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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Vkontakte / pnparh

Landfill protests

Around 2,000 people held an authorized protest in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk on Sunday  demanding the government drop plans to create a giant landfill.

Local authorities put the number of participants at the rally around 600, TASS news agency reported, while smaller protests were held in several cities and towns across northern Russia.  

Doping tampering

Russia risks exclusion from the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer on suspicion of tampered anti-doping lab data, Britain’s The Telegraph reported after an unnamed source told the AP that Russia’s anti-doping lab could be suspended again.

The revelations come ahead of a World Anti-Doping Agency compliance committee report expected in Tokyo on Monday. The Agence France-Press news agency cited an unnamed source as saying that the committee is preparing to recommend sanctions against the Moscow drug-testing lab.

Ukraine-gate

U.S. President Donald Trump said that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president. The July 25 call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been at the center of an escalating battle following reports that Trump repeatedly asked him to investigate whether Biden misused his position while he was vice president.

Democrats have said that if Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, it is tantamount to promoting foreign interference in the 2020 election. The U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty news agency has cited unnamed sources in Zelenskiy’s administration as saying that the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff has imposed a strict policy not to speak on the issue publicly until the president decides how to proceed. 

Chechen witchcraft 

Chechen authorities have detained and forced to apologize on television three people suspected of witchcraft who an Islamic doctor said had “sold their body and soul to the devil.”

One suspect said she fed jinns, the malevolent spirits of the Quran, with beef and bread known as lavash. 

Crappy disruption

Pro-Kremlin activists nearly disrupted a Teatr.doc theater production in Moscow by throwing foul-smelling substance inside the venue.

Russian media reported that the three-part play “War is Close” continued after a cleaning break. SERB member Igor Beketov, who goes by the name Gosha Tarasevich, claimed to have interrupted a video conference with Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who had been released in a prisoner exchange with Russia this month.

Circle of light

Muscovites and tourists braved cold and rainy weather to witness the opening of "Circle of Light" annual festival which features 2D and 3D graphic design and pyrotechnics telling stories from around the globe.

Displays of light-based works of art by artists from around the world will be projected onto the facades of iconic Moscow buildings including the Bolshoi Theater until Tuesday.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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