Independent rights groups in Russia reported that at least 839 people were detained across the country on Sunday, September 9, during pension reform demonstrations. Protests were held in 33 towns and cities nationwide. The largest number of arrests took place in St. Petersburg, where 354 people were taken into custody. Dozens of people were also detained in Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Perm, Moscow, and Omsk. Police reportedly beat some of the protesters, many of whom are supporters of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Related protests are possible across Russia in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites. Clashes between security forces and protesters, as well as associated arrests of demonstrators, cannot be ruled out.
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.
Individuals in Russia 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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