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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

AP / TASS

‘People’s Ultimatum’

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called on the country to strike from Monday as 100,000 people took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday to protest against embattled strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko.

The march took place on the last day of an ultimatum set by the opposition for Lukashenko to resign after months of mass protests or face a general strike. Nearly 300 people were detained, human rights organization Vesna said.

Tanker blast

An explosion struck a Russian oil tanker in the Sea of Azov, throwing three crew members overboard still missing at sea and causing the vessel to tilt.

Emergency workers rescued 10 members of the General Azi Aslanov tanker, which maritime officials said was not loaded and the blast may have been caused by flammable vapors from the previous cargo.

African rearmament

Russia opened a Defense Ministry representative office Saturday and donated 10 armored vehicles to the Central African Republic in the latest effort to expand its influence on the continent.

Russia’s ambassador to CAR reportedly said the African nation has asked Moscow for help in lifting a UN arms embargo “so that it would be possible to supply heavy weaponry, including artillery and helicopters.”

Covid pile-up

Authorities in the southwestern Siberian city of Novokuznetsk said a shortage of coroners as well as quarantined residents unable to collect their loved ones has resulted in its morgue filling up with dead bodies, including those who had died from the coronavirus.

Novokuznetsk is the second Russian city over the past week where images of bodies piling up have circulated nationwide as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic overwhelms medical institutions.

Promise to mum

MMA world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from the sport Saturday after revealing he "promised his mother" that his clash with Justin Gaethje would be his last fight.

The Russian, who won by a second-round technical knockout, was fighting for the first time since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap in July.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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