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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Vladimir Putin casting his vote at the Moscow municipal elections this Sunday

— Pick wisely

On Sunday, 82 Russian regions held local and regional elections. Two hours before polls were set to close, turnout in Moscow was 12 percent. Some media and opposition claimed that authorities had downplayed the election to secure a lower turnout.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin fired two top officials in Moscow’s Novo-Peredelkino district a day before the election after a YouTube video showed one of them bribing election monitors. Reports of violations continued through Sunday, but the Central Elections Commission said no violations were serious enough to invalidate the result.

— Enough

Prominent Journalist Yulia Latynina said she has fled Russia with her family, after suffering a series of intimidating attacks in recent months. “I have left Russia in connection with threats to my life,” Latynina said on Twitter on Sunday, including the hashtag “Putin.”

— An unauthorized rally

Around 130 people were detained at an unauthorized rally in St. Petersburg in support of Myanmar’s Rohingya on Sunday, the local Fontanka news outlet reported, citing the Interior Ministry. Roughly 200 people participated in the protest. 

— It’s my party

Five million Muscovites participated in citywide events to celebrate Moscow’s 870th birthday on Sunday, the Interfax news agency reports. According to an earlier report by RBC, city authorities spent at least 40 million ($700,000) rubles on the festivities.

— No more anti-virus

Best Buy, the United States’ largest electronic retailer, has announced it will stop selling products produced by Russian antivirus giant, Kaspersky Lab. The Moscow-based company has come under fire in the U.S. for its reported links to the Federal Security Services (FSB.)

— Dangerous ride

Seventeen people were injured on Saturday injured after a Kamaz truck drove into a train traveling from Adler in southern Russia to Nizhnevartovsk. According to preliminary reports, the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel or the incident was caused by faulty brakes.

— Kuzya off-duty

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier will be brought back to port in Murmansk for repairs, the state-run RIA news agency reports. The repairs are expected to last two year, the source said. The ship made waves after it was pictured releasing billows of black smoke on its way to Syria as part of Russia’s military campaign in support of the Syrian regime.

— Celebrity snub

Russian media widely reported that Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence snubbed Russian journalists at a press conference for the film “Mama!” According to a source cited by the Afisha Daily outlet, Lawrence’s decision was politically motivated.

— Confession of a hacker

Roman Seleznev, a Russian hacker and the son of a Duma deputy, pleaded guilty to defrauding the RBS Worldpay bank to the tune of $2 million, a U.S. Attorney’s Office statement says. Seleznev was earlier sentenced to 27 years in prison.

— Cuban death toll

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released details of the number of casualties the Soviet Union incurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis between 1962 and 1964. Six-four Soviet citizens were killed in Cuba, the defense ministry said, adding it could not specify how many of those casualties were military.

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