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Thousands Protest Utilities Hikes In Russia

One of the thousands of Muscovites who protested against hikes in utility prices on March 4. (epa) PRAGUE, March 4, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Thousands of demonstrators turned out today in Moscow and other Russian cities to protest utilities price hikes that went into effect at the start of this year.

In Moscow, up to 3,000 people rallied in a square to protest the price increases, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports. The demonstration ended without incident, but some of the participants moved across the city to protest outside offices of the national electricity company.

In the central city of Ulyanovsk, several people were arrested after protesters blocked a main thoroughfare in the city and massed outside the mayor's office, threatening to storm it.

Around 1,000 people reportedly took part in that rally.

In the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, around 1,500 people turned out to protest the price hikes.

(with agency reports)

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