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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Drones for G8 Summit

The Interior Ministry said Friday that it would use new unmanned drones to help provide security during a summit of the Group of Eight industrial nations in July.

Deputy Interior Minister Mikhail Sukhodolsky said the ministry had tried out the gadgets but gave few details about the drones, RIA-Novosti reported.

"The Russian Interior Ministry is having its first experience of using the pilotless flying apparatus, the first models of which we have already put into action," Sukhodolsky said. (Reuters)

2 Snowmobilers Killed

A group of snowmobilers was caught in an avalanche on the Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka on Sunday. Two died and three others were missing, an emergency official said.

A duty officer with the regional Emergency Situations Ministry said about 10 snowmobilers were riding near a volcano about 55 kilometers south of the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, when the avalanche hit around 10 a.m. Rescuers recovered the bodies of two and one other person was hospitalized, while a search continued for the missing. (AP)

Aid Reaches Transdnestr

A Russian aid convoy that sparked political sparring with Ukraine reached Moldova's separatist enclave of Transdnestr on Saturday, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The travails of the convoy, which had to transit Ukraine, dominated the news on Russian state television for two days, with officials decrying Ukrainian demands that the trucks change their planned route through Ukraine, travel only at night and not carry any "propaganda" insignia.

The convoy, sponsored by United Russia and the Moscow city and regional governments, was carrying 200 tons of medicine, medical equipment and baby food. Russia said the shipment was in response to Transdnestr's appeal for aid after Ukraine imposed new customs regulations. (AP)

Reputed Mobsters Arrested

NEW YORK -- Two reputed Russian mobsters were arrested after hit men they tried to hire to kill twin brothers went to Ukrainian police with secretly recorded conversations about the murder plot, U.S. prosecutors said.

Monya Elson and Leonid Roytman were arraigned on murder-for-hire charges Friday in a Brooklyn federal court. Both pleaded not guilty. Authorities charge that Elson sent Roytman to Kiev in early 2005 to arrange for the murders of Slava and Alex Konstantinovsky, twin brothers known in Ukraine as the "brothers Karamozov." (AP)

Japan Wants to See Sailors

TOKYO -- Tokyo will seek access to seven Japanese sailors being held after their vessel was seized by Russian authorities in disputed waters off Japan's northern coast, an official said Friday.

The unidentified vessel was seized off Etorofu, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, when it failed to show registration papers and its navigation log, Japan's Foreign Ministry said. (AP)

Turkmen Horse for Hu

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov will give Chinese leader Hu Jintao a prized Akhal-Teke horse.

Niyazov told the Cabinet on Friday that he was taking an Akhal-Teke horse to China during his state visit on April 3. Niyazov said that in 126 B.C., a horse of the same breed was presented to a Chinese emperor for the first time. (AP)

Lavrov Slams OSCE

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Friday of instigating tensions during the presidential election in Belarus.

"Long before the elections, the OSCE mission led by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights had declared that [the elections] would be illegitimate, and it was pretty biased in its commentaries on their progress and results -- let's be frank -- thus playing an instigating role," he said.

ODIHR director Christian Strohal denied that the mission had shown prejudice. (AP)

UN Envoy: Wrong Action

NEW YORK -- Russia's UN ambassador said Saturday that the United States and the European Union were taking the wrong action in response to the disputed election in Belarus.

"Ideological-driven approaches to international relations attempts to impose one's own cultural and social standards on others," Denisov said at New York's Lehman College.

Following the program, Denisov cited Belarus as an example. (AP)

22 Journalists Detained

Twenty-two journalists have been detained in Belarus over the past week and 13 remain in police custody, a prominent press freedom group said.

The journalists were from Belarus, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Canada, Reporters Without Borders said Friday. Most were accused of hooliganism, participation in unauthorized gatherings or using obscenities. (AP)

North Korea Congratulates

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's No. 2 leader has sent a message to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulating him on his re-election, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday.

"His re-election means the high respect and trust of the Belarussian people in him," Kim Yong Nam said, expressing a desire for stronger bilateral ties. (AP)

Milinkevich to Visit Norway

OSLO -- Belarussian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich has accepted an invitation to visit Norway as soon as the political situation in his homeland permits, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said Friday.

Milinkevich is expected to visit within weeks, it said. (AP)