Vladimir Putin has called the reform a financial necessity as Communist party leader brands move ‘cannibalistic’

Thousands of people across Russia joined protests on Sunday against government plans to raise the pension age, despite recent promises by President Vladimir Putin to soften the unpopular measure.

The protests show that the proposed policy remains a politically sensitive issue for the government despite concessions offered by Putin in a televised address on Wednesday. During the speech, Putin took personal responsibility for the reform for the first time and described it as a financial necessity.

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