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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

MiG-29 Crashes

MOSCOW (AP) -- A MiG-29 training jet crashed Thursday during a flight in the Krasnodar region, but the two crewmen safely ejected, the Defense Ministry said.

The plane crashed at the Armavir air force garrison in the southern region. The crash caused no casualties on the ground. An air force spokesman said specialists were heading to the region to try to determine the cause of the crash.

Colonel General Dead

MOSCOW (AP) -- Yevgeny Podkolzin, a former commander of the airborne troops, died in a Moscow hospital Thursday. He was 67.

Podkolzin died after an unspecified surgery, Georgy Shpak, the current airborne troops chief, told the Interfax-Military News Agency.

Podkolzin, who retired from the military at the rank of colonel general, served in the airborne forces for 38 years and was their chief from August 1991 until December 1996.

Shpak described his predecessor as "a firm leader, an excellent professional and a man of high morale." "He was a true patriot of Russia," he said.

The funeral ceremony, at the airborne troops Moscow headquarters, and a funeral will be held Sunday, he said.

Duma Attack?

MOSCOW (MT) -- The group of Chechen rebels that seized the Dubrovka theater last October also may have planned to storm the State Duma, the Moscow city prosecutor said.

Prosecutor Mikhail Avdyukov said a suspect who has been arrested on suspicion of helping organize the raid has told investigators that Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev ordered a series of attacks that would have culminated in "an action of intimidation," most likely the storming of the Duma, Avdyukov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Paper Loses Appeal

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- A Belarussian court on Thursday rejected the second appeal from the publisher of an independent newspaper that was shut down last month on two counts of violations of the country's media laws.

Belarusskaya Delovaya Gazeta was ordered to stop printing for at least three months after it was accused of committing libel against President Alexander Lukashenko.

The newspaper contested each of the two violation accusations in the nation's highest civil court, which rejected both appeals. "The judge was simply executing a political order and today's decision had nothing to do with justice," said the newspaper's editor, Svetlana Kalinkina.

U.S. Slammed

MOSCOW (AP) -- Former Defense Minister Igor Rodionov on Thursday accused the United States of trying to dominate Russia and alleged that former and current Kremlin and military leaders had permitted the country to be forced into submission.

"Russia now is an occupied country," Rodionov, retired general, told a sympathetic audience of World War II veterans who gathered for a conference on threats to Russia's security marking the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

"Our geopolitical enemy has achieved what Hitler wanted to do," Rodionov said in an emotional speech. "Neither our nuclear forces and tank armadas nor the KGB could save us."