ROSTOV-NA-DONU, Russia -- Some 50 retired miners in the western Russian city of Zverevo have held a protest near the local highway demanding free utilities from the local government, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
Zverevo City Council member and protest organizer Valery Dyakonov told RFE/RL that police gathered ahead of the demonstration to prevent the pensioners from reaching the highway.
The picketers had held a warning rally on September 7, saying they would block the region's major highway if their demands were not met.
They are demanding that local authorities provide them with free utilities.
The authorities say there are no federal laws giving the pensioners the right to free utilities.
They also say the regional coal-producing company is bankrupt and there is no way for the retired miners to get free heating, electricity, or hot water.