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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

LDPR Aide Killed in Crash



An aide to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, died in a car accident early Saturday, police said.

Vasily Mitroshkin's BMW swung wide as it took a curve on Varshavskoye Shosse at 4 a.m. Saturday and crossed into oncoming traffic, colliding with a heavy ZiL truck, Ekho Moskvy reported. A woman who was in his car was hospitalized, police said.

The truck's driver was only lightly injured, police said. (MT)




France Slams Rodina Ad



The French Embassy in Moscow on Friday expressed concern about a television ad for the nationalist Rodina party dubbed in French that makes references to riots in immigrant communities outside Paris in recent weeks.

The modified ad, which Rodina head Dmitry Rogozin unveiled on Wednesday, is almost identical to the previous ad showing four dark-skinned men eating watermelon in a courtyard and throwing the rinds on the ground. But the new version begins with the note "France one year ago. Typical French courtyard, typical Parisian district," and the subsequent dialogue is in French.

"These references distorts real events in France," the French Embassy said in a statement. "They run counter to the politics of the authorities in our country. They do not correspond with the spirit of understanding in French-Russian relations." (MT)




Men Named as Governor



President Vladimir Putin nominated Mikhail Men, a deputy Moscow mayor and part-time rock musician, to the post of the governor of the central Russian region of Ivanovo on Friday, in what looks like a move to further disperse the team of the Mayor Yury Luzhkov.

The region's Legislative Council is set to vote on Men's candidacy later this week. The term of the incumbent Ivanovo governor, Communist Vladimir Tikhonov, expires in late December. (MT)




Plane Crashes Near Moscow



A small passenger plane crashed south of Moscow, killing all eight people aboard, airport authorities said Sunday. The plane, a single-engine Cessna 208 turboprop, crashed near Stupino, about 100 kilometers south of Moscow, late Saturday en route to Domodedovo Airport from the city of Voronezh, according to a statement from the airport.

The plane was carrying six passengers and two crew members.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. (AP)




Stabbing Charges Dropped



City prosecutors on Friday asked a Moscow court to drop all charges in the retrial of a woman previously convicted of killing a taxi driver she said was trying to rape her, a conviction that was later overturned.

Prosecutors at the Lyublinsky District Court on Friday declined to charge Alexandra Ivannikova, 29, who was convicted in June of stabbing Sergei Bagdasaryan, 23, in the thigh with a knife after waving down his car for a ride in December 2003, RIA-Novosti reported. (MT)




3 Soldiers Detained



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Three soldiers have been detained on suspicion of killing three Chechen civilians, a spokesman for the military in Chechnya said Friday. The official said other suspects could be detained later.

The bodies of three men were found late Wednesday on the outskirts of the village of Staraya Sunzha, just outside Grozny. All three had been shot in the head at close range, the Chechen Interior Ministry said. (AP)




2 Soldiers Die in Chechnya



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Two servicemen were killed Sunday in Chechnya when their vehicle came under fire, the Chechen Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said the attack took place near Diyshe-Vedeno, in southern Chechnya. (AP)




Iraqi Minister Visits



Iraq's foreign minister arrived in Moscow on Sunday for meetings expected to focus on rebuilding Iraqi-Russian ties. Hoshyar Zebari was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other officials on the visit, which runs through Monday.

"We expect Zebari's upcoming visit to add new impetus to the development of traditionally friendly Russian-Iraqi relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement Saturday.

"We would like to listen to the Russian assessment of the situation in Iraq," Zebari was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass upon his arrival in Moscow. (AP)




Ministry on Religion Report



The Foreign Ministry on Friday lashed out at a U.S. State Department report criticizing alleged religious discrimination in Russia.

The annual State Department report on religious freedom worldwide, released last week, said some federal and local authorities in Russia restricted the rights of religious minorities.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said the report "was prejudiced and politicized," adding that "to Russians the real state of things concerning religious freedom in the country is more important than the erroneous evaluations by the State Department experts." (AP)




Tymoshenko Cases Canceled



KIEV -- Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Saturday that the Supreme Court had canceled decade-old criminal cases against her and her family.

The criminal cases began in 1995, and continued to accumulate in 2001 after she had a falling-out with former President Leonid Kuchma. She and other family members were jailed briefly on charges of bribery, money laundering, corruption and abuse of power. (AP)