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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Spektr-R (RIA Novosti / Wikicommons)

Renegade spacecraft

Russia’s space agency said it has lost control of its only space radio telescope orbiting Earth in search of outside radio sources.

Roscosmos on Monday said it will try to reconnect with Spektr-R, which was launched in 2011 and is still transmitting signals beyond its expected five-year mission.

Deadly shootout

Police are on a manhunt for suspects in an attack on four officers, one of whom reportedly later died in hospital, and a civilian in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia.  

Three other suspects were killed in the nearby republic of Dagestan after an attempt to attack traffic police, the Russian Antiterrorism Committee said.


Russia has reduced oil output by 30,000 barrels per day relative to October 2018 levels so far in January, Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said citing preliminary data.

Companies estimate they can cut 50,000 barrels per day this month, Novak added, which would amount to 20 percent of Russia’s pledge to trim 228,000 barrels per day as part of its six-month deal with OPEC.

Captive suspect

A person of interest in the murder investigation of ex-State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in 2017 was reportedly shot and abducted in central Moscow.

Yury Vasilenko, a Russian-Ukrainian with reported ties to organized crime, was said to have been forced into the trunk of a car after a scuffle outside a restaurant.

Deeper pockets

Billionaire Roman Abramovich invested around £69.1 million ($88 million) into his Chelsea Football Club last season, when it made a record profit of £62 million after taxes.

The London club’s debt to Abramovich has now reportedly grown to approximately £1.13 billion.


A company owned by Russian billionaire and friend of President Vladimir Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, won a 46 million ruble ($688,000) state tender to hold public events on anti-corruption.

Rotenberg’s Moscow-based Granat company will hold 135 anti-corruption round tables, public hearings, seminars and forums in 20 regions including Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to the contract.

Recycling Christmas

For the fifth consecutive year, Moscow's historical zoo has collected hundreds of unsold fir trees from Christmas markets and introduced them to most of the animals' dwelling spaces.

Chief Scientist at the zoo Roman Anushin said that the trees are not only a good source of seasonal nutrition rare in the winter, but that they also serve as a healthy change of scenery in exhibits that change little.

Morgue mishap

Officials in the Far East Amur region have launched an inquiry after a 62-year-old woman was delivered to a local morgue, where she showed signs of life but died after an attempt to save her.

The head doctor was quoted as telling reporters that a police officer who arrived at the scene of a family gathering called a hearse instead of an ambulance.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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