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Dozens Arrested in Violence at Moscow Gay Rally

Moscow police Saturday detained three prominent global gay rights leaders as violence broke out at an unprecedented rally that activists tried to stage near the Kremlin wall.

The protesters -- waving rainbow flags and some carrying signs reading "Russia is not Iran" -- were attacked during the unsanctioned rally by members of an ultra-Orthodox group who had gathered near the Kremlin in anticipation.

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Bolshoi Unveils 'Five-Star' Stage

The Bolshoi Theater's long-running renovation took a step closer to completion Wednesday as officials unveiled a hi-tech rehearsal stage due to be handed over to the ballet dancers this month.

More than 3,000 builders are working at the site every day to ensure the great Moscow theatre is ready for its opening night in October, said Mikhail Sidorov, a spokesman for the company in charge of renovations, Summa Capital, told Agence France Presse.

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Russia's 'Flying Donkey' Dies of Heart Attack

A donkey that last summer shot to international fame after being forced to parasail above the beaches of southern Russia has died of a heart attack, her minders said on Saturday.

A veterinarian said the heart attack was likely the result of stress brought on by the experience, which sparked an international outcry from human-rights activists and a campaign by a British tabloid to rescue the beast.

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Sharapova Makes Rare Russia Fed Cup Appearance

Maria Sharapova hopes her first Fed Cup outing in three years will help erase the misery of her latest Grand Slam blow-out.

The three-time major winner, and former world number one who has struggled to rediscover her best form since a 2008 shoulder injury, suffered a tame fourth round defeat at the Australian Open.

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Moscow Shuts Down Schools Due to Flu

Moscow and at least two other cities shut all their elementary schools Saturday to help fight one of the worst flu outbreaks to hit central Russia in more than a decade, officials said.

The Moscow closure would affect more than 1,500 schools.

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Russia Ratifies U.S. Nuclear Disarmament Treaty

Russia's upper house of parliament Wednesday ratified the new U.S. nuclear disarmament treaty, the final step in approving the first nuclear pact between the two former Cold War foes in 20 years.

All 137 senators in the Federation Council upper house approved the new START treaty, which U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed in Prague on April 8, 2010.

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Russia Probes Caucasus Link to Airport Terror

President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that clear breaches in security had allowed a suspected female suicide bomber linked to Russia's Northern Caucasus to slaughter 35 people at Moscow's main airport.

In comments broadcast on national television, Medvedev demanded answers from Domodedovo airport over how it let the bomber wander into arrivals and set off a charge just as passengers from several international flights were arriving.

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31 Killed, Scores Hurt in Moscow Airport Suicide Bombing

A suspected suicide bombing Monday killed at least 31 people and wounded over 100 at Moscow's Domodedovo international airport in an attack described by investigators as an act of terror.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to Russian radio described a scene of carnage after the blast ripped through the baggage claims section of the arrivals hall at Russia's largest airport.

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Putin: Israeli Flotilla Raid Must Not Be Repeated, Iran Sanctions Ineffective

Israel's deadly raid on an aid flotilla for Gaza was a tragedy that demands detailed investigation and must not be repeated, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Agence France Presse in an interview.

"What is especially tragic is that this act was carried out in neutral waters," the Russian prime minister said in a discussion late Monday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

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