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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Yamadayev Killed

MOSCOW (MT) -- A prominent supporter of Chechnya's pro-Moscow leader Akhmad Kadyrov was killed Wednesday in a gun battle with rebels.

Dzhabrail Yamadayev, deputy military commandant of Chechnya, died when a mine exploded in the house where he was staying along with three bodyguards in the village of Dyshne-Vedeno, news agencies reported. The commander belonged to the powerful Yamadayev brothers' clan based in the Chechen city of Gudermes.

The clan fought along with Kadyrov against federal troops in the first war, but then switched sides.

EU Visit on Kyoto

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- European Union environmental officials traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to encourage Russia to follow through on its pledge to ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change.

"The world is waiting for Russia to demonstrate that it is ready and willing to become a major player in the multilateral efforts to combat climate change," EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said. "I trust that Russia will live up to its responsibilities and political commitments."

Russia announced at a UN conference last September that it would ratify the accord on reducing smokestack emissions and other causes of global warming, but the government has yet to submit the measure to the State Duma.

Institute Appeal

MOSCOW (MT) -- The State Duma voted Wednesday to appeal to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to save the plant collection at the Vavilov Horticulture Institute in St. Petersburg.

Home to some 350,000 species of plants collected over the past 110 years, the institute is one of four buildings on St. Isaac's Square to be given to the presidential administration under a decree Kasyanov signed in December.

Although no date has been set for the institute's relocation, its officials have warned the move could damage the collection and that equipping new premises would cost millions of rubles.

Japanese Killing

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) -- A court in Vladivostok sentenced three men to prison Wednesday for killing and robbing a Japanese student and awarded damages to the victim's father.

The three strangled Takashi Furukawa in March 2002 and made off with a laptop computer, a videocassette recorder, a camera and $150 in cash, the court said. Brothers Andrei and Sergei Syromyatnikov and Vladimir Maslov were sentenced to 21 years, five years, and 18 years in prison, respectively.

In addition, the three men were ordered to pay a total of 1.6 million rubles ($51,000) in damages to the student's father, Norio Furukawa, the court ruled.

Policeman Tries Suicide

KIEV (AP) -- A regional police chief in Ukraine shot himself in the head Tuesday and left a note accusing a journalist of driving him to attempt suicide through a series of articles critical of his force, police said Tuesday.

Oleh Kocheharov, police chief in central Ukraine's Cherkasy region, was in critical condition after shooting himself in the head, Deputy Interior Minister Mykola Anufriyev said in comments broadcast on state-run UT-1 television.

Kocheharov left a suicide note accusing a high-profile journalist who was violently attacked three years ago, Valentyna Vasylchenko, of driving him to try to kill himself by writing articles that implicated him in crime, Anufriyev said.

Vasylchenko and her newspaper said the accusation was unfounded.