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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Peter Kovalyov / TASS

Kerch tribunal

Moscow must release 24 sailors who were aboard three Ukrainian vessels it intercepted in November as they crossed a strait between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it had not participated in the hearings, adding it intends to defend its point of view that the arbitration lacked the jurisdiction to consider the Kerch incident.

Nuke the ice

Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic's commercial potential.

Peter Kovalyov / TASS

The Ural is due to be handed over to Russia's state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom in 2022 after the two other icebreakers in the same series, Arktika (Arctic) and Sibir (Siberia), enter service. It is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.

Losing trust

Russians’ trust in President Vladimir Putin has fallen to 31.7 percent, its lowest level since 2006, according to data from the state-run VTsIOM pollster.

Despite the decline in trust, the president’s overall approval rating has remained steady at 65.8 percent.

Hack attempt

Telegram social messaging app founder Pavel Durov accused Russian authorities of trying to breach the accounts of journalists covering protests against the building of a church in a park in central Yekaterinburg.

Russian media reported that unknown cyberintruders attempted to gain unauthorized access to the accounts of eight Yekaterinburg-based reporters.

Third on ice

Russia won bronze in the 2019 Ice Hockey World Championship with a penalty shootout win over the Czech Republic as the match finished 2-2 after regulation and overtime.

The Finns, which ground out a shock 1-0 win over Russia earlier, came from behind to beat favorites Canada 3-1 and clinch their third gold medal in an absorbing final.

Record crescendo

The city of St. Petersburg celebrated its 316th birthday with a Guinness World Record which gave thousands of spectators the shudders.

More than 550 drummers from 80 drumming groups and bands came from 40 cities and towns across the country as well as Ukraine and Belarus to take part in a record-winning crescendo. To qualify, the drummers had to play the same drum roll starting one after another until the last one joined.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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