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Russians Accused of Raining on Protest Parade

A member of the Russian parliament accused the Kremlin of using chemicals to induce the torrential downpours that soaked tens of thousands of demonstrators at an anti-Putin demonstration, causing them to disband more than an hour before the protest was scheduled to end. Opposition leader Ilya Ponomaryov wrote on his blog. "An anomalously high content of silver iodide" was found in rainwater collected during the day and analyzed by chemists.

But if Putin was a rainmaker, wouldn't he do something about the drought that is destroying Russian agriculture?

In the Guardian, Howard Amos quotes Russian meteorologist Dmitry Kityov as saying that while he said it was theoretically possible to artificially induce rainfall, "This sort of thing has never been seen before," and rain was already in the weather forecast.

Actually, the OPPOSITE was done. The protest was scheduled for Russia Day, a national holiday, so according to Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Deryabin, eight military aircraft were deployed to scatter 1.5 tons of chemicals onto the gathering clouds, in order to guarantee good weather.

Russia regularly seeds the skies over Moscow on national holidays. Chemicals are dropped from planes into approaching rainclouds, causing them to disperse.

The Russians can make the sun shine, but they can't make it rain.

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