Pension age hike gives focus to discontent of some Russians

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Several hundred demonstrators protesting Russia's plans to raise the age for receiving state retirement pensions have rallied in St. Petersburg, the latest show of opposition to the move.

The proposal to increase the eligibility age by five years — to 65 for men and 60 for women — has sparked widespread protests. A broad spectrum of Russians has opposed it. The issue appears to have provided a focus for some citizens' general discontent with the government.

Maria Kuskova, one of the estimated 750 people at Sunday's rally in St. Petersburg, said: "I'm here not only because of the pension reform, but also because I'm tired of the lies and robbery in this country."

More than 1,000 people were reported detained last week at nationwide protests of the pension age increase.