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Sheremetyevo Serves 14.6mn Passengers in First Quarter

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The largest airport in Russia, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, has said the number of passengers served in the first four months of this year reached 14.676 million, a 16.2% rise compared to the same time last year, Aex.ru reports.

Passenger traffic on international airlines (IAL) from the beginning of 2019 increased by 13.3% and amounted to 7.613 million people. On domestic airlines, passenger traffic increased by 19.5% and reached 7.063 million passengers. In April only, Sheremetyevo Airport served 3.968 thousand air passengers, which is 12.6% more than last year.

“The largest contribution to the growth of passenger traffic at Sheremetyevo in the first four months of 2019 was made by Aeroflot, Nordwind, Russia Airlines, Ikar, Air France and Air Astana. St. Petersburg, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Simferopol were the most popular destinations within Russia and Krasnodar; flights to Paris, Yerevan, Bangkok, Tel Aviv and Prague were in the greatest demand among foreign destinations,” the airport said.

This month, Sheremetyevo was ranked by passenger rights company AirHelp as the sixth best airport in the world for 2019. The AirHelp rating is determined by calculating on-time performance, service quality, and food and shops. The on-time performance statistics for every airport are calculated by AirHelp to find out how likely it is that a flight will be on time.

Sheremetyevo was also recognized as the most punctual airport in the world in the Major Airports category, according to a rating by Flightstats. The airport provided a timely departure of 95.08% of flights on schedule, the rating showed.

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Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

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Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast

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A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.

Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.

“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.

Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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