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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Russia's state statistics service said 215,000 people died in July 2021 — more than in any single pre-pandemic month for at least the last 15 years. Sofia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Excess deaths

Russia recorded almost 64,000 excess fatalities in July as a brutal third wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept through an under-vaccinated population and overwhelmed hospitals.

In a report released late Friday evening, the Rosstat state statistics service said 215,000 people died in July 2021 — more than in any single pre-pandemic month for at least the last 15 years.

Empty stage

Rammstein singer Till Lindemann canceled his scheduled Sunday performance at a festival in support of the nationalist Rodina party in the city of Tver northwest of Moscow.

Local police warned the German metal band’s frontman that the performance would violate anti-coronavirus restrictions and refused to let him rehearse, the festival’s organizer said on Instagram. Police also detained Lindemann’s producer over alleged visa violations, the organizer said.

					 Till Lindemann					 					Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS
Till Lindemann Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS

Racial controversy

A sushi delivery chain in Siberia apologized after its advertisement featuring a black man surrounded by three young women of Slavic appearance sparked a barrage of abuse and death threats from the “Male State” hate group.

“We would like to apologize to the Russian nation for offending Russians with our photos,” Yobidoyobi wrote, saying it deleted the ad. In July, the VkusVill grocery chain was forced to apologize for its advertising material that depicted a same-sex couple and their family, and the family itself fled the country.

Wealthiest woman

The family of Russia’s wealthiest woman, Wildberries founder and CEO Tatyana Bakalchuk, has been ranked the richest family in the country for the first time.

Forbes Russia said Tatyana and Vladislav Bakalchuk are now worth $13.1 billion, surpassing fertilizer magnate Andrey Guryev’s family as well as the Rotenberg family. 

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