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CHELYABINSK, Russia -- About 100 people rallied in the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk today to protest the unchecked prices of utilities and retirees' low pensions, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The mostly elderly demonstrators complained about the State Duma's rejection of a bill on February 19 that would have allowed government regulation of the price of energy produced by "natural monopolies," such as electricity and natural gas.

The protesters gathered in the city center holding signs such as "Ministers, read the constitution!" "Everyone will be a pensioner, give us a fair pension!" and the "Country needs indexation for inflation!"

The pensioners sang "The Internationale," the international communist anthem.