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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Anti-Racism Activists Beaten



Two teenage members of a rights group fighting racism and xenophobia were attacked in Voronezh in what a colleague said Monday was believed to be retaliation for their activism.

Eleventh-graders Sergei Fedulov and Alexander Vyalykh, members of the international Youth Human Rights Movement, were attacked by a dozen teenagers on Saturday, leaving Fedulov with two knocked-out teeth and multiple bruises, said a colleague, Irina Yezhova.

Yezhova said the attack appeared to be retribution for the activists' participation in rallies condemning racism and promoting tolerance. (AP)

Report: Russian Spy Caught



BERLIN -- A Russian diplomat was forced to leave Germany in December after German counterintelligence and the CIA caught him buying military secrets, a German news magazine reported Monday.

No comment was available from the German government or the Russian Embassy on the report in Der Spiegel.

The magazine said Alexander Kuzmin, Russian consul in Hamburg, was caught at a secret meeting in a restaurant last November with a member of the German armed forces who handed him documents about communications and weapons systems.

The report said Kuzmin was summoned back to Moscow on Dec. 5 and the affair was kept quiet by both sides to avoid damaging relations. (Reuters)

Suspected Militants Arrested



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Police in the North Caucasus region have detained two men suspected of involvement in a raid on a drug control agency office late last year, officials said Monday.

The two were arrested in Nalchik, the central city of the Kabardino-Balkariya region, said Alexei Polyansky, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's branch in southern Russia. It was unclear when the two were detained.

Authorities found equipment and manuals for making homemade explosives along with car registration documents and special permits stolen during December's attack on the drug control agency's headquarters in Nalchik, Polyansky said. (AP)

Abkhazia Holds Exercise



SUKHUMI, Georgia -- Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia on Monday began a military exercise that it said was intended to boost the province's combat-readiness. The maneuvers were being nervously watched by Tbilisi, which is eager to return the restive region into the fold.

The three-day maneuvers will involve 3,000 troops from infantry, marine and other branches, Abkhaz military chief Anatoly Zaitsev said.

Georgian officials accused Moscow of being behind the maneuvers. "These exercises are some kind of an attempt to demonstrate force," minister for conflict resolution Georgy Khaindrava said. "They are basically run by former senior military officers who are Russian citizens." (AP)

Train Hits Bus, 7 Killed



A cargo train collided with a passenger bus in the Far East on Monday, killing seven people and injuring 18, emergency officials said.

The accident occurred at an unguarded crossing near the Vozzhayevka Station in the Amur region, said Marina Zhukova of the Emergency Situations Ministry. The bus driver and six passengers were killed. (AP)

Russia Waits for Base Deal



Russia will not start withdrawing its Soviet-era military bases from Georgia until Moscow and Tbilisi agree on terms for the pullout, a senior Defense Ministry official said Monday.

The statement, quoted by Itar-Tass, underlined Moscow's hard-line stance on the pullout, which Georgia has demanded should be completed within two years but Russia insists would take at least three years and possibly even a decade.

"The period the Georgian side has demanded ... in an ultimatum-like fashion is utterly unacceptable to us," the unidentified official was quoted as saying.

The Defense Ministry declined to comment. (AP)

3 Feared Dead in Scuba Dive



CAIRO, Egypt -- Three Russian tourists are believed to have died in a scuba diving accident in the Red Sea, Egyptian officials said.

The three were part of a group of tourists from St. Petersburg who went diving April 14 near the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, officials said.

No further details were available. (AP)

Police Find Stolen Body



TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgian police have found the corpse of a woman that had been stolen from its grave and held for $150,000 ransom.

A senior police official, Soso Tushuridze, said Sunday that the body of Shura Nemsitsveradze, 85, was found in another grave in the same cemetery where she was originally buried, in the central city of Kutaisi, 300 kilometers northwest of the capital, Tbilisi.

Nemsitsveradze's son, Robinson, had said he received an anonymous phone call a few days after burying his mother in late February, with the callers saying they had kidnapped the body because they were owed money by Robinson's younger brother. (AP)