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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Nashi and Putin

President Vladimir Putin met with leaders of nationalist youth group Nashi, the group's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Putin met with four Nashi leaders for more than an hour Monday, speaking about "a broad range of issues of domestic and foreign policies," spokesman Ivan Mostovich said. "It is a big honor for us that the president received us."

A Kremlin spokesman said the meeting, if it had taken place, would be listed on the Kremlin web site, but the site had no mention of the meeting. (MT)

Military Fraud Case

Moscow prosecutors on Wednesday appealed a decision by a Moscow region court Tuesday to release on probation a former chief financier of the Army, who is serving a prison sentence on abuse of office charges.

Georgy Oleinik was sentenced to five years in jail in 2003 for causing $70 million worth of damages to the Defense Ministry. Oleinik was accused of putting the ministry's money into a bank that defaulted in 1998.

Oleinik was eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence. Prosecutors said Wednesday that Oleinik had not paid the damages ordered by the court, Interfax reported. (MT)

MiG Catches Fire

Two pilots were injured as they ejecting from a fighter jet that had caught fire while landing Wednesday at an air base northwest of Moscow, the Air Force said.

Both the MiG-31's engines were on fire after the plane touched down at the Khatilovo air field in the Tver region, and investigators were trying to determine the cause, spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said. The two pilots were hospitalized with various injuries but were in satisfactory condition, he said.

It was the third Russian fighter jet to have been destroyed in less than a month, the Interfax-Military News Agency said. (AP)

Finnish Airspace Protest

HELSINKI -- Finland on Wednesday demanded Russia cease violations of its air space by military aircraft, saying it was not satisfied with Moscow's denials of the alleged incidents.

The government said Finland had complained to Russia on April 29 and provided details of about a dozen incidents since October. Moscow has said the violations did not occur. (AP)

Belarus Opposition Verdict

MINSK -- A Minsk court on Tuesday sentenced two Belarussian opposition leaders, Mikola Statkevich and Paval Sevyarynets, to three years of manual labor in a remote colony each for organizing mass protests last year after a disputed referendum, which allowed President Alexander Lukashenko to stay on indefinitely as president.

Both men pleaded not guilty and said the trial was politicized. "Lukashenko's repressive regime will not be able to stop democratic change in Belarus," Statkevich said. (AP)

For the Record

Turkmen authorities have seized millions of dollars worth of property -- ranging from homes and luxury cars to sheep, cows and carpets -- from Elly Kurbanmuradov, a former deputy prime minister who was accused of embezzlement, the country's chief prosecutor said Wednesday. (AP)

Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating how $1 billion of private and public funds were taken out of the country during last year's Orange Revolution, a spokesman said Wednesday. (AP)