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NON-CYRILLIC ADS CAN PROVE TAXING IN SOUTHERN RUSSIA

The fight for language purity has taken a costly turn in southern Russia, where authorities have imposed a tax on foreign letters used in advertisements and company names.

Writing with non-Russian letters will cost owners 500 times the minimum monthly salary, according to a recent decision of the Belgorod regional administration, the ITAR-Tass news agency said. That currently amounts to about $6,230.In Moscow, meanwhile, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has ordered that foreign-language inscriptions in advertisements be explained in Russian, the news agency said.

Under regulations long existing in Moscow, foreign companies are obliged to transliterate their names into Russian in store signs or billboards across the city.