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Russians Protest Utility Prices, Call For Resignations


Сommunist Party members protest in Saratov on March 26.

Сommunist Party members protest in Saratov on March 26.

SARATOV, Russia -- About 400 people have protested utility price hikes in the southwestern Russian city of Saratov, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Demonstrators gathering on March 26 told RFE/RL that their utility tariffs had nearly doubled in the last year, and they complained that Saratov has an outdated electricity distribution system.

They also demanded the immediate resignation of Saratov Governor Vyacheslav Somov and began collecting signatures for a petition demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.

Protesters said the roads and highways in the city and region need urgent repairs. They added that several technical accidents have damaged the city's sewage system.

The demonstration was organized by the regional branch of the Communist Party.

The opposition Just Russia party's regional branch said it is planning to a hold similar public protest.
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