News in Brief

Politkovskaya Suspects Freed



Two suspects in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya have been freed from custody, prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecutors said one suspect, Magomed Demelkhanov, was freed on an order from the Investigative Committee on Wednesday because of a lack of evidence connecting him to the murder, Interfax reported. The other suspect, Dmitry Grachyov, was freed on an Investigative Committee order in April, Interfax said.

The prime suspect in the killing, Rustam Makhmudov, has been put on an international wanted list, the Investigative Committee said Monday.

At least seven suspects remain in custody. (MT)




Senators Approve Visa Bill



The Federation Council on Monday approved a bill allowing the president to abolish or ease visa requirements for foreigners during certain events like the Champions League final this month in Moscow or the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Interfax reported.

The United Russia-sponsored bill now needs to be signed by the president to become law.

The first test of the legislation could be the tens of thousands of English football fans who plan to travel to Moscow for the May 21 game between English clubs Chelsea and Manchester United. The State Duma passed the bill Thursday. (MT)




U.S. Ambassador Leaves



U.S. Ambassador William Burns left Moscow on Monday for a new post as the No. 3 official in the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy said.

Burns was nominated in January to be undersecretary of state for political affairs, replacing Nicholas Burns. He had served as U.S. ambassador to Russia since 2005.

U.S. charge d'affairs Daniel Russell will oversee the embassy until President George W. Bush appoints a new ambassador, an embassy spokeswoman said. She said she did not know when the new ambassador would be named. A State Department spokeswoman also said she had no information on who would be the next ambassador. (MT)