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Temperatures plummet as Europe's big freeze spreads

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Temperatures plummet as Europe's big freeze spreads


Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul has failed to escape the arctic temperatures and blizzard conditions that are wreaking havoc across parts of Europe.

Flights have been cancelled and scores of cars were stuck in snow.

Europe had enjoyed a relatively mild winter until last weekend but a Siberian system swinging in from the east brought that to an abrupt halt.

Widespread snow in Italy has caused travel disruption and put paid to several top flight football matches. It is forecast to be the country’s coldest week in 27 years.

Eastern Europe has been hit hardest by a cold snap that has left some 90 people dead. Now the big chill is extending south and west.

In Moscow, daytime temperatures have fallen as low as minus 22 degrees Celsius. Vladimir Putin’s opponents fear this could reduce attendance at Saturday’s rally against the prime minister, a month before he stands in a presidential poll.

The death toll in Ukraine alone has now risen to more than 40. With overnight temperatures sinking as low as minus 33 degrees Celsius, hundreds of heated tents have been put up to shelter the homeless.

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