Ukraine: Russian soldiers may ‘freeze to death’ in winter says Clarke

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Large regions in Russia are facing a freezing winter, as temperatures in Siberia have dropped to as low as -62.7C (-80.9F). Meteorlogists note that this recording marks the coldest day in Russia in about 21 years, as large parts of the country are currently facing lower-than-normal temperatures. At 9 AM on Wednesday, the weather agency in Russia’s Yakutia (Sakha) region recorded a temperature of -62.7C at Tongulakh, breaking the station’s all-time low for the third time this month. The weather station was modernised less than a year ago, is located in a sparesely habited, remote part of Siberia. Records for the area date back to 1948.

This recording of -62.7C marks the lowest temperature seen in Russia since February 2002, and the lowest January temperature in the country since 1982.

Despite these extreme temperatures, in Yakutsk, the region’s capital, people jumped into ice cold water to mark the Christian Orthodox day of Epiphany, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Sakha leader Aysen Nikolayev, who jumped into waters that were about -50C (-58F) told TASS: “You have to look after your health. This is absolutely voluntary.”

In Russia, the lowest temperatures ever recorded was a staggering -67.8C (-90.0F), which has happened twice- in 1892 and later in 1933, also marking the lowest temperatures ever recorded in a populated region anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile in the UK, police are urging travellers to be careful as the coldest temperatures of the year are recorded in parts of the country. Police warn they are dealing with “a lot of accidents” after temperatures reach nearly -10C in some areas, as much of the UK remains under yellow weather warnings.

Brits are predicted to face a continued icy few days as heavy snow is predicted to fall in several areas of the country – with one area expected to receive nine inches of it.

The Met Office said that many places will see some “winter sunshine” after a “frosty start” to the day, but warned: “It’s worth leaving extra time for any journeys that you have planned.”

Surrey Police took a more jovial approach as they warned motorists of the dangers, writing on Twitter: “This is snow joke, baby it’s cold out there. Please take care on the roads, the gritters are out and about but we are dealing with a lot of accidents at the moment.”

Yesterday morning was the coldest day of the year so far, with temperature plummeting as low as -9.8C in the village of Topcliffe in North Yorkshire.

Yellow weather warnings, indicating snow and ice, have been issued for much of the north of Scotland, Northern Ireland, parts of Wales, Cornwall and the south of England, with anyone heading out warned to be wary of icy conditions.

The Met Desk’s WX Charts indicate that the Scottish Highlands, which yesterday was given a stronger amber warning, is predicted to get at least nine inches of snow by Thursday.

The weather agency said that more warnings are expected to be issued over the next few days as the freezing conditions continue.

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Forecasters have warned temperatures could stay below average into next week in parts of the UK. Of particular concern is the impact on motorists and travel, after yesterday’s weather saw multiple vehicles tipping over and Avon and Somerset Police received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours.

In one instance, a major incident was declared when a double decker bus with 70 passengers on board tipped over in a crash involving a motorcycle in Somerset yesterday.

The A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater was closed while police, fire and ambulance units remained on the scene into the afternoon.

NHS Somerset said 27 patients were taken to a minor injuries unit while another 26 were taken to the emergency department at Musgrove Hospital for injuries consistent with a “serious traffic collision”. A “small number” of those injured were left needing surgery, the service said.

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