Google Obeys Russia's Demand to Remove Putin Critic's YouTube Ads - Hit & Run

12 September, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • A man shouts slogans during a protest against a proposed increase of the retirement age in Moscow

Thousands protested against the pension reform on September 9 at rallies in 80 Russian cities organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to various polls, about 90 percent of Russians oppose the plan to raise the retirement age, and a recent poll by the Levada Center polling agency found that more than 50 percent of Russians say they would participate in protests against it. An Associated Press journalist counted at least 30 people detained at that protest.

OVD-Info says 291 people were detained in 19 cities.

Russia's second-largest city saw arguably the most robust response with riot police charging at protesters with batons. Almost 300 people were reported arrested.

Popular opposition leader Yevgeny Roizman, who is a former mayor of Yekaterinburg, said on Twitter that a younger generation took the lead because middle-aged Russians were too scared to protest.

United Russia also lost ground to the Communist Party and LDPR in some areas in weekend elections to regional parliaments.

Kremlin Pool/ZUMA Press/NewscomGoogle complied last week with the Russian government's demand that it remove YouTube ads featuring Alexei Navalny, a well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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In St. Petersburg, a crowd of around 1,000 people shouted "shame" and held signs calling for Putin's resignation.

They've been called the most unpopular government measure since a 2005 move to do away Soviet-era benefits, which led to a similar backlash.

Putin's approval rating has slumped to its lowest in more than seven years over the plan to raise the pension age by five years for men and women, to 65 and 60 respectively.

The Moscow mayoral election is the highest-profile of the votes, but serious opposition candidates have been kept off the ballot paper in favour of incumbent Sergei Sobyanin.

Officers held dozens more as protests kicked off in eastern Russian Federation and Siberia, with demonstrations set to take place in Saint Petersburg and Moscow in the afternoon. The average life expectancy in the country is 66 for men and 77 for women.

Oreshkin said, however, that there is so far little danger to Putin's power despite the unpopularity of the pension reform. Opinion polls put Navalny's support in the single digits, but backers note he won nearly a third of the vote in a 2013 Moscow mayoral race, and believe he could give Putin a run for his money if ever allowed to run against him on a level playing field.

While candidates from the ruling United Russia party performed strongly overall, four United Russia candidates running for governor were forced into run-off votes after failing to win majorities.

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