3,000 march in Moscow against unpopular pension reforms

After being passed by senators, Russia's controversial reform to raise the retirement age, which has triggered rare mass protests, could be signed into law soon

About 3,000 people demonstrated in Moscow on Saturday against deeply unpopular government plans to raise the retirement age, which have sparked public anger.

Proposals to raise the state pension age to 60 for women and 65 for men has led to a number of protests and seen President Vladimir Putin's approval ratings take a major hit.

The demonstrators marched through an avenue in the centre of the Russian capital holding placards with photos of top officials, including Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, alongside slogans such as "Enemy of the People" and "Shame".

The interior ministry said about 3,000 people participated in the march, a figure confirmed by AFP journalists covering the event.

The latest protest came after hundreds were detained earlier this month at nationwide demonstrations against the controversial reforms.

The demonstrations were backed by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is currently in jail.

Saturday's march was authorised by the authorities and organised by the Communist party.