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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Snow day

With record snowfall in Moscow over the weekend, units of the Russian army have been deployed to clear roads. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said one person died as a result of the storm and announced a snow day for school-children on Monday. 

IOC rejection

The International Olympic Committee has refused a request to issue invitations to 15 Russian athletes and their coaches to the Winter Olympics in Korea, after they were cleared of doping violations at the Court of Arbitration of Sports last week.

Journalist departure

A Moscow court has permitted an Uzbek journalist to leave Russia for a ‘third country‘ instead of ruling to deport him to Uzbekistan where says he faces persecution. Ali Feruz, an openly-gay journalist who worked for the independent Novaya Gazeta, was arrested last year for violating Russia’s immigration laws. 

Syrian airstrikes

Russia increased its airstrikes in Syria’s northern Idlib province on Sunday after fighters there shot down a Russian warplane. The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday confirmed that the SU-25 pilot had been shot down and that the pilot died after a gun battle with militants. 

Exiled businessmen

Business ombudsman and Party of Growth presidential candidate Boris Titov told reporters he met with exiled Russian businessmen in London on Sunday. He said he sent a list to President Vladimir Putin of a dozen names of those who would return to Russia if criminal charges against them were dropped. 

Activist death

Prominent St. Petersburg activist Konstantin Sinitsyn involved in trucker strikes against new road taxes was found dead Saturday at the entrance of his apartment building with head injuries. Police are investigating the incident as a possible robbery. 

Metro fiasco

The restoration of a Moscow metro mural depicting a dancing peasant girl has sparked controversy after her headdress was changed from a crown of flowers to a kerchief. Critics said the changes converted her appearance from a Ukrainian to a Russian woman.

The Moscow Metro wrote on Twitter that in the original work, the woman was wearing a kerchief.

Twerkers’ discipline

A group of students at the Ulyanovsk military academy who posted a video of themselves dancing salaciously was reprimanded by authorities Friday but not expelled. The students were ordered to attend “educational talks” accompanied by their parents.

Yarovaya laws

The business community has asked for the so-called “Yarovaya Package” of anti-terrorist legislation laws to be eased. Internet providers want to reduce tariffs for services as well as the length of time they are obliged to store user data.

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