Ice is no obstacle to Russians' piety

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The Independent Online

Here is something to put Britain's wet and windy winter into perspective: Russians are taking sub-zero dips to celebrate the Orthodox Epiphany. The idea is to cleanse the soul, as well as the body. In parts of southern Russia, cleanliness is proving impossible. In Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, where temperatures are -15C, there has been no heating, water or power for 10 days. And the Met Office says there's worse to come. It has warned of an impending -55C in Siberia, which is 16C cooler than the normal minimum.