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Jailed Hunger-Striking Activist Udaltsov Hospitalized Again


Sergei Udaltsov

Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov has been hospitalized again as he continued a nearly two-week hunger strike in prison.

Udaltsov’s wife, Anastasia, told Russian news agencies on August 26 that the activist was being treated by doctors for dehydration.

Udaltsov was sentenced to 30 days in jail earlier this month for burning portraits of Russian leaders during a protest against a government proposal to raise the national retirement age.

The proposal is deeply unpopular and has sparked a series of nationwide protests. It’s also helped to dent President Vladimir Putin’s popularity.

Udaltsov was previously hospitalized on August 19, five days into his hunger strike, when he was taken to a Moscow hospital, also suffering from dehydration.

Udaltsov and another activist, Leonid Razvozzhayev, were convicted in July 2014 of fomenting mass riots across Russia ahead of Putin's inauguration to a third term in 2012.

Last year, he finished a 4 1/2-year prison sentence for that conviction.

During his time in prison, spent mainly in a penal colony in central Tambov Province, he went on hunger strike several times.

Russian officials have warned for years that the pension age needs to be raised, otherwise the country’s demographics could severely impact government budgets.

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