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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Border Guard Kills 4



MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A border guard in Dagestan shot dead four comrades on Tuesday in what appeared to be a drunken shooting spree, Interfax reported.

Private Albert Sibagatov gunned down four soldiers after grabbing a Kalashnikov rifle from a night guard, Interfax said. Quoting military sources, Interfax said Sibagatov was believed to be drunk and was eventually disarmed and arrested.

In a separate incident, troops and police launched a manhunt for two soldiers armed with Kalashnikovs who deserted their North Ossetian anti-aircraft unit. It was not clear why they had deserted.




Officers Detained



MOSCOW (AP) -- The head of an ammunition depot in the Far East and several other officers have been detained on allegations they sold off hundreds of kilograms of stolen explosives to criminal groups, a news report said Tuesday.

The Pacific Fleet's Federal Security Service department seized 479 kilograms of stolen explosives and about 2,000 detonators in the operation to arrest the men last week, state-run RTR television reported. Officials with the security service said the men had established channels for trafficking the explosives to criminal groups. The report did not say how many people were detained or give other details.




No to Death Penalty



MOSCOW (AP) -- Supreme Court chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev said Tuesday that the country should not revive the death penalty despite public support for its resumption.

Lebedev was quoted by Itar-Tass and Interfax as saying that he agrees with President Vladimir Putin's recent statements against lifting the moratorium on the death penalty. The moratorium was imposed in 1996 to gain entrance into Europe's leading human rights body, the Council of Europe.

"Russia is a member of the Council of Europe. Therefore there cannot be any doubts on this issue," he said.




Stalin Appeal Delayed



TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- A legal appeal launched by the grandson of Soviet leader Josef Stalin against a political rival who called him an impostor was postponed Monday because the defendant has not had a chance to study the case.

The grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugash-vili, already won his case last year against Grigol Oniani, leader of the Tbilisi-based International Stalin Society, and a judge ordered an apology but rejected claims for monetary damages. Dzhugashvili brought the new appeal because he says the verdict never affirmed that he was related to Stalin and is still seeking compensation for court costs.

A new date for hearings in the case will be set Monday, Itar-Tass reported.




Pullout 'Not Enough'



MOSCOW (AP) -- The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Israel's pullout from two towns in the West Bank would not be enough to end the conflict or ensure security for civilians.

"On the whole the situation in the Palestinian territories remains critical. The humanitarian situation in particular prompts concern," the ministry said in a statement, citing restricted food and medical supplies and water and electricity shortages.

Russia "insists on the immediate withdrawal of troops from the Palestinian territories, including Ramallah. Urgent measures are also necessary for easing the conditions of the civilian population," the statement said.




U.S. Rebuked



MOSCOW (AP) -- The Foreign Ministry rebuked the United States on Tuesday for deciding to hold back some disarmament projects because of doubts over Moscow's commitment to biological and chemical weapons treaties, accusing Washington itself of undercutting disarmament efforts.

"Such actions can have the most negative impact on achieving mutual trust and can be reflected in the two countries' cooperation in liquidating weapons of mass destruction and in the sphere of nonproliferation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement.




Mayor Attacked



MOSCOW (AP) -- A motorcade carrying the mayor of Makhachkala in Dagestan came under attack by grenade launchers Monday evening, but no one was injured.

It was the latest in a series of attacks against Said Amirov. Two grenade launcher rounds were fired at the cars but police said they were deflected by power wires, Itar-Tass reported. One vehicle was slightly damaged. The assailants dropped their weapons at the scene and fled, Interfax reported.




Heroin Seized



DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AP) -- Russian border guards patrolling the restive Tajik-Afghan frontier seized 12 kilograms of Afghan heroin found in a remote border zone, the border guard press service said Tuesday.

The drugs were found hidden in the mountains of the Gorno-Badakhshan region of eastern Tajikistan, it said.