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Selskaya Zhizn, July 17, 2003

To the Constitutional Court from YABLOKO

We have learned that the Constitutional Court of the RF received an inquiry from a group of deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia on the violation by the state of the Russian Federation (Russia) of citizens' rights envisaged by the Constitution.

This regards the problem that concerns most of our readers - pensions that render it impossbile to live a dignified life.

One has only to read some of correspondence received by our magazine to become convinced of this fact.

"Excuse me, I may seem importunate, but I am turning to you for assistance with a problem that I find very painful, as do many others, writes Nikolai N. from Tambov region.- I am 61, my labour term is almost 45 years (minus three months). I receive a pension of 1,200 roubles per month (ed. About USD 40).

We are offended by our state, as many other veterans of rural work. Our many years labour has been depreciated. My wife and I are children of the war (Ed. The Second World War), grew without fathers who were killed in the war, during our childhood we experienced hunger, cold and humiliation, and have been working at collective farms since the age of 14, and have worked equally with grown-ups. When we reached adulthood, we implemented our debt to the full: we went to work where we were sent regardless of whether we were satisfied by the wages there or not. We even did not think about discussing this issue or standing up for our rights.

I don't remember ever asking for profitable work. This was considered immodest and improper - we were not raised as today, we were instilled into thinking first about the needs of the economy and the country. So why are we punished when we retire?

A new pension system is now operational. I am afraid that rural dwellers will find themselves impoverished again. We are treated as if were unimportant, like people ready to accept any injustice."

Deputies from the YABLOKO faction who prepared an inquiry to the Constitutional Court - also think that the state should provide dignified life to those who earned their retirement. Moreover, Grigory Yavlinsky is convinced that the state has the requisite funds to do this. Recently the YABLOKO party stepped up its activity considerably, including in the regions. This is probably attributable to increased opportunities for YABLOKO members. Over the past year the number of party members has increased several times to 60,000 people.

The deputies' inquiry will be duly examined by the Constitutional Court. We shall keep our readers informed about further developments.


Selskaya Zhizn, July 17, 2003

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