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Russian Government Sends Funds for Miners' Wages in Far East

Vladivostok, July 29 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian government has sent funds to pay overdue wages of striking miners in the Far East. But local officials say the funds are not sufficient.

The director of the Primorskugol mining group, Anatoly Vasyanovich, told the Interfax news agency that the equivalent of about $1.4 million arrived from the federal government today.

But he said the funds would at most pay only two months worth of salaries. He said much more money would be needed to end the strike.

Some 10,000 miners in the Far East are now on strike to demand payment of six months of back wages. Union leader Pyotr Kiryasov told the Itar-tass news agency that the workers and their families are going hungry because they have not been paid.

Power plant workers in the Primorye region also are protesting unpaid wages. Tass reports that nearly 300 workers at the Primorskaya electricity plant, the biggest in the Far East, are now taking part in a protest fast that began five days ago. Initially about 100 workers began the fast.