© Reuters / Ilya NaymushinA woman walks past trees covered with heavy hoarfrost and snow on the bank of the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 14.8 degrees Fahrenheit), outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, December 24, 2012.
The coldest ever December has rolled through Russia causing the evacuation of hundreds of people in Siberia, where temperature hit below -50C, and plunging Moscow into its coldest night in the season. Will Christmas lift the frosty spell?
The cold weather that has Russia in its icy embrace has been causing all kinds of havoc. Flights and buses delayed and cancelled, many schools have been closed, and there have been power outages just when power is most needed.
© RIA Novosti / Alexsey NichukchinPolice patrol in downtown Moscow on December 22, 2012.
In the town of Kyshtym, the Urals, 14,000 people are still waiting for the central heating to be restored. On Sunday a break in the central pipe left residents anxiously watching the red line on their home thermometers plunging as temperatures outside slid to -24C (-11F).
Just over the Urals, a state of emergency has been declared and over 2,800 people were evacuated from the village of Khovu-Aksy, the Republic of Tyva, temperatures there a lethal -38C (-36F). A helicopter was sent to pick up kids and women. Two days into the emergency, authorities are frantically repairing central heating pipes while most of the evacuees are staying with their relatives.