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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.

Russian activist Sergei Shavrov-Delaunay just after his release from police custody, where he had been taken after attending a protest on Moscow's Red Square on August 25.

Police in Moscow on August 25 detained three people on Red Square commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 protest there against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Those detained included relatives of two of the eight protesters who were hauled away by Soviet secret police fifty years ago for protesting against the invasion by Warsaw Pact troops that brought an end to Czechoslovakia's attempted liberalization of the communist system.

Those detained at the August 25 commemoration included veteran Russian liberal politician Leonid Gozman and rights activist Sergei Sharov-Delaunay -- a cousin of the late Vadim Delaunay, a Soviet poet dissident who participated in the 1968 action.

Also detained was Anna Krasovitskaya, granddaughter of the late poet and translator Natalya Gorbanevskaya, who was held in a psychiatric hospital after her arrest for the 1968 protest and later emigrated to the West.

Gozman and Delaunay were detained as they attempted to unfurl one banner that read "For Our Freedom And Yours" and another honoring the 1968 protesters, according to a correspondent for RFE/RL's Russian Service at the scene.

Krasovitskaya stood with a placard supporting Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is currently on an extended hunger strike to protest his imprisonment in Russia

Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, charges he and human rights groups say were politically motivated.

Gozman, Sharov-Delaunay, and Krasovitskaya were all later released but were written up for allegedly violating laws on public demonstrations, according to the Russian news portal OVD-Info, which tracks detentions of protesters.

One of the original 1968 protesters -- physicist Pavel Litvinov -- was among the dozens of participants in the August 25 demonstration.

Litvinov is one of only three surviving 1968 protesters, most of whom suffered years of exile or imprisonment due to the action.

In June, the Czech Republic honored the three -- Litvinov, Tatyana Bayeva, and Viktor Fainberg -- to mark the 50th anniversary of their protest.

With reporting by AFP, ovdinfo.org, and Ekho Moskvy

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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