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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Moscow has been rushing to complete a 500-bed hospital for coronavirus patients outside the city. Denis Voronin / Moskva News Agency

Oil wars

Russia is ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia and the United States to cut oil production, President Vladimir Putin said Friday, voicing readiness to discuss "a reduction in the volume of about 10 million barrels a day." 

Russia would only cut 1 million barrels a day if the U.S. joins the cuts, Bloomberg cited four industry sources as saying a day later.

Hospital fire

One person died when a fire tore through workers' tents at the construction site of a new hospital for coronavirus patients outside Moscow, officials said Sunday.

More than 3,000 builders are involved in the 500-bed hospital. Moscow city authorities have been rushing to construct a medical facility for coronavirus patients styled on a hospital built in China in record time.

Covid blessing

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church blessed Moscow on Friday to ward off the coronavirus, circling the city in a motorcade with a holy icon and reciting prayers.

Patriarch Kirill, 73, said a prayer to ward off the pandemic and appealed to "believers, while in their homes, to pray together" with him against the coronavirus, a statement on his website said. 

Oleg Varov / Press Office of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia / TASS

Bait-and-switch

A prisoner and his unincarcerated accomplice have been detained in southern Russia’s Rostov region two months after they impersonated each other and switched places in the prisoner's cell.

The local public monitoring commission said an identity check on a man who was detained on suspicion of theft Saturday revealed that he was listed as a prisoner in a pretrial detention center. A follow-up inspection showed that he dressed up as his accomplice, who had visited the prisoner under the false identity of his lawyer, on Feb. 3.

No walks

Police detained a man walking his dog in Moscow’s affluent Patriarch’s Ponds neighborhood for allegedly violating coronavirus quarantine rules. A video showed two officers shoving the man into a police van and leaving behind his dog, which his wife was reported to have found later. 

Iisus Vorobyov was released after midnight and ordered to attend a trial on disobeying police orders set for Monday.

Includes reporting from AFP.

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