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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Klebnikov Murder Trial

Russia is to put two Chechens accused of murdering American magazine editor Paul Klebnikov in July 2004 on trial, prosecutors said on Monday. Klebnikov, editor of the Russian version of Forbes, was shot dead in Moscow.

A statement on the Prosecutor General's Office web site said the police investigation was over and the suspects would now face trial. "In the course of the criminal investigation, it was established that the murder was carried out by members of an organized crime group," the statement read.

Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev are due to stand trial. Police are hunting for three other men in connection with the killing, it said. (Reuters)

Few Draftees Opt Out

Only around 150 of the tens of thousands of young men to be drafted this fall have signed up for alternative civil service duties rather than serve in regular armed forces units, Interfax reported, citing a source in the General Staff.

About 135 young men will be assigned to civil service following the fall draft, and 10 to 15 more could follow if they ask for such an assignment following the expiration of their draft deferments, the source told Interfax. (MT)

U.S. Leaves Uzbek Air Base

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- The U.S. military on Monday completed its withdrawal from an air base in Uzbekistan that had been an important hub for its military operations in Afghanistan, a U.S. Embassy official said.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov in July ordered the U.S. troops to leave the air base within six months, after Washington joined the international condemnation of a government crackdown in the eastern city of Andijan in May.

The last U.S. plane left the Karshi-Khanabad air base Monday afternoon, an embassy spokesman said, citing a military attache in Tashkent. (AP)

TV Channel Auction

A new national channel being put up for auction could go to a St. Petersburg company loyal to President Vladimir Putin, Kommersant reported Friday. In the Jan. 25 auction, a package of frequencies will be offered in 41 regions, said the web site of the Federal Service for Media Law Compliance and Cultural Heritage.

Peterburg Radio and Television Company, which is undergoing ownership changes, said it would bid, Kommersant reported. The company's new owners are expected to be Severstal, Rossia Bank and Priboi Company, whose heads are known to be either Putin loyalists or friends of Putin's, the paper reported. (MT)

Suspect Jumps to Death

A suspected drug dealer from Afghanistan leapt to his death from a 20th-story window in Moscow after police apprehended him in his apartment, Interfax reported, citing a police source.

Police had handcuffed the man and were searching his apartment for drugs Saturday on Odoyevskaya Ulitsa, in southwestern Moscow, when he went onto the balcony and jumped to his death, the source told Interfax.

Police had earlier opened an investigation into illegal drug possession and dealing in the apartment, Interfax reported. The incident is under investigation, the news agency said. (MT)

No Snow Forecast

Following the first major snowfall of the winter, no snow is expected to fall in Moscow until next weekend.

Moscow saw between 10 and 12 millimeters of snow Sunday, bringing traffic to a halt in some areas, but the city's next snowfall is expected no earlier than Friday, Natalya Yershova, spokeswoman for the Federal Meteorological Service, said Monday.

Temperatures will hover around zero degrees Celsius during the day and between minus 4 and minus 6 Celsius at night throughout the week, she said.

The city administration has announced that it is "fully prepared" for the upcoming winter, RIA-Novosti reported Monday. (MT)

Sverdlovsk Governor Vote

Eduard Rossel was confirmed as governor of Sverdlovsk by the regional legislature on Monday, RIA-Novosti reported.

It will be the fourth term for Rossel, who has been leader of the Urals region since 1995. The president now has the power to nominate governors, who must then be confirmed by the local legislature. (MT)

Yushchenko Is Optimistic

KIEV -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko vowed on Monday to overcome public disappointment a year after the Orange Revolution and win the parliamentary election in March.

In an interview, Yushchenko dismissed speculation that a reduction in his powers due to take effect in the New Year could hobble his plans to revitalize the economy and move Ukraine closer to the heart of Europe.

"A victory in parliament will be our second victory after winning last year," he said. "There is still time for us to learn the lessons of what happened and achieve understanding." (Reuters)