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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Matviyenko: Bury Lenin

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko on Monday called for Vladimir Lenin's body to be removed from its Red Square mausoleum and buried.

The statement by Matviyenko, who is seen as close to President Vladimir Putin, was the latest indication that the Kremlin could push for the burial of the Soviet founder.

"It's necessary to bury the body of Lenin; in my view, it's completely obvious," Matviyenko said, Itar-Tass reported. But she said the issue had to be handled "delicately and carefully, in order not to create conflicts between generations." (AP)

United Russia Youth

United Russia's youth organization is planning to change its name and pick new leaders in an effort to raise its profile, Izvestia reported Monday.

Young Unity is to be renamed Young Guard during a congress in Voronezh on Nov. 16, the newspaper said, citing Andrei Vorobyov, a senior United Russia member.

Young Guard was an underground group that famously fought the Nazis during World War II.

Vorobyov said former television personality Ivan Demidov and Andrei Turchak, United Russia's coordinator on youth policy, would replace Alexandra Buratayeva, also a former television personality, as the group's leaders. (MT)

Jewish Cemetery Vandalized

ST. PETERSBURG -- Unidentified vandals attacked a Jewish cemetery in St. Petersburg for the second time in two weeks, damaging 60 gravestones, the city's Jewish community said Monday.

"The repeated character of several recent attacks against the Jewish cemetery makes us believe that it was not simple acts of vandalism, but that those actions could be nationalist and extremist in nature," said Mark Grubarg, head of the city's Jewish Religious Community.

On Oct. 6, vandals destroyed more than 40 tombstones at the Jewish cemetery. (AP)

Fired Prosecutor Faults Case

KIEV -- Ukraine's former chief prosecutor said he was fired because he opened a criminal investigation into one of the president's closest allies.

Svyatoslav Piskun's office opened an abuse of power investigation last week against former National Security and Defense Secretary Petro Poroshenko, a confectionary tycoon who was one of the top financiers of the Orange Revolution.

Asked by the Ukrainian weekly Svoboda if President Viktor Yushchenko had pressed him to close the case, Piskun answered: "Understanding that was hopeless, he decided to fire me." (AP)

Uzbek Uprising Trial

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- A witness in the trial of 15 men suspected of organizing an uprising in Uzbekistan said Monday that some of the militants sought the attention of Western media.

Abdukarim Almatov, an elderly taxi driver, said two gunmen forced him to take them to the city hall building where a BBC reporter waited to interview them during the May 13 uprising in the eastern city of Andijan.

The Uzbek government appears to be using the carefully choreographed trial to try to refute accusations that government troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in their crackdown on the protest. (AP)