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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Anarchist activists Dmitry Tsibukovsky and his wife Anastasia Safonova were sentenced to prison for hanging a banner likening the country’s security services to terrorists. Andrei Lepyokhin

‘Irrefutable proof’

Russia said late Friday it summoned the U.S. ambassador in Moscow over interference of U.S. tech giants in parliamentary polls due later this week.

The Foreign Ministry said Ambassador John Sullivan was presented with "irrefutable proof" of U.S. tech giants violating Russian laws in connection with the Sept. 17-19 elections to the lower house State Duma. 

‘Natural priority’

Russia on Saturday said it was ready to resume anti-terrorism cooperation with the United States as America marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

In a statement released by Moscow's diplomatic mission in Washington, ambassador Anatoly Antonov said Russia was grieving together with the United States and proposed reviving cooperation on the fight against terrorism despite a litany of problems in bilateral ties.

Arms for Minsk

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday said Minsk planned to buy $1 billion worth of Russian arms by 2025 as he oversaw massive Moscow-led military drills that rattled some EU countries.

Lukashenko added that he wanted to buy Russia's S-400 air defense systems with a view to placing them on his country's border with Western-backed Ukraine. The consignment included about 10 planes, several dozen helicopters and a Tor surface-to-air missile system, he said.

					Alexander Lukashenko					 					president.gov.by
Alexander Lukashenko president.gov.by

Sentenced opposition

Veteran Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was sentenced Friday to one year of “restricted freedom” for promoting January protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Alyokhina is one of 10 opposition figures accused of violating coronavirus restrictions on mass events by calling for the Jan. 23 protest that saw thousands take to the streets in Moscow and dozens of other Russian cities. 

					Maria Alekhina					 					Press Office of the Moscow City Court / TASS
Maria Alekhina Press Office of the Moscow City Court / TASS

Jailed for a banner

A Russian court sentenced a self-described anarchist couple to prison for hanging a banner likening the Federal Security Service (FSB) to terrorists.

Dmitry Tsibukovsky and his wife Anastasia Safonova were detained in 2018 after hanging a banner that read “The FSB is the main terrorist” on the fence of the Chelyabinsk regional FSB headquarters. The act was in support of members of the Set’ (“Network”) anti-fascist activist group who were jailed on terrorism charges that rights groups condemned as fabricated.

Tennis upset

Daniil Medvedev shattered Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam dream with a straight sets victory in the U.S. Open final Sunday, denying the world number one a record-breaking 21st major men's singles title.

Russia's second-ranked Medvedev dominated Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to prevent the first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969 and keep Djokovic level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal atop the career Slam title list.

‘Strong’ prince

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday unveiled a huge monument to legendary medieval prince Alexander Nevsky as he praised a "strong" Russia ahead of parliamentary polls.

Accompanied by Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, and top officials, the Russian leader unveiled a 50-ton monument to the prince and his warriors on the shores of Chudskoe Lake, on the northwestern border with EU member Estonia.

AFP contributed reporting.

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