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Russian Workers Stage Hunger Strike Over Living Conditions

KIROV, Russia -- Around 10 residents of a workers' dormitory in the city of Kirov in central Russia are on the ninth day of a hunger strike to protest living conditions, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The hunger strikers, who are employed by Kirov's tire factory, want the price of utilities to be cut to the city average. They also want the municipal authorities to take over the currently privately owned dormitory and are requesting the installation of an elevator and mains hot water.

The dormitory was privatized in the 1990s and is currently owned by the Russian company Servis. According to Russian media reports, the average price of a room in the dormitory is two to three times higher than average rent in Kirov.

The hunger strikers have met with local politicians, but neither city nor regional government officials have made any public comment on the protest. City administration head Georgy Machekhin and regional Governor Nikita Bely said they will not get involved in a dispute between a private company and residents.

The strikers say they plan to continue their hunger strike until their demands are met.