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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Gazimiyeva Fired

VLADIKAVKAZ, Southern Russia (AP) Akhmad Kadyrov, the Kremlin-appointed leader of Chechnya, fired one of the most ardent supporters of the militarys campaign in the region from his administration, an official said Monday.

Kadyrov relieved Malika Gazimiyeva of her duties as head of the Gudermes district administration on Sunday, an official in the Chechen administration said on condition of anonymity.

Gazimiyeva and her supporters twice attempted to enter the Gudermes administration building Monday, but were stopped by guards, the official said. The official reason for the dismissal was that she had passed the age limit for service. The age limit and Gazimiyevas age could not be immediately determined.

Gazimiyeva, an ethnic Chechen, has been outspoken in support for Moscows campaign to crush separatist rebels in Chechnya. She has been the target of several assassination attempts and is reported to have once said that Chechen women should be killed because they give birth to militants.

Meanwhile, Grozny authorities said residents were fleeing after rebels threatened to conduct a large-scale operation there, timed for the Aug. 6 anniversary of what rebels consider a major victory over federal forces, Interfax reported. Five years ago, Chechen rebels seized Grozny in the 1994-96 conflict with Moscow.

Asylum in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Two Russians former officers who served in Chechnya were caught by Hungarian border guards after illegally crossing into Hungary. Both asked for political asylum, a spokesman said Monday.

The guards noticed Sunday two men, whose clothing was muddy. When asked to identify themselves, they presented Russian military IDs, said Lieutenant Gyula Kunos, spokesman of the Oroshaza border guards command.

"Both have left military service, where both were lieutenants and served in the Chechen war," Kunos said. "They were last on border patrol between Chechnya and Georgia and said they left the military because they had not been paid in months," he added.

Doubts About Kursk

MOSCOW (AP) A year after the Kursk nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea, most Russians believe that authorities are trying to conceal the cause of the disaster, according to a poll released Monday.

The Kursk was shattered by an explosion and crashed to the sea floor last August, during a training exercise in the Arctic waters. All 118 sailors aboard were killed.

Russian officials have said the disaster was set off by a practice torpedo. They have claimed that the torpedo likely was triggered by a collision with another vessel, but foreign experts doubt the explanation, suggesting that the explosion was caused by an internal malfunction.

Seventy-six percent of Russians think the government is trying to hide the truth about the disaster, while only 9 percent believe the official version, according to a poll by the independent All-Russia Public Opinion Center, or VTSIOM. The rest were undecided, according to the poll, which was reported by Interfax.

Sixty-three percent of the 1,600 people polled also said the authorities failed to do everything they should have done to save the Kursk's crew, while 28 percent said they thought everything possible had been done, the poll indicated.

Korea in Kuril Waters

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Despite warnings from Japan, South Korean boats will begin fishing in waters near the disputed Russian-held Kuril Islands this week, Seoul officials said Monday.

"Our boats plan to start fishing around midnight Monday as water temperature in the area is rising," said Cho Sung-nam, an official at the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry.

The Soviet Union seized the Kuril Islands from Japan at the end of World War II and Russia currently controls them.

Russia signed an agreement in December, allowing 26 South Korean boats to fish 15,000 tons of saury worth $23 million near the islands this year.

TV6 Shares in Trust

MOSCOW (MT) Boris Berezovsky has transferred the voting rights of his 75 percent stake in TV6 to Media-MOST, Interfax reported Monday.

Berezovsky said Media-MOST would be represented by TV6 director general Yevgeny Kiselyov, who held the same position at NTV television before Media-MOST lost control of the station to creditor Gazprom.

It was unclear Monday what the transfer of voting rights might mean for Media-MOST founder Vladimir Gusinsky.

Kiselyov has long been a close ally of Gusinskys and has had mostly free rein over TV6 since being installed earlier this year.

Berezovsky also told Interfax that he would support controversial new anchor Sergei Dorenko coming to TV6. "As a TV6 shareholder, I would welcome Dorenkos coming to the channel if Yevgeny Kiselyov decides on it and Sergei accepts the offer."

Kiselyov told Kommersant in Mondays issue that they had discussed the possibility of working together.

Scythian Tomb Found

BERLIN (AP) German and Russian experts have discovered a 2,300-year-old Scythian tomb in southern Siberia filled with treasures of "extraordinary" value, the German Archaeological Institute said Monday.

The experts made the discovery earlier this month in the Tuva region, near the Mongolian border, as part of a five-year-old project at a burial site. "Leaving aside the material value of the find, the artistic quality of the gold jewelry, clothing and weapons as well as their scientific value are extraordinary," the institute said in a statement.

Russian archaeologists already made significant finds in Tuva, but "not of this splendor," it said. In contrast to apparently Greek-made treasures found in graves in Ukraine, those found at Tuva are believed to be the product of the Scythians own craftsmanship.

The Scythians, Nomads of Iranian stock, migrated from Central Asia to southern Russia in about 700 B.C. They founded a powerful empire centered on what is now Crimea that survived until as late as the 2nd century A.D.