A girl who made headlines around the world when she survived almost two weeks alone in the Siberian wilderness has won a Russian children’s beauty contest

A girl who made headlines around the world when she survived almost two weeks alone in the Siberian wilderness has won a Russian children’s beauty contest.

Karina Chikitova, who clung on to her loyal puppy, fought to stay alive in a forest full of brown bears and wolves.

Homes nearby were a mixture of restored shops and houses and burnt-out shells, but the means by which this Christian town, on the Nineveh Plain east of Mosul, was rebuilding itself, three years after it was smashed by Islamic State, were also clearly on show.

A USAid lorry was parked opposite the church. Next door was a building also carrying the organisation’s banner. Elsewhere were posters advertising American evangelical charities such as Samaritan’s Purse, the missionary organisation run by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and one of President Trump’s most avid supporters.

Vasily Ignatenko was one of the first responders at the power plant when it exploded in the early hours of April 26, 1986, in what was then the Soviet Union and is now Ukraine. Ignatenko was summoned to the blaze but suffered severe poisoning from the radiation which was released into the atmosphere.

“Bibi did things for Likud members that no one else was able to do,” he said, referencing Donald Trump’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem, a move decried by Palestinians who also claim parts of the city. Israel, which claims all of Jerusalem, celebrated the move as a diplomatic triumph.

Outside the polling centre, two white tents had been erected in the fierce winter wind. One was for Netanyahu, where volunteers were handing out T-shirts, stickers and even umbrellas to several supporters. Next to it, a much quieter tent had fliers for Saar.

Novaya Zemlya is known for its severe, windswept climate; the home of polar bears, ice and permafrost. It was also the location for tests of the largest atomic bomb in history in 1961. The tests happened at the north of the archipelago. The base where Mr Shaveddinov has been sent is at the southern tip, and specialises in Russia’s top-of-the-range S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft systems. 

When it finally came round to admitting details, the Kremlin was unapologetic. The form of the conscription did not “leave a shadow over the Russian army”, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisted.