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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Russia's Navy chief pictured meeting the surviving crew of the sunken Moskva missile cruiser. Russian defense ministry

Moskva meeting

Russia’s defense ministry posted footage Saturday of what it said was Navy chief meeting the surviving crew of the sunken Moskva missile cruiser at its home port of Sevastopol in annexed Crimea.

News outlets said they have identified the Moskva’s captain Anton Kuprin, who had been reported dead, at the event alongside around 100 of the 510-capacity crew. 

The Radio Svoboda (RFE/RL) news website said it spoke with a Moskva crew member’s wife who confirmed the death of her husband, Michman Ivan Vakhrushev, and said at least 27 others remained unaccounted for.

Sunken animation

Unknown administrators blocked access to a Soviet cartoon widely shared on YouTube that depicts underwater explorers discovering a sunken “fascist” ship marked by the letter Z.

Users called the animation “prophetic” for its apparent similarities to the sinking of the Moskva and the letter “Z” widely used by the Russian military in Ukraine. Russia’s animation studio Soyuzmultfilm denied responsibility or any affiliation with the YouTube channel despite its gray verification badge.

Anti-war arrests

At least 16 people have been detained at single-person pickets protesting the war in Ukraine in seven Russian cities on Saturday, according to the police-monitoring website OVD-Info.

An additional 26 people were detained in six cities Sunday, including during filming of a public service video on dust in Novosibirsk.

Nazi-Soviet distinction

Putin signed a law Saturday introducing fines and up to 15 days in jail for Nazi-Soviet comparisons.

Legal experts say the law could target anyone who contradicts Russia’s official version of events in World War II and brings up Soviet occupations of Poland and the Baltics.

BoJo No-Go

Moscow on Saturday announced it was banning entry to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several other top U.K. officials, after London imposed sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.

Russia's entry blacklist includes U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, former Prime Minister Theresa May and the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. 

AFP contributed reporting.

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