Shortly before the parliamentary elections in Russia, pensioners receive a one-off of 10,000 rubles. The money is to be paid out in September, says a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
Opposition members say the sweetness is an attempt to buy votes for Putin’s United Russia party. Leonid Volkov, an ally of detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny, sees it as “propaganda and voter bribery”.
Elderly people in Russia are having a hard time financially. The extra contribution roughly doubles the monthly state pension. In addition, Putin recently said retirees had been hit hardest by the 6.5 percent inflation rate.
The ballot is scheduled for September 17-19. United Russia gets about 30 percent of the vote in the polls, 10 percentage points less than in the previous lower house elections in 2016. The government has recently tried to silence the opposition and independent media.