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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Il-62 Crashes, 9 Injured

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) -- An Il-62 cargo jet crashed while landing early Wednesday morning at Manas International Airport outside the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, injuring nine people, officials said.

The base at Manas is also host to U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition forces, who said in a statement that nine crew had been aboard the airplane and that they were treating eight victims with minor injuries at the request of airport officials. The jet hit a concrete barrier after touching down on the ground, the official said. One of its wheels broke off, the aircraft flipped onto its side and caught fire, the Kyrgyz emergency official said.

The plane, owned by Russian air company Tretyakov, was on a chartered flight fom Moscow to Bishkek, where it was to pick up commercial cargo.

400 Army Drug Arrests

MOSCOW (AP) -- More than 400 servicemen have been charged and convicted for drug-related crimes over the past three years, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Deputy Military Prosecutor Alexander Arutyunyan said the servicemen had been convicted for crimes ranging from narcotics use to possession to distribution, Interfax reported.

"The spread of drug addiction poses a threat to the combat ability of the Russian armed forces," he said.

Kuchma Probe

KIEV (AP) -- Ukraine's chief prosecutor has refused to probe criminal charges against President Leonid Kuchma, after the Supreme Court rejected his request to rule the charges illegal.

Sviatoslav Piskun on Tuesday refused to investigate opposition lawmakers' claims that Kuchma violated 11 articles of the Criminal Code, including alleged involvement in the sale of sophisticated radar to Baghdad and the murder of investigative journalist Georgy Gongadze, in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling earlier in the day.

On Oct. 15, a Kiev appellate court judge ordered Piskun's office to investigate opposition lawmakers' claims.

Piskun appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, citing a constitutional provision that grants Kuchma immunity.

However, the Supreme Court rejected Piskun's appeal on procedural grounds and returned the case to the Appeals Court, which is expected to proceed with the case.

Beatings With a Sex Toy

MOSCOW (MT) -- A military commander has admitted beating his soldiers with a dildo, Gazeta reported.

Captain Damir Ilyasov received a two-year suspended sentence and was stripped of his rank for battering his subordinates with a "black latex baton shaped like a male sex organ," the newspaper said Friday.

The soldiers, however, told the military court hearing that the captain "only hit them lightly."

The story came to light when private Ruslan Machnev fled the unit's base in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, just north of Yekaterinburg. He was caught and, facing desertion charges, told prosecutors he ran away to escape Ilaysov's taunting, Gazeta said.

A subsequent investigation found that Ilaysov frequently woke the soldiers at night and lined them up to check their uniforms, the report said. Those who were not looking after their uniforms properly were beaten with the dildo, which Ilyasov had bought in a sex shop.

Ilyasov, who has two young children, pleaded guilty and apologized in court.