At least 13 people have died due to cold in the Far East Russian region of Buryatia so far this new year, with alcohol a common denominator in their deaths.
The regional Investigative Committee branch said nine of the hypothermia victims were middle-aged and elderly men. Temperatures in the region have hovered between minus 34 and minus 49 degrees Celsius over the first days of January.
Three women and one 17-year-old girl who was found outside a diner on Sunday also fell victim to the elements.
“As with the girl, a large concentration of ethyl alcohol was found in the blood of almost all the frozen people,” the investigators said on Wednesday.
The Investigative Committee said the death toll could climb once all postmortem reports are filed.