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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Ubozhko Dead at 70

MOSCOW (AP) -- Lev Ubozhko, a former Soviet political prisoner who led the Conservative Party, has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 70.

Ubozhko died Tuesday after a long illness, his nephew Sergei Korolyov said.

An electronics engineer by training, he spoke out for democratic reforms in the Soviet Union and spent 17 years in Soviet jails and prison camps.

In 1988, he helped found the Democratic Union, the first anti-Communist party in the Soviet Union. He later created the Conservative Party.

Ubozhko is to be buried Friday in Moscow. He is survived by a wife and a daughter.

Berlin Lodges Protest

BERLIN (Reuters) -- Germany has protested to Belarus over the deportation of a German accused of encouraging people to join opposition parties to oust President Alexander Lukashenko.

A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday that the Belarus charge d'affairs had been called into the ministry Monday to protest the deportation of Jan Busch, which it said had hurt relations between the two countries.

"This course of events strengthens the fears of the government with regard to the development of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus," the spokeswoman said.

The Belarussian KGB said Tuesday that Busch had been deported Saturday and would not be allowed to return for five years.

It accused him of "destabilizing the country by inciting unregistered radical groups in Belarus to undertake illegal actions and by financing them with money from foreign sources."

Ivanov Laments Army

MOSCOW (AP) -- Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday criticized the military's level of combat readiness, saying that both he and President Vladimir Putin wanted to see improvements.

"Neither the president nor I am fully satisfied with the current state of combat-readiness in the armed forces," Ivanov was quoted by the Interfax Military News Agency as saying.

Georgians in Tents?

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgia rugby players training for October's World Cup might have to live in tents, union executive director Mikhail Burdzgla said Tuesday.

Burdzgla said squad members who began training in France on Monday might have to stay in tents for a period because of the national union's money woes and lack of support from the government, which will not help rugby because it is not an Olympic sport.

Georgia has already had to cancel a home camp planned for last month and a short tour of Canada this month.

Instead, Georgia will meet club teams in France before winding up its World Cup buildup with a test against Italy on Sept. 6 in Turin.