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Russian Servicemen Demand Military Reforms Be Suspended


Underpaid and overworked?

Underpaid and overworked?

PSKOV, Russia -- Some 300 demonstrators gathered in the northeastern Russian town of Pskov on June 24 to protest ongoing reforms of the Russian military, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The protest was organized by a local chapter of the All-Russian Union of Servicemen. Most of the participants were servicemen.

Speakers criticized the military reforms and deplored the plight of retired veterans. They also criticized as "a pittance" a recent 12.5 percent increase in pensions for some categories of retired military personnel.

Veterans currently receive 8,000 rubles a month ($257). Under the new law, disabled veterans would receive an additional 235 rubles ($8) a month. Families whose sole income earner was killed in combat will receive an additional 197 rubles ($6) a month. The law is due to go into effect on July 4.

The protesters adopted a resolution demanding the suspension of the ongoing military reform and the dismissal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.
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