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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Alexander Ryumin / TASS

Truce breach

The Russian army on Saturday reported a violation of the ceasefire that ended the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in November in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

A spokesman for the Russian peacekeeping forces confirmed "exchanges of fire with automatic weapons," telling the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that requests to respect the ceasefire had been sent to both parties.

Double kill

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny allegedly survived a second poisoning attempt with the Novichok nerve agent before being evacuated to Germany, Britain’s The Times newspaper reported, citing unnamed western intelligence sources.

Officials at the Siberian hospital where Navalny was initially treated before being flown to Berlin disputed the second poisoning account, saying no outside persons had come into contact with the anti-corruption campaigner.

										 					Alexei Navalny / Instagram
Alexei Navalny / Instagram

Rapid succession

Russia test-fired four Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles from the Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine, with their dummy warheads striking the designated targets 5,500 kilometers away.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the launch ended four days of drills by Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, with strategic bombers firing cruise missiles and a ground-based ICBM launched earlier in the week.

										 					Defense Ministry
Defense Ministry

‘People’s charges’

Protesters in Belarus weathered icy conditions Sunday to demand the resignation of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko who is facing down months of historic protests against his rule.

The Viasna rights group said 300 people were detained in Minsk as authorities deployed water cannon and large numbers of law enforcement blocked off areas of the city center. 

Sunny skies

December 2020 in Moscow is already the sunniest on record, logging 55 hours of sunlight, or three times the norm on the darkest month of the year, the RBC news website reported.

The Russian capital’s previous December sunlight record stood at 51 hours in 2002, while sunshine has been in extremely short supply the past three Decembers.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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