Siberia scrambles to contain swine fever after infected shipment

Russian authorities scramble to seize swine fever-infected sausages after getting test results from an eight-tonne shipment that had crossed the border from Mongolia. The agriculture watchdog in the Siberian region of Buryatia said in a press release it would destroy the infected meat that was imported on January 30. A store chain in Ulan-Ude, the region’s main city, was offering to give customers twice the amount they paid for any sausage returned.

Russian Buddhists celebrate new lunar year in Siberia

Braving freezing temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, Russian Buddhists kick off Lunar New Year celebration with prayers and wishes in the Siberian region of Buryatia near the Mongolian border. While the majority of Russia’s population identifies as Orthodox Christian, there are some 900,000 Buddhists living in the border region, as well as further west in the region of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea. Buddhists, like other religious groups, suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities, but the post-Soviet years have seen a revival, with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism from other countries playing a major role.