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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Emergency Situations Ministry / TASS

Dam disaster

At least 15 gold miners died when a dam collapsed due to heavy rains south of Krasnoyarsk, flooding an artisanal mining encampment in a remote part of Siberia, officials said.

A Russian investigative committee said it detained three people as part of a criminal probe into violation of safety rules at the gold mining spot. Local authorities said the collapsed dam was not registered by official bodies.

President Vladimir Putin ordered all necessary measures to be taken to help those affected, to identify the cause of the disaster and prevent any impact on a nearby residential area, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

African training

Russia has trained more than 2,500 African servicemen at Russian Defense Ministry schools in the past five years, Putin said in an interview ahead of this week’s Russia-Africa summit.

Putin told the state-run TASS news agency that Russia has military deals with more than 30 African states, touting Russia’s military campaign in Syria as an incentive for wider defense cooperation.

Foreign Yandex

Kremlin officials are welcoming a draft law with softer restrictions on foreign ownership of large internet companies after shares in Russian tech giant Yandex plummeted on news of tighter limits last month.

The government now wants to limit foreign ownership of “significant information resources” to 50% minus one share instead of the previous 20%, the RBC news website reported.

Single pickets

Activists held four separate single-person pickets in Moscow where police detained at least one participant at each event. 

The activists held pickets in support of detainees they call political prisoners and LGBT rights. A teenage girl who became famous for reading the Russian Constitution to security officials during the summer protests was apprehended for holding up blank piece of paper at one of the pickets.

Musk in Russia

Tech billionaire Elon Musk appeared at a government-run small-business forum in southern Russia, making good on a promise after its organizers invited him via billboard.

Musk told visitors via videoconference that his motivation was to “create value to other people” instead of “trying to be a business for the sake of being a business.”

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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