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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Navy Tests New Missile

The Navy test-launched a newly developed long-range ballistic missile on Wednesday, sending it streaking almost the length of the country from the White Sea to Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Far East.

Naval spokesman Igor Dygalo told Ekho Moskvy radio that the Bulava missile was fired from a submerged nuclear submarine, Dmitry Donskoi, and hit its target at the Kura site on Kamchatka.

Dygalo said it was only the second time the new generation of Bulava missile had been fired and the first time from under water. (Reuters)

Putin Asks for 200 Troops

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed sending 200 troops to join UN peacekeepers in southern Sudan in a move that would almost double the size of Russia's military missions outside the former Soviet Union.

Putin sent a letter to the Federation Council asking for formal permission to deploy the troops. He wrote that the UN had requested the deployment.

More than 10,000 peacekeepers are being deployed to Sudan's south to preserve a peace deal signed in January to end more than two decades of civil war.

Russia now has 218 people taking part in UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. (Reuters)

Moldova Presses Russia

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said Wednesday that Russian troops must leave the separatist Transdnestr region before any agreement can be clinched on ending 15 years of rebellion there.

Voronin said a plan proposed by Ukraine to stage a free election in Transdnestr could work only if Russia first pulled out its 1,300 troops.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that no diplomatic progress was possible if Moldova persisted in demanding a prior pullout of Moscow's troops. (Reuters)

Lytvyn Sues Melnychenko

KIEV -- Ukraine's parliamentary speaker has filed a libel suit against a key witness in the killing of a journalist who accused him of involvement, his office said Wednesday.

Heorhiy Gongadze, a 31-year-old Internet reporter who wrote about high-level corruption, was abducted and killed in 2000.

After Gongadze's killing, former presidential bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko released secret tape recordings allegedly made in the office of President Leonid Kuchma in which a voice resembling Kuchma's is heard conspiring against Gongadze, along with Volodymyr Lytvyn, who was presidential chief of staff at the time and is now speaker.

Lytvyn spokesman Ihor Storizhuk quoted the speaker as saying: "All that Melnychenko says is nonsense," and he said Lytvyn's lawyers had already filed suit. (AP)

For the Record

A cargo ship detained for more than two weeks by North Korean authorities arrived home Wednesday in Vladivostok. (AP)

A Kazakh opposition party, Nagyz Ak Zhol, has lost an appeal against authorities' refusal to register it, while one of its leaders was charged with economic crimes and slander, party officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Kazakhstan violated international law by forcibly handing over several suspected religious extremists to Uzbekistan despite the risk of torture and other ill treatment, the rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday. (AP)