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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Racist Attack Sentence



MOSCOW (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday knocked four years off the sentence of a man convicted of involvement in a 2001 racist attack at Moscow's Tsaritsyno market that killed three people.

Mikhail Volkov, 32, had his sentence reduced from nine years to five years after the court dropped the charge that he had organized the killings, said Pavel Odintsov, spokesman for the Supreme Court.

Volkov was convicted in November along with three others who received three-year sentences for their involvement in a raid targeting dark-skinned traders. The Supreme Court upheld the other sentences.




Navy Deploys Fleet



MOSCOW (AP) -- A navy squadron is set to depart for the Indian Ocean next week in the largest naval deployment since Soviet times, Interfax-Military News Agency reported.

When the navy ships reach the Indian Ocean, they plan to take part in joint maneuvers with the Indian navy, the report said, quoting an unidentified official in the General Staff.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said repeatedly that the naval deployment was unrelated to Iraq.




Constitution in Force



MOSCOW (MT) -- Chechnya's new constitution came into force Tuesday, just days after it was overwhelmingly approved in a regional referendum.

The Kremlin-backed constitution, which was endorsed in the March 23 referendum, came into force after being published by local newspapers Tuesday, Interfax reported.

Election officials say it was approved by nearly 96 percent of the voters.




Mine Blast Kills 4



MOSCOW (AP) -- Four Russian soldiers were killed and one wounded in a mine explosion Tuesday in Ingushetia, the Defense Ministry said.

A reconnaissance unit was sweeping a road near the Ingush village of Ali-Yurt along the route of an army convoy when one of its dogs discovered a mine, Interfax reported.

When a team of sappers approached the explosive device, it detonated, killing four soldiers and injuring another, the report said.




Kaliningrad Deal Fails



BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- The European Union and Russia have failed to finalize a deal over travel rights for Kaliningrad, a spokesman for the European Commission said.

The failure Monday risks further pushing back the July 1 deadline for the planned travel arrangements to come into effect, EU diplomats said.




Bull Sperm Heist



MOSCOW (MT) -- Police in the southern Stavropol region have detained two men who confessed to stealing a container of bull sperm, Interfax reported Tuesday.

A police spokesman said a 51-year-old homeless man and a 28-year-old accomplice broke into a dairy farm in the village of Dgorninskaya on Monday night and stole enough sperm to inseminate 500 cows, the report said.

The motive for the theft was unclear.