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Brutal Cold Hits Moscow

A Moscow bus (ITAR-TASS) 17 January 2006 -- Two people died of exposure in plunging temperatures in Moscow today and 14 others were hospitalized.

Temperatures dropped to minus 28 degrees Celsius as a cold wave hit from Siberia.

Electricity officials said the sharp drop in temperature had caused no supply disruptions in Moscow. But news reports said power was cut off to nearly 30 towns and villages in the Ryazan region southwest of Moscow. There were also problems in the Volga river region of Samara.

Russian media reported that police were under orders to make an exception to their usual practice of evicting homeless people from the subway, building entrances, and other shelters.

(AP, dpa)