Russia: Forecaster blames Ukraine protests on chilly weather

Protesters around brazier in Kiev

Russian TV is now blaming wintry weather for pro-European Union street protests in Ukraine.

Moscow's propaganda campaign against the demonstrations in Kiev is often bizarre (see Children's toilet TV show drawn into Ukraine row), and now the Rossiya 24 news channel has turned to Vadim Zavodchenkov, a senior forecaster at the Fobos Weather Centre, for a climatic insight.

"Not for the first time has a sharp deterioration in the political climate in Ukraine coincided with the change in the seasons," he says, noting the 2004 Orange Revolution also started as winter set in.

Vadim Zavodchenkov Vadim Zavodchenkov

He claims Columbia University research shows "bad weather incites people to conflict" and Mikhail Gordeyev, the head of Russia's Institute of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, voices cautious agreement. "Drastic fluctuations in temperature are a stress factor and can cause surges in aggression and even some unlawful actions," he tells viewers.

Zavodchenkov advises the protestors to pack up and go home for the good of their health. "Staying outdoors for long in cold winter temperatures can be very harmful to your health. There's already been a sharp rise in acute respiratory viral infections in Kiev."

Protesters wave orange flags in the rain, November 2004 Wrapping up warm for 2004's Orange Revolution

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