Over 1000 Russians arrested for protesting Putin's pension plan

russia-retirement-protest-afp Russian police escorts a youth away during a protest rally against the planned increases to the nationwide pension age in Saint Petersburg on Sunday | AFP

Russian police arrested hundreds of people from across the country on Sunday for protesting the government's plans to increase retirement age.

Over 1000 people were arrested and with most arrests being reported from St.Petersburg with 452 protesters detained, according to independent local media and OVD-Info.

Russians rose to express their anger against President Vladimir Putin who decided to raise the retirement age despite opposition from unions who have warned that raising the retirement age would mean that many Russians will miss out on a pension altogether, as the country's life expectancy is lower than in the West.

Next year, the retirement age for men and women gradually increase, and by 2036 it will have risen from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women, the Business Insider said.

The protests were organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny who is currently under administrative arrest for organising unsanctioned rally in the capital in January. In Moscow, at least 2,500 protesters gathered at the Pushkin Square and chanted "Putin is a thief!" and "No increase in the pension age!" the Guardian reported. Although the demonstration was largely peaceful, violence erupted when some protesters tried to march towards parliament, where they were beaten back by police with truncheons.

Around 80 per cent of Russians are against the plans, and Putin’s approval rating dropped from 77 per cent to 63 per cent after they were announced in June, according to opinion polls by the independent Levada Centre pollster.