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Pensioners' Protest Continues in Russia


Thousands of Russian pensioners have held another day of protests in Moscow and other Russian cities against a new law that replaces Soviet-era social benefits with cash payments.

At least 2,000 people gathered Saturday, outside a Moscow railway station carrying red communist flags and banners with such slogans as "Putin Resign." Rallies also were held in Samara, southeast of Moscow, the Ural Mountains city of Ufa and in Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia, where demonstrators also protested recent electric rate hikes.

On Friday, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told Russia's lower house of parliament the government had made mistakes in preparing the reforms.

The changes replace Soviet-era benefits, such as free public transportation and medicine, with small cash payments.

Demonstrators say the cash payments are not enough. President Vladimir Putin had said the old system had become inefficient and needed to be reformed.

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