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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Fireworks erupted and a huge cloud of smoke hung over central Moscow after a pyrotechnics warehouse caught fire on Saturday. Mikhail Japaridze / TASS

Tragic fate

Russian police found the body of U.S. citizen and former Marine Catherine Serou on Saturday after she went missing in the city of Nizhny Novgorod 400 kilometers east of Moscow last Tuesday. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it has arrested an unnamed 44-year-old man suspected of her murder. If convicted, the suspect faces up to 15 years in prison on criminal murder charges.

Imposing costs

The United States is preparing fresh sanctions against Russia over the near-fatal poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, President Joe Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan warned Sunday.

Moscow pushed back against the possibility of new sanctions and warned of a Russian response. The exchange came as Russia’s Ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov returned to the U.S. Sunday after being recalled in March in the wake of Biden’s “killer” comparison.

Social support

President Vladimir Putin proposed Saturday at his United Russia party congress billions of rubles in spending ahead of September parliamentary polls that could see the deeply unpopular party struggle.

This included 50 billion rubles ($687 million) on public transport, 30 billion rubles for repairing roads and 20 billion rubles to clean up rivers, among other spending projects on infrastructure and healthcare. He also said the state would be allocating payments and new forms of support for families starting next month. 

Fatal incident

At least four people were killed and 15 others seriously injured on Saturday after a plane carrying parachutists crashed in the Siberian region of Kemerovo.

										 					 Danil Aikin / TASS
Danil Aikin / TASS

Prosecutors said the L-410 plane, belonging to the sports and defense organization Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy of Russia, hit a forest during landing after one of its engines failed.

‘This is fine’

Fireworks erupted and a huge cloud of smoke hung over central Moscow after a pyrotechnics warehouse named “Ka-Boom” that held a reported 15 metric tons of fireworks caught fire on Saturday.

At least three firefighters and the warehouse employee were injured while images showed Muscovites dancing samba against the backdrop of helicopters and a fireboat putting out the flames. 

Meanwhile, other images showed 400 maskless healthcare professionals dancing at a ball dedicated to Medical Worker Day in Moscow as the capital saw record coronavirus infections.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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