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Snowstorm Shuts Down Tatar Capital

WATCH: Massive snowfall has caused power outages, traffic jams, and school closures in Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan. The nearby regions of Samara, Udmurtia, and Yekaterinburg are experiencing similar problems.

KAZAN, Russia -- A heavy snowstorm has paralyzed life in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan, causing power outages, traffic jams, airport delays, and schools to close, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

A severe cold front brought gusty winds and wet snow to the Russian republic over the weekend, resulting in the loss of electricity for some 200,000 people in southeastern Tatarstan. Efforts to restore power continue, and more than 200 rescue teams are involved in operations to help people stranded by the inclement weather.

In Kazan, traffic jams and airport delays were reported, and school classes have been canceled.

Traffic police urged drivers to refrain from driving and to instead use public transportation. But the buses and trams had also collapsed as new snow continued to fall.

Similar weather was causing problems in the nearby regions of Samara, Udmurtia, and Yekaterinburg.

Tatarstan has a population of some 3.8 million people. Kazan is some 700 kilometers east of Moscow.

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