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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Russia's new Orthodox cathedral honoring the Armed Forces opened this weekend. patriarchia.ru

Revised figures

Russia on Saturday more than doubled its official coronavirus death toll for April to 2,712 after changing how it classifies fatalities, including  deaths where the victim tested positive for the virus but it was not the main cause of death.

The previously announced toll for April was 1,152. The new April figure represents a death rate of 2.6% among those infected.

Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

‘Mayhem and rioting’

President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that anti-racism protests that have swept the U.S. were a sign of deep crises in the country, criticizing the protests for sparking violence and raising questions over President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian leader stressed he supported black Americans’ struggle for equality, calling this “a long-standing problem of the United States,” but spoke out against “mayhem and rioting.”

Putin connected the protests in the U.S. to the country's poor handling of the pandemic, pointing to “deep-seated internal crises.”

Military shrine

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Sunday consecrated a huge cathedral dedicated to the Russian military more than a month after its original planned opening, which was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II on May 9. 

The cathedral caused controversy during the building stage for initial plans, which were eventually scrapped, to decorate its interior with mosaics depicting Putin and Stalin.

Slavs only

A job post for a bartender at Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center sparked controversy with its requirement that the new employee have a “Slavic appearance.”

The museum blamed its contractor for violating its principles and said it has terminated its cooperation with the company.

Flooded hospital

Parts of St. Petersburg’s 1,500-bed temporary hospital for coronavirus patients have flooded days after sections of its roof collapsed.

Patients said the water is approaching hospital beds and authorities promised to address the issue at the Lenexpo hospital late this week. The hospital was constructed in a week at an exhibition center that used to host the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. 

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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