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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Sergei Ignashevich (Anton Novoderzhkin / TASS)

Russia’s squad

World Cup host nation Russia named its provisional 23-man squad for the tournament that starts less than two weeks from now.

The side includes Sergei Ignashevich, the oldest player to appear for Russia, at 38 years and 320 days, surpassing legendary Soviet keeper Lev Yashin’s record of 37 years and 267 days.

Sheremetyevo robbery

Legendary Nigerian footballer Nwankwo Kanu was robbed of $11,000 after he landed in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport to support his team at the World Cup.

Two airport baggage handlers suspected of the robbery have been detained and the recovered stolen money “will soon be returned to the owner,” who had been in transit at the airport on his way to Kaliningrad to play in the FIFA Legends match, Russia’s Interior Ministry said.

Spurned no more

Apple approved an updated version of the Telegram messaging service after the app complained that it had been blocked from releasing software improvements worldwide following Russia’s ban of the messenger. 

Telegram chief executive Pavel Durov announced the turnabout on Twitter, thanking Apple and CEO Tim Cook for getting the latest Telegram version "to millions of users, despite the recent setbacks."

End sanctions

Austria's vice chancellor and leader of the country's far-right Freedom Party called for ending the European Union's sanctions against Russia, days before he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vienna.

"It is high time to put an end to these exasperating sanctions and normalize political and economic relations with Russia," Heinz-Christian Strache, whose pro-Moscow party is a junior partner to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's conservatives, said in an interview.

Russia's hitlist

Ukraine, seeking to reassure its Western allies after faking the murder of a Russian dissident to thwart what it said was a plot on his life, has announced that the ruse led to the discovery of a hit-list of 47 people whom Russia allegedly planned to kill abroad.

General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the few Ukrainian officials who knew about the ruse in advance, said “the investigation received a list of 47 (!) people who could be the next victims,” thus justifying the need to fake Arkady Babchenko’s murder.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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