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September 11, 2018

Russians protest against pension reform

Russians protest against pension reform

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  • 25 August 2018: Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human
  • 16 July 2018: France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • 16 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium beats England 2-0 to claim third place finish
  • 13 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Croatia sends England home, 2-1
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rally against raising the retirement age (2018-09-09; Saint Petersburg).
Image: VOA.

A member of the protest holds a sign saying “‍[This is] Pension default (not reform)! Impeachment to Putin! Fire Medvedev! Remove Gosduma!”.
Image: VOA.

On Sunday, reportedly over a thousand Russians were arrested for illegally protesting against government plans for pension age adjustment. The protest spanned several regions across the country. The plan would raise the retirement age an additional five years, with new age for men at 65, for women at 60.

According to monitoring data from media project OVD-Info, 1018 people were arrested, including 452 people in St Petersburg, 183 people in Yekaterinburg, 60 in Krasnodar, 43 each in Moscow and Omsk, 23 in Perm, 22 in Kazan, 20 in Tver, 17 in Ufa, 15 in Habarovsk, 13 each in Tomsk and Belgorod, 12 each in Chelyabinsk and Lipetsk, 10 in Novosibirsk, and some 80 in other cities.

Locations of the arrests.

In Moscow, the rally started at Pushkin Square at 2 p.m. local time and anti-riot police pushed people away. They marched toward the Kremlin. On their way, they again clashed with Police and did not complete the route.

The protests reportedly started in the Far East and Siberia first, followed by western regions of the country.

Regional elections were also on Sunday.

The pension adjustment plan has reportedly coincided with a significant drop in approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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August 25, 2018

Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human

Fossil genome shows hybrid of two extinct species of human

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Biology
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A team of scientists has announced remains of a human girl from about 50 thousand years ago had one Neanderthal parent and one Denisovan parent, two different species of humans, both species now extinct. The results, from genomic tests in Leipzig, Germany of fossil bone from Siberia, Russia, were published on Wednesday in scientific journal Nature. The researchers said this is the first discovery of a child with parents of different human species.

The single fossilized bone fragment, about two centimetres (less than an inch) long, which researchers said was from a girl at least 13 years old, was found in 2012 in the Denisova Cave in Siberia. The Denisovan species of humans is only directly known from the same cave, where it was discovered in 2011; the cave is also the only site where both Nenderthal and Denisovan remains have been found. Neanderthals have been found in Europe and Asia. Traces of genes from both species occur in some modern humans. Researchers found the nuclear DNA in this bone fragment was split fairly evenly between both species, while the mitochondrial DNA was Neanderthal; nuclear DNA comes from both parents, while mitochondrial DNA comes only from the mother, so they concluded the girl’s mother was Neanderthal and her father Denisovan.

Lead author on the study Viviane Slon, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, said “We knew from previous studies that Neanderthals and Denisovans must have occasionally had children together […] But I never thought we would be so lucky as to find an actual offspring of the two groups.” The team rechecked the findings several times. Scientist Johannes Krause, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, called the finding “sensational”. Study coauthor Svante Pääbo, of MPI-EVA, remarked on the improbability of discovering such a hybrid when only two dozen human genomes over 40 thousand years old —when the other species of humans were still around— have been done: “The fact that we stumbled across this makes you wonder if the mixing wasn’t quite frequent […] Had it happened frequently, we would not have such divergence between the Denisovans and Neanderthal genomes.”

The researchers also noted the girl’s father, though Denisovan, had a trace of Neanderthal DNA, from perhaps as much as several hundred generations earlier. They also reported the mother’s DNA was not closely related to that of other Neanderthals found in the cave, suggesting multiple migrations of Neanderthals between Siberia and Europe.



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  • Viviane Slon, Fabrizio Mafessoni, Benjamin Vernot, Cesare de Filippo, Steffi Grote, Bence Viola, Mateja Hajdinjak, Stéphane Peyrégne, Sarah Nagel, Samantha Brown, Katerina Douka, Tom Higham, Maxim B. Kozlikin, Michael V. Shunkov, Anatoly P. Derevianko, Janet Kelso, Matthias Meyer, Kay Prüfer, Svante Pääbo. “The genome of the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father” — Nature (journal), August 22, 2018
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July 16, 2018

France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Monday, July 16, 2018

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More from 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • 16 July 2018: France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • 16 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium beats England 2-0 to claim third place finish
  • 13 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Croatia sends England home, 2-1
  • 13 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Umtiti scores only goal, France reaches finals beating Belgium
  • 10 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: England beats Sweden, Croatia knocks out hosts Russia
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Yesterday, France defeated Croatia 4–2 in the final of 2018 FIFA Football World Cup to win the tournament for the second time. French teenager Kylian Mbappé became the second teenager to score in a FIFA World Cup final after Pelé did in 1958’s tournament.

Croatia dominated the ball possession, having almost twice as much as France. In the sixth minute, French defender Samuel Umtiti won a free kick in the defensive half. In the 17th minute, Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozović committed a foul and the referee awarded France a freekick. Mario Mandžukić ended up scoring an own goal from Antoine Griezmann’s assist, giving France an early lead. Domagoj Vida and Ivan Rakitić tried to equalise for Croatia, later, but their attempts were either blocked or went wide. In the 27th minute, French defensive midfielder N’Golo Kanté was shown a yellow card for a bad foul. A minute later, Ivan Perišić scored a left-footed shot from Vida’s assist, equalising for Croatia. The sides were not tied to 1–1 score for long. In the 35th minute, the referee awarded France a penalty kick, after confirming with the video assistant referee. Ivan Perišić had a handball in the penalty area. Greizmann scored from the penalty, putting the ball in the left corner and sending Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subašić in the opposite direction. Frenchman Lucas Hernández was booked by the referee in the 41st minute. The first half ended with France leading 2–1.

In the second half, Griezmann missed a chance to score from Olivier Giroud’s assist. France made their first substitution in the 55th minute, as N’Golo Kanté was replaced by Steven N’Zonzi. Just before the one-hour mark, Paul Pogba had a shot towards goal but was blocked and Pogba collected the ball, and on the second attempt, the French midfielder scored from the left-footed shot, doubling the lead for France. Kylian Mbappé scored the fourth goal in the 65th minute, from Hernández’s assist. With this goal, Mbappé became the second teenager to score in a FIFA World Cup final. In the 69th minute, Mandžukić scored the second goal for Croatia, intercepting French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris‘ pass. However, Croatia could not catch up the two-goal difference, and the match ended 4–2, as France won their second FIFA World Cup.

French coach Didier Deschamps became only the third person to win the FIFA football World Cup as a player and a coach. As a player, Deschamps won the World Cup in 1998, when he was the captain of the French team. Two years ago, the Deschamps-led French team ended up as the losing side in the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, 1–0 against Portugal in the extra-time.

After the match, Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalić said, “I congratulate France on their title […] I have to congratulate my players, it was maybe the best game we played in these championships; we controlled the match but we conceded. Against such a strong side as France, you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we have to be proud as well for what we’ve done.”

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić said, “We were the better team in the first half, we were attacking, but we were unlucky tonight. They scored four goals from their three shots on goal. But I congratulate France, they deserved it.”

Tournament top scorer Harry Kane won the Adidas Golden Boot award. The English striker scored six goals in the entire tournament. Belgium’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois won the Adidas Golden Glove award. Croatia’s captain Luka Modrić won the Adidas Golden Ball prize.




July 15, 2018
1800 MSK (UTC+0300)
France 4–2 Croatia Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Attendance: 78,011
Referee: Flag of Argentina.svg Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
Mario Mandžukić Scored after 18 minutes 18′ (o.g.)
Antoine Griezmann Scored after 38–39 minutes 38–39′ (pen.)
Paul Pogba Scored after 59 minutes 59′
Kylian Mbappé Scored after 65 minutes 65′
N’Golo Kanté Booked after 27 minutes 27′
Lucas Hernández Booked after 41 minutes 41′
N’Golo Kanté Substituted off after 55 minutes 55′
Steven N’Zonzi Substituted on after 55 minutes 55′
Blaise Matuidi Substituted off after 73 minutes 73′
Corentin Tolisso Substituted on after 73 minutes 73′
Olivier Giroud Substituted off after 81 minutes 81′
Nabil Fekir Substituted on after 81 minutes 81′
2–1 (HT) Ivan Perišić Scored after 28 minutes 28′
Mario Mandžukić Scored after 69 minutes 69′
Šime Vrsaljko Booked after 90+2 minutes 90+2′
Ante Rebić Substituted off after 71 minutes 71′
Andrej Kramarić Substituted on after 71 minutes 71′
Ivan Strinić Substituted off after 81 minutes 81′
Marko Pjaca Substituted on after 81 minutes 81′

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August 30, 2016

Turkey invades Jarabulus, Syria under operation \’Euphrates Shield\’

Turkey invades Jarabulus, Syria under operation ‘Euphrates Shield’

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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On Monday, special presidential envoy for the coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Brett McGurk, urged for the “unacceptable” clashes between the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Turkish troops, who are allied with theFree Syrian Army (FSA) to end.

Over the weekend Turkey targeted the PYD in Jeb el-Kussaa, near the border of Turkey in Northern Syria. Reports state at least 20 civilians died, and 50 were wounded due to Turkish air-strikes and artillery fire. On Sunday, another 15 civilians died, many of which are reported to be Kurdish civilians. So far, 35 civilians have died due to the operation, however on Monday, Turkey refuted this and claims only 25 Kurdish militants died in the strikes.

Turkish forces in allegiance with the (FSA) and backed by the U.S, launched operation “Euphrates Shield” on August 24, and quickly captured the ISIL held city of Jarabulus, where ISIL fighters seem to have fled without a fight. Approximately 40 Turkish tanks and 2,000 FSA troops entered Jarabulus via the Turkish border that day. In support of the operation, U.S. A-10 and F-16 warplanes also hit targets within Syria.

Turkish President, Recap Tayyip Erdogan said operation “Euphrates Shield” targets “terrorist groups” such as ISIL and the PYD, who Erdogan claims have been threatening and attacking Turkey from Syria. However analysts have said the operation is really to prevent the PYD, who had been marching towards Jarabulus, from gaining territory in Northern Syria and creating an independent state.

Ankara considers the PYD and its military wing (YPG) to be a faction of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who are regarded as enemies of the Turkish government for starting an insurgency within Turkey. Earlier this month, the YPG helped regain control of the formerly ISIL held city of Manjib, and have been deemed as one of the strongest U.S. backed forces in Syria.

On Thursday, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. sided with Turkey’s demands and asked the Kurdish troops to withdraw over the Euphrates River or risk losing U.S. support. Later that day, US State Secretary John Kerry said the Syrian Kurdistan forces had retreated east from Euphrates.

The Syrian regime condemned Turkey’s actions claiming their invasion violates Syria’s sovereignty and added that Turkey was merely “replacing one terrorist group with another.” Following a complaint from Syria to the United Nations (UN), a spokesman from Secretary General Stephane Dujarric de la Rivière, confirmed Turkey’s actions were considered an invasion.


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August 26, 2016

Turkey invades Jarabulus, Syria under operation \”Euphrates Shield\”

Turkey invades Jarabulus, Syria under operation “Euphrates Shield”

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Friday, August 26, 2016

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On Wednesday, Turkish forces in allegiance with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and backed by the United States (U.S.), launched operation “Euphrates Shield” and quickly captured the ISIL held city of Jarabulus, which is located on the border of Turkey in Northern Syria. Many Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters seem to have fled without a fight.

Turkish President, Recap Tayyip Erdogan said operation “Euphrates Shield” would target “terrorist groups” such as ISIL and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), who Erdogan claims have been threatening and attacking Turkey from Syria. However analysts have said the operation is really aimed at the PYD who had been marching towards Jarabulus, and are also allied with the U.S. and Israel.

Ankara considers the PYD and its military wing (YPG) to be a faction of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who are regarded as enemies of the Turkish government. Earlier this month, the YPG helped regain control of the formerly ISIL held city of Manjib, and have been deemed as one of the strongest U.S. backed forces in Syria.

Approximately 40 Turkish tanks, and 2,000 FSA troops entered Jarabulus on midday via the Turkish border. Unconfirmed reports also state the operation involved artillery, MLRS, and Turkish commandos. According to the Turkish military, 224 airstrikes were carried out on 63 targets, which destroyed 12. In support of the operation, U.S. A-10 and F-16 warplanes also hit targets within Syria.

The Syrian regime condemned Turkey’s actions claiming their invasion violates Syria’s sovereignty and added that Turkey was merely “replacing one terrorist group with another.”

On Thursday, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. sided with Turkey’s demands and asked the Kurdish troops to withdraw over the Euphrates River or risk losing U.S. support.



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August 14, 2016

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

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Ukrainian troops on the Crimean border were put on full combat alert on Thursday, said Ukrainian officials, after tensions rose between Russia and Ukraine over the preceding several days.

Location of Crimea and Ukraine in Europe.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Wednesday to have captured over the preceding weekend a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices; amid Russian accusations of Ukrainian military actions in Crimea, an area Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A video on Russian state television allegedly showed one Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian military, in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. The FSB claimed in foiling the plot a Russian soldier and a secret service agent died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, put his own troops on high alert, suggesting the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

Sergey Aksyonov, appointed head of Crimea by Russia, stated to Russian state media: “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea”, while Poroshenko compared Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Great Terror in which Stalin sent perhaps a million political dissidents to their deaths.



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August 12, 2016

Syrian Arab Army counters Jaysh Al-Fateh with help of Russian air strikes in Aleppo

Syrian Arab Army counters Jaysh Al-Fateh with help of Russian air strikes in Aleppo

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Friday, August 12, 2016

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On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed by Hezbollah and the Russian Air Force (RuAF), went on the offensive after ten days of defense against jihadists, whom are mostly members of Jaysh Al-Fateh (the Army of Conquest), in Aleppo, Syria.

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Image: INeverCry.

This offensive allowed the SAA to regain full control over five building blocks in the 1070 residential area in Southern Aleppo. Field sources reported the SAA were also able to recover more territory near the military academy and the 1070 residential area.

Over the last week, 1,000 enemy combatants were killed in the battle in and around Aleppo, according to the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy.

A member of the elite Tiger Forces, from the Syrian Armed Forces, told Al-Masdar News on Thursday morning, that the Syrian Armed Forces were engaged in intense combat with the Jaysh al-Fateh jihadists on the ground near the Al-Ramouseh District.

A large number of Jaysh al-Fateh casualties were inflicted after the SAA and their allies, launched their counter-attack on Jaysh-al Fateh militants in the south and west of Aleppo. A military source reported this counter attack caused the militants to lose forces, weapons and armored vehicles with attached machine guns and artillery, a long with suicide vehicles.

These developments occurred after the SAA, supported by air strikes and artillery fire from Hezbollah and Russian allies, opened heavy fire on Jaysh al-Fateh positions and gatherings in al-Ramouseh, al-Shorfa al-Moqla and al-Jabs Market in the Eastern parts of al-Rashedeen and the Southern parts of 1070 residential area.

On Wednesday, the Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy, said about 7,000 armed jihadist militants had gathered on the south-western access points to the City of Aleppo, Syria. The militants have been garnering reinforcements by pulling their troops from the controlled areas in neighbouring regions of Idlib, Homs and Hama, Rudskoy continued.

Intense combat has been ongoing since the jihadist militants launched a series of attacks in Aleppo last weekend, in an attempt to reconnect an SAA besieged area in east Aleppo with the insurgent territory in the west.



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Tenions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

Tenions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

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Friday, August 12, 2016}

Tensions have risen between Russia and Ukraine over the past few days with accusations from Russia that Ukrainian forces has been carrying out armed incursions into Crimea, that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

map of Ukrainian conflict

Last weekend the Russian security services(FSB) claimed to have captured a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices. Russian state television showed a video of a man called Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian army in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. In the process of foiling this plot it has been reported that a Russian soldier and secret services agent have died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine has claimed that there are 30,000 Russian troops on the Russia Ukraine boarder, and has put his own troops into high alert.

The hostilities were also exchanged with words . The undemocratic head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov told Russian state media “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea” while Poroshenko compared Russia`s actions in Crimea to the great terror in which Stalin sent up to 1 million political dissidents and others to their deaths.



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Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

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Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tensions have risen between Russia and Ukraine over the past few days, with Ukrainian troops on the boarder with Crimea being put on alert yesterday.

map of Ukrainian conflict

Last weekend the Russian security services(FSB) claimed to have captured a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices among Russian accusations of armed incursions into Crimea, an area that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Russian state television showed a video of a man called Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian army in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. In the process of foiling this plot it has been reported that a Russian soldier and secret services agent have died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine has claimed that there are 30,000 Russian troops on the Russia Ukraine boarder, and has put his own troops into high alert, suggesting that the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

The hostilities were also exchanged with words . The undemocratic head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov told Russian state media “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea” while Poroshenko compared Russia`s actions in Crimea to the great terror in which Stalin sent up to 1 million political dissidents and others to their deaths.



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August 7, 2016

Russian vice-consul reportedly shoots mugger dead in Rio

Russian vice-consul reportedly shoots mugger dead in Rio

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

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The Russian Vice-Consul for Rio de Janeiro — by reports disputed by the Russian Consul — shot and killed an attacker on Thursday , after two individuals attempted to commit a robbery.

As reported, Brazilian lawyer Marcos Cesar Feres Braga — so-named by the Daily Mail newspaper — working for the Russian Consulate, was driving with his family through the suburb of Barra da Tijuca near the main Olympic Park complex when the incident occurred. According to reports from the Rio newspaper O Globo, the 60-year-old man, his wife, and his daughter were stopped in traffic due to the Olympic torch procession in a nearby neighbourhood. Two individuals on motorbikes approached and used a gun to smash the car window. Braga, trained and considered an expert — according to reports — in jujutsu, took control of the attacker’s firearm and proceeded to shoot dead the alleged attacker, while the second suspect fled the scene.

Rio de Janeiro’s homicide branch has released a statement in relation to the incident. “The vice consul got into a physical struggle with the assailant and during the fight the aggressor’s weapon fired shots. The assailant died of his wounds on the spot.”

However, Russia’s Consul General Vladimir Tokmakov has released a statement claiming no Russian diplomats or employees of the consulate general were involved in the incident. “Information circulating in the Brazilian press about the alleged shooting […] of a Brazilian national by a Russian diplomat during an armed robbery does not reflect reality”.



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