Russia seizes 40 tonnes of embargoed European cheeses | AFP

Russian customs seizes 40 tonnes of European cheeses smuggled into the country in breach of an embargo on EU food imports. The cheese was found at a port near the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg in four containers labelled as a component used to produce rubber. The shipment included Dorblu blue cheese and Italian hard cheeses such as Grana Padano.

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Five die in Saint Petersburg hospital fire | AFP

Following the death of five people in a fire in a hospital for coronavirus patients in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg, the hospital authorities announce that they have launched a probe into the incident.

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Images of aftermath after five die in fire at Russian coronavirus hospital | AFP

Authorities and firefighters inspect the scene of a fire at a hospital in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, which killed five coronavirus patients who had been attached to ventilators, officials and news agencies said. IMAGES

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Russian Orthodox believers kiss relics despite virus warnings | AFP

Russian Orthodox believers shrug off coronavirus health warnings, to kiss relics of John the Baptist in Saint Petersburg’s Kazan cathedral. Moscow has counted dozens of cases in the country, but no deaths so far, according to the latest official figures.

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On magnets and mugs, Putin’s face still sells | AFP

Twenty years after he came to power, President Vladimir Putin is omnipresent, not only across Russia’s airways, but on the magnets, mugs and matryoshka dolls on sale to visitors throughout his hometown of Saint Petersburg.

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Today in History for December 18th

U.S. Supreme Court upholds the relocation and detention of Japanese-Americans during World War Two; U.S. begins 12 days of heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets; Steven Spielberg is born; Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ – publicly premieres in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Dec. 18)

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100 million euros worth of synthetic drugs seized in Russia | AFP

Police in St. Petersburg, Russia, seize a record 7.8 tons of a powerful synthetic drug worth an estimated amount of about 100 million euros. The drug, called Alpha-PVP or “bath salts”, is known for its hallucinatory effects. It was found in both finished and semi-finished states in a clandestine laboratory outside Saint Petersburg.

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Russian farm community fights mental health stigma | AFP

At a farm outside Saint Petersburg, a group of people with mental disabilities are working in a bakery, a barn and a dairy — a rare case of integration in Russia, where mental health issues face a strong stigma.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping honoured by Russian university | AFP

Xi Jinping is made Doctor Honoris Causa by the state university of Saint-Petersburg, where the Chinese President is participating in the Economic Forum. IMAGES of the ceremony, attended by Russia’s Vladimir Putin

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In Russia, thousands search for remains of Soviet war dead

Every spring, groups go to a hilly area named Sinyavino to the east of Saint Petersburg that saw heavy fighting from 1941 to 1944, as Soviets attempted to break through a Nazi blockade. Thanks to volunteers who carry out regular digs at battlefield sites outside Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) the soldiers will finally be buried, decades after the end of the war.

Explosive device wounds three at St Petersburg military academy

Uniformed army officials and rescue workers observe the aftermath of a blast caused by an unidentified explosive device that wounded three at a military academy in Russia’s northwestern city of Saint Petersburg. The device was described as lacking casing, meaning that it was not a military device such as a mortar shell blast.

Explosive device wounds three at St Petersburg military academy

Uniformed army officials and rescue workers observe the aftermath of a blast caused by an unidentified explosive device that wounded three at a military academy in Russia’s northwestern city of Saint Petersburg. The device was described as lacking casing, meaning that it was not a military device such as a mortar shell. IMAGES of activity at the military academy following the blast

11 on trial over deadly Saint Petersburg metro attack

After been postponed three weeks ago, the trial of eleven people allegedly involved in a Saint Petersburg metro bombing that killed 15 and injured dozens more begins in Russia’s second city. The bombing in April 2017 was claimed by a group linked to Al-Qaeda which said it was a message to countries engaged in war with Muslims, a reference to Russia’s military campaign in Syria. IMAGES of the accused in the dock

Fans charge up Zenit squad with fire show before match with Fenerbahce in St. Pete

Zenit fans greeted their team with a spectacular flare display outside the home stadium in Saint Petersburg, ahead of their Europa League clash with Turkey’s Fenerbahce, which the Russian team won 3-1, making it into the last 16. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9ov1

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KKK-Khristmas?: ‘Ghost’ Xmas trees invade St Pete

A simple act of vandalism on dozens of Christmas trees made it appear as if a peculiar Ku Klux Klan chapter had sprung up in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg this week. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9lcl

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Runaway lion, wounded elk find home in Russian shelter

A lion that escaped from an airport, a crocodile found at a rubbish dump and an elk attacked by stray dogs — all these animals have found refuge in an unusual private shelter in Russia. Dozens of bears have also passed through the Veles centre, just outside Saint Petersburg, since it was opened in 2009 by businessman Alexander Fyodorov, who says he spent more than $1 million on the project.

Today in History for December 18th

(18 Dec 2018) U.S. Supreme Court upholds the relocation and detention of Japanese-Americans during World War Two; U.S. begins 12 days of heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets; Steven Spielberg is born; Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ – publicly premieres in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Dec. 18)

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