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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Radio Svoboda / Youtube

Film disrupted

Members of the ultra-nationalist SERB group and the Union of Paratroopers interrupted the screening of a documentary about the war in Ukraine on Sunday, spraying a pungent gas in the auditorium and shouting, “the blood of Donbass residents is on your hands.”

Police evacuated the hall after the groups threatened viewers, hit a woman and covered the projector. The organizers of Artdokfest, an independent documentary film festival, have canceled another film about the war. 

Arresting spectacle

The Friday premiere of a ballet about a gay dancer that was postponed amid controversy earlier this year was a "world event" and there was "nothing provocative" in the performance, the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

The director of “Nureyev,” Kirill Serebrennikov, is currently under house arrest for the alleged embezzlement of government funds.

Pentagon denial

Following Russia’s claim that Syria was liberated from Islamic State, a terrorist group banned in Russia, U.S. military officials told the Kremlin-run Sputnik news portal that IS continues to be a presence in the country.

"Our carefully considered military assessment is that Daesh is still present on both sides of the Euphrates River,” a representative of the Combined Joint Task Force said, adding it was continuing strikes in support of regional militias.

High-priced New Year

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has received complaints about the rise in food prices ahead of the New Year's holiday, but says it sees no cause for inspections.

“Food prices are largely determined by supply and demand," FAS said in a statement carried by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Sunday.

Sex scandals

More than half of Russians have heard of the Hollywood sex scandals involving Harvey Weinstein and 19 percent think it is the “usual practice” in the film industry.

According to the poll by Public Opinion Fund (FOM), a state-funded pollster, 22 percent think the topic is “getting too much attention” and 31 percent think people “shouldn't be exposed” for old sexual harassment incidents.

New Buk

The Interfax news agency reported this weekend that Russia this week will roll out a new anti-aircraft system manufactured by the state-owned Almaz-Antei called the Buk-M3.

The new weapon will be deployed in Kursk region in the Western Military District to bolster the 20th Army.

Ongoing protest

Several thousand supporters turned out to hear presidential hopeful and opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the provincial city of Kaliningrad.

The anti-corruption activist also made appearances in the provincial industrial towns of Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk.

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