>> Thousands took to the streets across Russia on Sunday to protest government plans to raise the retirement age. And that's despite Russian President Vladimir Putin appearing on television just days earlier to promise the proposals would be watered down. On Wednesday, Putin offered to cut the proposed retirement age for women from 63 to 60.
It currently stands at 55, but he said the proposal to raise the pension age for men form 60 to 65 would remain unchanged. It was the first time Puttin had taken personal responsibility for the reform, which he described as a financial necessity, asking the Russian people for their understanding.
A request that was ignored by these crowds.>> I have been paying into my pension fund all my life, and then I get nothing. This is the essence of this reform, I got robbed. I am against it, I don't like being robbed, so I will resist.>> Sunday's demonstrations were the latest in a string of protests over the proposed pension reforms, which are taking their toll on Putin's popularity.
A recent poll by the Lavarda Center showed his approval rating had slipped around 10 percentage points since the draft pension reforms were introduced in June, although it still stands at around 70%.