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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Sergei Savostyanov / TASS

Protest pickets

Russian opposition activists staged a string of pickets in central Moscow to call for open elections and for charges against protesters detained at recent rallies to be dropped. In contrast to previous protests that have rocked Moscow this summer, Saturday's solo pickets — which were spread across three locations — were peaceful and opposition supporters scarce.

Earlier on Saturday, some 4,000 people had attended an authorized Communist rally in Moscow to call for "clear and honest elections" in Moscow, police said.

Network issues

Two of Russia’s nuclear radiation monitoring stations went silent two days after the mysterious explosion off the coast of northern Russia Aug. 8, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Dubna and Kirov stations told the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization they were experiencing “communication and network issues” when asked about the disruptions, its chief told the WSJ.

Fourth time’s the charm

Ilya Yashin, a rejected opposition candidate in the Moscow City Duma elections, has been detained for the fourth time after his release from a third consecutive stint in jail.

Yashin is among several disqualified candidates who have served between seven and 30 days behind bars on protest-related charges.

Dangerous seas

Three Russian nationals are among a group of seamen kidnapped after an attack on their vessel off the coast of Cameroon in West Africa’s piracy-plagued Gulf of Guinea, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said.

Russian Embassy in Cameroon

Russia’s Embassy in Cameroon said the three Russians were among eight seamen captured by suspected Nigerian pirates aboard a German-owned cargo ship. Reports suggested the MarMalaita was one of two merchant ships which were subjected to pirate attacks.

Record deal

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to sell his remaining stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and full ownership of Brooklyn's Barclays Center sports arena to Joe Tsai, the co-founder of the Alibaba e-commerce company, for $2.35 billion — an American sports record. 

Tsai, who paid $1 billion for a 49% share in the Nets in 2018, is paying an additional $1.35 billion for the remaining 51% share, according to multiple reports.

Errant launch

Russia’s Defense Ministry is seeking 46 million rubles ($693,000) from two servicemen who “mistakenly” launched a missile in annexed Crimea in 2017, the Kommersant business daily reported. 

Wikicommons

The military accused two of its Black Sea naval aviation troops of failing to perform safety checks while inspecting the air-to-surface missile.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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