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News From Russia: What You Missed on the Weekend

An emergencies ministry worker carries out disinfection of Moscow's Belorussky railway station as new infections surge to four-month highs. Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

Tackling the surge

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered a “non-working week” from June 15-19 amid a spike in Covid-19 cases and low vaccination rates in the capital. 

Businesses are advised to move at least 30% of their unvaccinated workforce to remote work. From June 13-20, children's playrooms and food courts in shopping malls will close. Restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, karaoke, bowling and other entertainment venues will also be required to close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

St. Petersburg also introduced new restrictions on entertainment, restaurants and cafes as the city hosts thousands of football fans for the Euro 2020 championships. 

Vaccine lottery

Moscow residents who get vaccinated from June 14-July 11 can enter a raffle to win a car, authorities said in their latest effort to kick-start lagging vaccination rates. 

Russians who get vaccinated from June 15-25 in the Moscow region can also enter to win a three-room apartment in the town of Serpukhov.


Russian President Vladimir Putin laughed off a question by an NBC reporter on whether he was a “killer” in his first interview with U.S. media in three years given ahead of his summit with U.S. counterpart Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Biden announced that he will not host a joint press conference with Putin ahead of their summit in Geneva on Wednesday. Biden said he didn’t want to “divert” the conversation between the two leaders with public appearances. 

Russia Day

Russia marked its national holiday with a variety of celebrations nationwide on Saturday, including live concerts, dance performances and even the launching of the Russian tricolor into the stratosphere.

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