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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Dylan Martinez / EPA / TASS

Invite spat

The question of whether President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the G7 group of advanced industrial economies was among the rifts that emerged at the group’s summit in France. Russia had been a member of the G8 until 2014, when the country was excluded over its annexation of Crimea.

U.S. President Donald Trump said it was “certainly possible” he could invite Putin to the next summit in the U.S. The Kremlin said it would consider the invitation.

Ground control to major FEDOR

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a humanoid robot failed to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) due to issues related to its automatic docking system.

A second attempt to dock the FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) robot, in space for a planned two-week mission to support the ISS crew and test its skills, will take place Tuesday.

Arctic buildup

Russia test-fired Sineva and Bulava ballistic missiles from two submarines in the Arctic Ocean on Saturday as part of combat training.

The Sineva, a liquid-fueled intercontinental missile, was fired from the Tula submarine, while the Bulava, Russia's newest solid-fueled missile, was launched from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine.

Staff turnover

Russia’s Ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko has stepped down and left for Russia. He will be replaced by senior embassy official Ivan Volodin.

The Kremlin denied that Yakovenko’s resignation had to do with deteriorating Russian-British relations, calling it a “regular diplomatic rotation.”

LGBT assembly

Around a dozen activists and one photojournalist were detained Saturday at single pickets against homophobic crimes in St. Petersburg.

One of the detained activists was taken in an ambulance. The detained journalist said police told him he was engaging in “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships,” which Russia banned in 2013.

Flag Day

Moscow City Hall said half a million people attended national Flag Day festivities throughout the city.

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

A banner of 2,000 Russian regions and cities’ flags measuring 2,500 square meters was unfurled, earning a place in the Book of Russian Records.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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