Russia’s elderly live rough lives, and the state offers almost no help, but officials say everything is about to change

Responding to widespread criticism of the government’s plan to raise the retirement age, Russia’s state-controlled media has been busy telling readers how important it is to live vigorously into old age to avoid becoming a “grumbling old fogey.” “For many people, a pension is an excuse to stop being active, to become frail, and not to want anything, or to want to do things but not to do them, because their finances or health don’t allow it,” explains one op-ed published by the Rossiya Segodnya news agency. The message to readers is clearly that the reason for older people’s unhappiness is that they retired too early. In reality, Russia is a particularly hard place to grow old. According to the 2015 Global AgeWatch Index, compiled by the NGO HelpAge International, Russia’s “report card” ranked it 65th out of 96 countries. When judged on life expectancy and mental well-being, Russia falls to 86th place. Meduza’s medical news editor Darya Sarkisyan takes a closer look at Russia’s geriatric care infrastructure and how officials have promised to change it.

The Real Russia. Today. More U.S. sanctions, 20 years of treason and espionage convictions, and another GRU bombshell

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Here’s how United Russia is punishing Natalia Poklonskaya, the only party member who voted against raising the retirement age. A timeline of events

On September 20, the State Duma approved the decision to merge the Reported Incomes Monitoring Commission and the Ethics Commission. Otari Arshba, who chaired the latter group, will head the new amalgamation, leaving the former’s chairwoman, Natalia Poklonskaya, without a post on the new commission. For more than two months, Poklonskaya (who served as Crimea’s first post-annexation attorney general before joining the parliament) has been feuding with her own political party. In July, she was the only United Russia deputy to break ranks and vote against unpopular legislation that will raise the country’s retirement age.

The Real Russia. Today. Throwing out Primorye’s election results, detainees’ right to prison, and Russia’s ‘series of unfortunate events’

Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. In fact, the commission’s “recommendation” is more like a direct order, given that federal officials also say they will invalidate Primorye’s results themselves, if regional officials refuse to do so. Officials in Primorye have promised to reach a decision by Thursday, September 20.