300 angry locals block traffic in Cherkessk

KARACHAY-CHERKESSIA, January 17, Caucasus Times – At least three hundred people cordoned off Lenin Avenue in the city of Cherkessk and blocked traffic for several hours, protesting the benefits system reform proposed by the federal government and enacted by Russian State Duma.

The people, largely pensioners, veterans of war and labor, other social categories of population in the republic, in all 53 thousand, expressed their disapproval of monetarizaton policy or the recent overhaul of social security system made by Russian authorities. The protesters said the compensatory money the government offered to replace the benefits and discounts would hardly cover the costs of public transportation, medicine, telephone and other facilities. Besides, the sums of compensatory money that the federal government pledged to pay out before January have not been transferred to Russia’s provinces thus far.

President Batdiyev of Karachai-Cherkessia invited delegates of the protesters for further talks in the presidential office talk to resolve the social conflict. The two sides have come to agreement that social security service will begin issuing tickets for pensioners and other social groups, Fatima Chekunova, the head of information and analysis department of the presidential office said in her interview with Caucasus Times correspondent

Irina Miaghkova, Cherkessk, Caucasus Times

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