An anomalous weather event caused due to dust from a sandstorm in the Sahara, leads to an orange snow blanketing several Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia. This weather event happens roughly every five years; a similar event occurred in Siberia in 2007.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu dismisses 50 high-ranking Navy officers, including Baltic Fleet Commander Viktor Kravchuk and Chief of Staff Sergei Popov, following a month-long inspection that found incompetence, deficiencies in training, and misinformation regarding the state of the fleet.
The United States deploys F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Romania's RoAF 86th Air Base, near the Black Sea, in a show of strength and cooperation against Russia. "The United States and Romania enjoy a very strong partnership," said Hans G. Klemm, the United States Ambassador to Romania.
NATO's Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System becomes partly operational at Romania's Deveselu airbase, as U.S. Navy personnel takes control of the site after years of construction. Aegis Ashore facilities in Romania form part of NATO's European missile defence system, with another site under construction in Poland expected to become operational by 2018. The United States Ambassador to Romania Hans G. Klemm says that they have explained to the Russians on numerous occasions that the missile system is, "not directed at Russia, nor does it have the capability to threaten Russia." The head of Russia's Strategic Missile Troops, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, has dismissed the purported effectiveness of the missile defense system, saying Moscow develops “brand new and effective means and techniques to penetrate any missile defense system”.
Russia's leading opposition activists Boris Nemtsov, Alexei Navalny, Ilya Yashin are jailed for 7-10 days for disobeying a police officer while protesting against the Bolotnaya square case. The previous day, in Moscow police detained over 400 people, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.