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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Zuma / TASS

Syria deaths

Four Russian military personnel were killed in a rebel attack in Syria, adding to Russia’s growing death toll in its three-year campaign on the side of the Syrian government. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, rebels attacked a Syrian artillery battery in the Deir Al-Zor province, where Russian military advisors were stationed.

Two hundred residents of the Siberian city of Chita attended the funeral of two of the servicemen, the local news website reported.

Vodka vandalism

A vandal under the influence of alcohol damaged a painting of the renowned Russian artist Ilya Repin in Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery over what he claimed to be its inaccurate depiction of Ivan the Terrible killing his son.

"I [...] drank 100 grams of vodka [...] and became overwhelmed by something," the 37-year-old said to police, as seen in footage released by the Interior Ministry. Russian media outlets quoted him as saying that “Ivan the Terrible did not kill his son.”

Putin's promise

Vladimir Putin has said he would respect the Russian constitution, which bans presidents from serving two consecutive terms, meaning he will step down from his post in 2024 when his current term expires.

"It's clearly written in the constitution that nobody can serve more than two terms in a row [...] I intend to abide by this rule," he told reporters at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Sobyanin the independent

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has declared that he will seek re-election this fall.

Following in Putin’s footsteps, who was re-elected to his fourth term in March as an independent candidate, Sobyanin reportedly intends to run independently of the ruling United Russia party.

Weinstein the victim

Pro-Kremlin pundit Dmitry Kiselyov has come to the defense of American film producer Harvey Weinstein, who turned himself in to police on rape charges, as a victim of a liberal Hollywood purge.

“He’s becomes an outcast, a scourge [...] They’ve reduced him to dust,” Kiselyov said in his weekly television news show.

Daredevil’s drawbridge

Thousands of revelers witnessed tightrope walker Rasul Abakarov cross the open Dvortsovy Bridge in St. Petersburg on the 315th anniversary of city’s founding.

Abakarov walked along a tightrope 40 meters above the Neva River in a feat that he said had been inspired by being stuck on the other side when the bridge was raised for the night.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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