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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow, Nearby Regions Buried in Heavy Snowfall

MTA police officer guarding Red Square after a heavy snowfall Wednesday as Communist supporters gather at Stalin's grave to commemorate the 126th anniversary of his birth.
Heavy snowfall paralyzed traffic in Moscow and other cities in central Russia on Wednesday, as weather forecasters predicted that snowfall would continue at least until Friday.

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Overnight, an average of 10 centimeters of snow covered Moscow, rising to 13 centimeters in the north of the city, weather officials said.

More than 8,000 trucks were deployed on the city's streets overnight and 2,100 tons of snow-melting chemicals were sprayed, but the snow still slowed down traffic or paralyzed it altogether on some of the city's main highways as millions of Muscovites and Moscow region residents struggled to get to work.

While the snow slowed down road traffic, the city's airports continued to operate as usual, Gazeta.ru reported.

The snowfall was the winter's heaviest so far, and already equaled a winter month's average, said Marina Orlova, a spokeswoman for the Moscow city government, Interfax reported.

It snowed as heavily in central Russia, with settlements in the Vladimir and Ryazan regions experiencing electricity blackouts as the wet snow ruptured the local electricity grid. In the Vladimir region, 13 villages in the Gus-Khrustalny district and three villages in the Malenkovsky district were without electricity as of Wednesday afternoon, Interfax reported. In the Ryazan region, 33 settlements were waiting to have electricity restored as of Wednesday afternoon, Interfax reported.

On Russia's border with Georgia, snow blocked the Caucasus Military Highway and trucks lined up in the separatist region of South Ossetia as local authorities struggled to clear roads.

Heavy snow will continue in central and northwestern Russia through Thursday and Friday, the Federal Meterological and Environmental Monitoring Service said.