Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Teachers Set for Pay Walkout

Hours before a strike deadline, more than 200,000 teachers across Russia reaffirmed their intention Monday to close down schools for three days in an attempt to secure nearly 1 trillion rubles the government owes them in back wages.

A spokeswoman for the All-Russia Union of Science and Education Workers said Monday that more than 50 regions planned to take part in the strike.

Moscow's schools will not be affected, because city authorities have ensured local teachers are paid, said Nina Mirkulova, spokeswoman for the Moscow teacher's union.

The teachers' strike will begin two days before a planned stoppage by Russia's coal miners to protest unpaid wages which is set for Thursday. Interfax reported a union leader for the country's air traffic controllers saying they will decide Thursday or Friday whether to strike.

The rash of industrial action has come as President Boris Yeltsin has announced the creation of a new presidential fund to pay back wages.

A report released by the State Statistics Committee on Monday said total overdue wages rose more than 200 percent over 1995.

On the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kinelyov promised school employees they would receive 800 billion rubles ($170 million) in the near future. He urged teachers not to strike, but without success.

"That statement does not change anything. We've heard it many times before," said Mirkulova.