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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

The Scarlet Sails celebration in St. Petersburg. Petr Kovalyov / TASS

Delta spread

Moscow on Sunday recorded 114 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the worst toll in a Russian city since the start of the pandemic, according to official data.

Moscow's record comes a day after one set by Euro 2020 host St. Petersburg, where thousands of high school graduates attended the traditional “Scarlet Sails” festival. Official figures said the city, which has already hosted six Euro 2020 matches and a quarter-final scheduled for Friday, recorded 107 virus deaths Saturday. 

										 					Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency
Denis Grishkin / Moskva News Agency

Visa woes

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow will suspend visa and other consular services starting Aug. 1 due to staff shortages, Ambassador John Sullivan said Sunday.

Russia capped the number of its nationals allowed to work in the U.S. Embassy earlier this year in retaliation to U.S. sanctions and diplomatic expulsions over election interference and hacking allegations.

Dose shortages

At least three Russian regions suspended Covid-19 vaccinations between Friday and Saturday due to shortages of doses amid mandatory take-up as the highly infectious Delta strain rips through the country. Central Russia’s republic of Udmurtia followed the republic of Bashkortostan and the Far Eastern Khabarovsk region in announcing the suspension.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party rallied against mandatory vaccination in central Moscow on Saturday, gathering several dozen people before police dispersed the gathering and detained at least nine protesters.

Lost docs

British defense officials have launched an investigation into the disappearance and recovery by a member of the public of “sensitive” documents related to the tense standoff between the HMS Defender destroyer and the Russian Navy near Crimea, CNN reported Sunday.

BBC reported earlier that it was given the 50 pages of documents, which discussed Russia’s likely reactions to the British warship's passage, that were found at a bus stop in Kent, southeast England.

Neutral athletes

World Athletics said Sunday it cleared 61 more Russian athletes to compete as neutral athletes in the Tokyo Olympics and other events scheduled for 2021.

With a cap of 10 more Russian athletes to be granted eligibility this year, a total of 123 Russian athletes have been granted neutral athlete status so far.

Travel costs

Athens on Sunday announced that all Russian travelers, vaccinated or not, will have to present a negative PCR or rapid test result on arrival in Greece.  

Travelers from Russia will also have to undergo another test as soon as they arrive.

										 					Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency
Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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