MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti)
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Moscow on Saturday to protest against the rising cost of utilities.
Demonstrators, most of them supporters of the Communist Party and activist of leftist groups, demanded that charges for water, heat and electricity be frozen.
The utility charges have been increasing steadily over the past decade.
The rally, near Red Square and the Kremlin, comes just a week after a mass protest against President Vladimir Putin, which also called for the rates to be lowered.
Similar demonstrations were held in other cities across the country.
Protesters in Moscow also called for fresh parliamentary elections, opposition figurehead Sergei Udaltsov wrote on his Twitter account.
The opposition says last year's elections in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, were rigged.
The authorities deny the allegations.
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- LatinLettersOnlyIs there a low income Utility Program?00:28, 23/09/2012The way they deal with this in the US is with a program called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP; where low income individuals can apply for a specific government determined grant amount that is directly credited to their utility bills from the agency processing the application.
It used to be slightly over $300 for Natural Gas and just under $100 for electricity (per year) and you would apply for it in October or November, and it would cover you for the entire winter, if your usage rates were low enough.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.