MOSCOW, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Russia faces an increasing number of protests and upheaval due to the global financial crisis, a deputy interior minister said on Wednesday, in Moscow’s clearest admission yet on how badly it has been hit.
The Kremlin and Russian media have tried to ease public concern over the impact of the economic slowdown, despite a contraction in the economy and a series of rouble devaluations against the dollar and euro.
At the weekend, riot police detained around 100 people in the Pacific city of Vladivostok who were protesting at new used car import duties imposed to protect the domestic auto industry.
“The situation may be exacerbated by a growth in protests, arising from the frustration of workers over the non-payment of wages or those threatened with dismissal,” RIA quoted Deputy Minister Mikhail Sukhodolsky as saying.
Other causes of unrest could include “unpopular measures implemented under the anti-crisis programme”, Sukhodolsky said, adding that the number of unemployed might increase significantly. (Reporting by Conor Sweeney; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)