MOSCOW (Reuters) - Blizzards swept across swathes of Russia on Friday, carpeting Moscow in one of the biggest snow falls in decades and sowing chaos on major roads where truck drivers battled with more than 20 centimetres of snow and strong winds.
A cyclone brought more than a day of constant blizzards to the Russian capital in what could be one of the strongest snow storms to hit Moscow in 60 years, according to meteorologists.
More than one fifth of the average snow fall for December was recorded over just 24 hours at metrological stations across Moscow where streets were blanketed in snow and motorists struggled to get their cars out of parking spaces.
The Gismeteo weather website said total December snow fall in Moscow could reach 50 cm - the highest recorded for that month.
Schools in some regions of European Russia were closed due to the snowfall, Russian television reported. A vast 10 kilometre traffic jam formed overnight on one of Russia's major roads - the M4 - to the south, trapping motorists in freezing temperatures.
The Kommersant newspaper said that Moscow prices to dig out cars had soared to around 5,000 roubles ($55).
($1 = 89.7975 roubles)
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)