 for men to help offset the economic effects of an aging population and a smaller workforce. The State Duma (lower house of parliament) passed the pension reform bill on July 19.
Individuals in Russia, particularly in Moscow, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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