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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Banker Detained

MOSCOW (MT) -- Moscow police have detained a high-ranking executive of European Trust Bank who is wanted by prosecutors in an investigation into suspected illegal banking operations, Interfax reported.

Nina Krasnitskaya, head of the bank's loans department, was detained Sunday in central Moscow.

Another European Trust Bank official, Alexander Mirzoyan, also has been detained in the investigation, Interfax said.

Police are looking for a third suspect.

Naval Exercises

MUMBAI, India (AP) -- Russian warships were due to arrive off India's western coast Tuesday for the first naval exercises with India since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.

The nine Russian ships sailing into the Arabian Sea include a missile cruiser, anti-submarine ships and a submarine, which are to join an Indian aircraft carrier and other warships off the Indian coast.

The exercises begin Thursday and will last three days, the navy said.

Another set of exercises involving rescue operations and submarine hunts will be conducted next month in the Bay of Bengal off India's eastern coast.

"The exercises are significant," said Vasundhara Mohan, director of Eurasian Studies at Bombay University. "Indian and Russian ties do not stop at the naval exercises but extend to other strategic measures."

Space Crew Welcomed

STAR CITY, Moscow Region (AP) -- Space officials officially welcomed two U.S. astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut back to Earth on Monday, two weeks after their rough landing in the Kazakh steppe following 5 1/2 months aboard the international space station.

Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin and U.S. astronauts Kenneth Bowersox and Donald Pettit vowed that U.S.-Russian space cooperation would continue and laid flowers below a statue of Yury Gagarin, the first man in space.

Patriarch in Hospital

MOSCOW (AFP) -- Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II has been hospitalized again after falling ill, a church spokesman said Monday.

"Unfortunately, his holiness not long ago fell ill again and was rehospitalized," Interfax quoted Vsevolod Chaplin as saying. He did not say when the patriarch checked into the hospital.

"The patriarch is already convalescing and the state of his health should cause no worry," the spokesman said.

A bout of the flu prevented the 73-year-old patriarch from taking part in Easter services last month.

Starovoitova Suspect

MOSCOW (MT) -- Liberal Democratic Party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky denied Monday that members of his party were involved in the 1998 killing of liberal State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova.

The slain deputy's sister, Olga Starovoitova, told Ekho Moskvy radio on Monday that she learned from reading investigators' files that suspects detained in connection with the case had told the Federal Security Service last year that the killing was ordered by an LDPR deputy in the previous State Duma.

Zhirinovsky told the station that the allegation was "a complete falsehood."