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Pensioners in Russia Continue Rallies Against Social Benefits Reform


Pensioners in Russia are continuing protests over a new law that replaces Soviet-era social benefits with cash payments.

A lawmaker in Russia's lower house of parliament, Andrei Isayev, says the Duma will consider a bill that raises pensions in an effort to ease tensions.

Protesters gathered in St. Petersburg and other cities Friday. The Interfax news agency says 1500 people rallied in Penza, southeast of Moscow.

Demonstrators say the cash payment falls short of the costs they must pay for services that were free under the old system, such as public transportation.

Pensioners rallied in other cities earlier this week. The law came into effect at the start of this year. Russian officials had argued the old system needed to be reformed.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.

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