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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Journalist charged. Opposition leader detained. Athletics ban extended.

Journalist Ivan Golunov is under house arrest on drugs charges. Ilya Azar / Facebook

Golunov case

A Moscow court on Saturday ordered Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov to two months of house arrest, rejecting investigators and prosecutors’ requests to keep him in pre-trial detention.

Golunov, who was charged for large-scale drug selling, was reported to have sustained a concussion, a hematoma and possible broken ribs.

Hundreds of journalists and citizens continued to hold single pickets against the arrest in central Moscow throughout the weekend.

Newspaper solidarity

Three of Russia’s leading newspapers published identical front pages Monday in solidarity with investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. The move by the Kommersant, RBC and Vedomosti newspapers is a first in the outlets' history.

The newspapers, whose front pages read “I/We Are Ivan Golunov,” asked for a detailed investigation into the actions of the police officers involved in Golunov’s detention, adding that Golunov’s detention may be related to his professional activities.

Deja vu

An aide to opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained by police on the day he was to be released from a 20-day stint in jail for a September 2018 protest.

The official reasons for Leonid Volkov’s Monday detention are unknown, the news website reported.

Doping ban

Global athletics governing body IAAF on Sunday extended a ban against Russia's athletics federation and said Reuters findings on banned Russian coaches still working with athletes would be investigated.

Russia's athletics federation was suspended in November 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of widespread doping in the sport.

Panda pavilion

The Moscow Zoo's panda pavilion opened to the public Thursday after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin unveiled it one day ago.

A pair of giant pandas on loan from China are enjoying their new home. Three-year-old Ru Yi, male, and two-year-old Ding Ding, female, arrived at the Moscow Zoo on April 29 from southwest China's Sichuan Province, also for a 15-year collaborative research project between the two countries.

Muscovites have shown great interest in the panda pair, and the zoo is seeing huge flows of visitors. Many visitors show their friends and relatives China's panda ambassadors via videos and photos.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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