Accessibility links

Breaking News

Rally In Siberian City Protests Unpaid Wages, Corruption

BIISK, Russia -- Some 100 people staged a protest today in the southern Siberian city of Biisk to air various grievances including unpaid wages, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The rally was organized by the Veterans of the Military Industrial Complex of Biisk. The demonstrators called on the regional leadership and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to raise salaries and pensions, pay off wage arrears, and cut housing utilities fees.

The protesters also urged the country's leaders to resurrect the concept of "glasnost," or openness, launched by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; to facilitate unimpeded communication between ordinary citizens and local councils; and to investigate fully all reported cases of corruption among local officials.

They demanded the removal of dozens of tons of toxic waste and explosives that have accumulated over decades in the city's plants and factories.

The chairman of the Veterans movement, Nikolai Znagovan, says local police warned him in advance that he would be held responsible for any extremist or other illegal acts resulting from the protest action.