Truck drivers in Russia launched a 10-day nationwide strike on Friday, December 15. The strike action has reportedly affected a number of cities, including St. Petersburg, Moscow, Chita, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Sartov, Kirov, Vologda, Irkutsk, Orenburg, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and Ryazan. Small demonstrations have been held by local drivers in car parks in the affected cities, but have reportedly occurred without incident. Additionally, protesting drivers may temporarily block streets with their vehicles, creating localized transportation delays.
Truck drivers are demanding that the government reduce taxes paid on cargo transportation. Under the Russian "Platon" tax system, the government collects tax revenue from all trucks carrying more than 12 tons of cargo. However, in April 2017 the government amended the system so drivers must pay an additional fee based on the total distance their cargo has traveled. The truck drivers believe the government is using the tax increase to force individual drivers and small transport companies out of the market.
Individuals in Russia are advised to avoid any demonstrations as a precaution due to the risk of violence.
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