Russians vote as opposition calls pension protests

A man shouts slogans during a protest against a proposed increase of the retirement age in Moscow

Protesters gathered in cities across the country on Sunday to rally against a government proposal to raise the country's retirement age, CNN reported.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said police acted "in strict accordance with the law" adding that some were attacked by "hooligans and trouble-makers".

Supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny protested across Russian Federation against planned increases to the pension age on Sunday, a challenge to the authorities who are holding regional elections on the same day.

In advance of the vote, a Moscow court jailed Navalny for 30 days, just a couple weeks before he planned to stage a rally on election day. Russia's second-largest city arguably saw the most robust response with riot police charging at protesters with batons.

The government's plan calls for the eligibility age for retirement pensions to be raised by five years, to 65 for men and 60 for women.

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Russian police detained more than 800 people protesting against planned increases to the pension age on Sunday, a rights group said, disrupting demonstrations against an unpopular change that has hurt President Vladimir Putin's approval rating.

The proposed pension changes, which are now going through parliament, have shaved around 15 percentage points off President Vladimir Putin's popularity rating.

The group said there had been detentions in 19 Russian cities, with most occurring in St Petersburg.

On Monday, several activists tried to launch another protest in a tree-lined boulevard in central Moscow but they were quickly rounded up by police.

Demonstrators chanted "Russia will be free" and "Putin is a thief" in front of police, Reuters reports.

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Protests have begun in Vladivostok and other cities in Russia's Far East.

The state media reported an idealized image of Election Day, including video of President Vladimir Putin voting in Moscow.

The protests coincide with elections for 26 heads of Russia's 85 regions, including in Moscow, which are being held on Sunday. The current life-expectancy for Russian men is 66.

Sergei Sobyanin, the Kremlin-backed incumbent mayor who has run the capital since 2010, was expected to receive about 70 percent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral election.

While experts previously told Global News that data shows search results compiled by most tech companies do tend to show a personalization effect - where users see results related to links they've previously clicked or "liked" - they say there isn't data to prove a political agenda.

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However, United Russia lost the first place to the Communist Party in the republic of Khakasia and Irkutsk and Ulyanovsk oblasts.

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