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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Héloïse Bargain / MT

Pre-revolutionary’ protest

More than 20,000 people took to the streets of Moscow to protest against the exclusion of most opposition-minded candidates from an election for the Russian capital's legislature.

Election officials barred around 30 candidates, mostly opposition-leaning, from running for the 45-seat legislature on the grounds they failed to garner enough genuine signatures from voters to qualify.

Stronger mandate

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party took a commanding lead in a snap parliamentary election, consolidating the power of the novice politician whose stunning rise has upended traditional politics in the war-scarred nation.

Exit polls showed his Servant of the People party far ahead of all other parties although possibly short of a majority. That prompted him to offer coalition talks with a pro-Western party, Voice, fronted by another political novice, rockstar Sviatoslav Vakarchuk.

Epic breach

Hackers have gained access to 7.5 terabytes of data from a Federal Security Service (FSB) contractor, which BBC Russia called “possibly the largest ever data leak in the history of Russian intelligence services.” 

The hacking collective known as 0v1ru$ reportedly breached the SyTech contractor’s servers and shared details of projects aimed at cracking the anonymous web browser Tor, scraping social media and analyzing Russia’s segment of the internet. It reportedly did not expose Russia’s state secrets. 

Investment grade

S&P Global Ratings affirmed Russia's "BBB-/A-3" credit rating, reiterating that the country's solid public and external balance sheets are able to offset potential international sanctions and geopolitical tension.

Russia is rated investment grade by all three big international rating agencies, including Moody's and Fitch, which helped Moscow this year to borrow money in global markets by issuing Eurobonds.

Blood Type: Metallica

The heavy metal band Metallica performed a cover of Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi’s 1988 hit “Gruppa Krovi” (Blood Type) to the delight of 80,000 fans in Moscow.

The crowd at Luzhniki Stadium was filmed singing along to bassist Robert Trujillo and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett’s rendition of the Russian-language anti-war punk anthem. 

SUP boarding

Over 1,000 paddleboard enthusiasts brightened the gray waters of St. Petersburg's canals with a flashy masquerade organized by the local Fontanka news website.

										 					Gazprom Press Service
Gazprom Press Service

Maleficent, Spongebob, native Americans, minions and various other characters floated past the famous sites of the northern Russian city while trying to stay balanced on top of inflated boards.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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