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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Russia surpassed 7 million officially confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday. Sofia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Covid milestone

Russia surpassed 7 million officially confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday, with the tally standing at 7,012,599 infections — the world's fourth-highest — and 187,200 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. 

Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is around 596,000.

Free press

Several opposition candidates for this month’s parliamentary elections gathered in the center of Moscow on Saturday condemning the Russian authorities’ recent crackdown on independent media with “foreign agent” designations.

No detentions were reported at the rally, which was billed as a meeting with voters to avoid accusations of staging an unauthorized rally.

Minority crackdown

Ukraine said Russian law enforcement authorities detained more than 50 Crimean Tatars, including a senior member of the ethnic minority’s representative body, in annexed Crimea on Saturday.

The U.S. State Department called on Moscow to immediately release Nariman Dhezlal, deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar representative assembly Mejlis, and 45 others, condemning their detentions as part of politically motivated raids for their opposition to Russia’s seizure of the peninsula.

					Nariman Dhezlal	
Nariman Dhezlal

Now you see it

A Moscow arbitration court banned Google and its Russian equivalent Yandex from displaying jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s “Smart Voting” election initiative as an interim measure Sunday.

Navalny’s team criticized the decision, which was made as part of a trademark dispute filed by a wool processing company, as illegal.

Uncanny resemblance

St. Petersburg opposition politician Boris Vishnevsky shared an election poster Sunday showing two candidates who had not only changed their names to “Boris Vishnevsky,” but also apparently their physical appearance to resemble the Kremlin critic.

Vishnevsky this summer accused the Kremlin of running “spoiler” candidates to trick his supporters into splitting the protest vote at next week’s local and federal elections.

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