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Russians have something to celebrate in London right now with the Maslenitsa festival, which celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring.
Well, they might need to spend a little longer in Britain before they get the hang of the interminable rain and cold that seems never-ending to natives, but they filled Trafalgar Square and put on brave faces nonetheless.
“On a personal note, it brings the most wonderful memories from the childhood – big stuffed dolls and a lot of pancakes, a lot a lot of delicious sugar and sweets,” said model Natalia Vodianova.
There have never been more Russians in the capital; on one estimate 200,000, a big increase from just a few thousand several years ago when the rich started pushing up property prices and buying football clubs. But that influx poses problems of its own; for example Russian-language schooling for most children is almost non-existent.
“The spring is yet to come to London, but people here are already celebrating it. This is the finale of Maslenitsa culture festival that has brought great talent from Russia to London,” concludes euronews’ London correspondent Ali May.