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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Census-Takers Take On Dogs, Siberian Protesters and a Goat

As census-takers went into overdrive over the weekend, they confronted angry Siberians boycotting the population count and fought off attacks by dogs and even a goat.

Saturday and Sunday were the busiest days of the weeklong census, when census-takers hired by the State Statistics Committee hoped to reach the majority of people at home.

To encourage wary Russians to participate in the census, three cosmonauts aboard the international space station were shown on television answering questions from census officials who contacted them Friday from Mission Control outside Moscow.

In some regions, census-takers faced difficulties while conducting the head count. Some 500 residents of the Defense Ministry town LPK-122, located inside the city of Bratsk in the Irkutsk region, demonstrably refused to take part in the census, protesting cutoffs in heating because of debts.

In Adygeya, a southern republic, three census-takers were attacked and bitten by dogs when they went door-to-door. During the previous census, in 1989, 20 cases of dogs attacking census-takers were recorded in Adygeya, Interfax reported, citing the republic's statistics agency.

In the Samara region village of Shigony, a student hired as a census-taker sustained injuries to his back when he was butted by a he-goat called Borka as he was trying to get into a house to interview the goat's owners, reported Saturday. Fearing he would be held responsible for his animal's behavior, the owner hid in his garage.

In the Ryazan region town of Spas-Klepiki, a man destroyed some 120 liters of moonshine he had made by pouring it into the sewer, also reported. The man, who was not identified in the report, said he did not have a television or a radio and and was not aware of the census. He said he got nervous when he saw some officials approaching his house in the company of a local police officer.

The census continues through Wednesday, and officials expect preliminary results to be available by March 31.