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Russians Protest Loss Of Transport Benefit

IZHEVSK, Russia -- More than 300 pensioners in the midwestern Russian city of Izhevsk demonstrated today against the decision to abolish reduced fares for senior citizens on public transport, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Local authorities decided earlier this year to stop providing pensioners with cheaper tickets for all types of public transportation in the city starting January 1.

The protest was the eighth demonstration by senior citizens in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurt Republic, since September, when the decision to end the special transport prices was announced.

The demonstrators gathered in front of Udmurtia's parliament with flags and banners of the Communist Party, the Coordination Council for Civil Actions, and the Russian Patriots' Party.

The parliament was scheduled to begin discussion on the republic's 2010 budget.

Protesters blamed the ruling United Russia Party for the decision to abolish the cheaper transport tickets.