“Pobeda [a Russian airline], company of sadists, be cursed!”
– A priest from Yekaterinburg allegedly cursed an airline that refused to let a crying woman get on a flight in order to travel to a funeral, because of baggage issues. She didn’t take off, but the story did.
1. Who says that Russia is only known for onion-domed churches? On August 23, the largest mosque in Europe was officially opened for worship in Shali, Chechnya. The massive mosque can fit 30,000 people inside – three times as much as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow – and 100,000 people on its overall territory, which is more than double the total population of Shali. The date of the ceremony coincided with the birthday of Chechnya’s first president, Akhmad Kadyrov (current president Ramzam Kadyrov’s father), who played a significant role in bringing peace to Chechnya. While some wanted to name the mosque in honor of Kadyrov Junior, the final decision was to look at the bigger picture for Europe’s biggest mosque, and name it after the Prophet Muhammed. Peace be upon him, and peace be in Chechnya.
2. Erdogan screams, Putin screams, all of Russia screams for ice cream. At the annual International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in Moscow President Putin bought ice cream for his guest, Turkish President Erdogan. He used a 5000-ruble note (about $75) and asked that the change be put toward Russian aviation development. He quickly changed his mind, though, and decided to buy ice cream for the whole delegation instead. His choice for Erdogan was a bit vanilla – literally vanilla – but Putin, never one to be boring, bought himself both chocolate and cream-flavored ice creams. (It sounds less redundant in Russian.) Putin bought the same ice cream at the same conference two years ago, when it was a whopping 15 cents cheaper, a fact that made headlines for some reason.
3. Artyom, a five-year-old, reported that one of his toy cars had been stolen by another boy. And he reported it to the regional head of the police. The authorities didn’t play around. They took immediate action to settle the conflict between the children. Then, when Artyom turned six this past week, the local police chief came to his house to wish him a happy birthday from the regional head, gift him a new toy car, and give him a ride in a real police car. No wonder Artyom now says he wants to become a police officer when he grows up.
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