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MOSCOW HOTEL CLOSES DUE TO RATTY `CLIENTELE’

SHARE MOSCOW HOTEL CLOSES DUE TO RATTY `CLIENTELE’

The city's biggest hotel, once the world's largest, is closing its doors because its rooms are full - of rats and roaches.

The Hotel Rossiya, a 3,200-room monolith just steps from the Kremlin, was ordered by health officials to close by July 1. Management must disinfect the building before it can reopen, the mayor's office told the Interfax news agency.The city also fined the hotel director $500, Interfax said.

Soviet leaders demolished an entire city quarter of old churches and homes to build the Rossiya in the early 1970s.

A Russian newspaper once called the Rossiya an "architectural crime" because of the harsh contrast its boxy design posed with the graceful onion domes of nearby St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin.