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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Pro-Chechen Reporter Held

The Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations watchdog on Wednesday condemned the arrest of a journalist advocating independence for Chechnya, saying it was Russian authorities' retaliation for his campaigning.

Boris Stomakhin, editor of the Radikalnaya Politika, or Radical Politics, publication and a contributing author of the pro-separatist Kavkaz Center web site, has been in custody in a Moscow jail since his March 21 detention, his mother, Regina Stomakhina, said. She said her son was detained on charges of evading investigation after he failed to show up for a psychiatric examination that investigators requested in connection with his activities in 2004.

Moscow prosecutors could not be reached for comment. (AP)

Activists Seek Criminal Case

The For Human Rights group called on prosecutors Wednesday to start criminal proceedings against officials after police used force against protesters in Dagestan, killing at least one person.

The group said it had written to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov asking him to open an investigation into the April 25 incident.

It added that prosecutors should also start criminal proceedings for abuse of power by officials responsible for the police action.

Police said one of the protesters was killed and 12 people were wounded, mostly police officers. For Human Rights said a second protester had died three days later from his wounds and five others were hospitalized. (AP)

Adamov Accused of Fraud

Prosecutors have detailed their case against former Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov, who was extradited last year from Switzerland, despite a rival U.S extradition request, accusing him and others of defrauding the state of $110 million.

Adamov has been charged with fraud and abuse of power, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. No date has been set for his trial.

The Prosecutor General's Office said late last week that the investigation into Adamov was complete and that it had forwarded the case materials to his defense lawyers for them to study ahead of the trial. It said that similar fraud charges had been laid against three other individuals: Vyacheslav Pismenny, a former director of the Troitsk Institute of Innovation and Fusion Research; Revmir Fraishtut, general director of nuclear materials exporter Tekhsnabexport; and Alexander Chernov, president of U.S-Russian company Globe Nuclear Services and Supply GNSS Limited. (AP)

Stabbing Suspect Released

A student detained on suspicion of killing a 17-year-old ethnic Armenian in the Moscow metro on April 23 was released late last week after police failed to present enough evidence to charge him with murder, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors earlier said that the suspect, also 17, had admitted to stabbing Vagan Abramyants on the platform of Pushkinskaya metro station.

A group of young people attacked Abramyants, and one stuck a knife in his chest. No other suspects have been arrested. (MT)

Security Meetings in Vienna

VIENNA -- European Union justice and interior ministers, along with top security officials from Russia and the United States, opened a two-day security conference Wednesday.

Ministers from across the 25-nation bloc were meeting behind closed doors in Austria, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, to examine the EU's role in regional and internal security. (AP)

Fire at Nuclear Institute

A small fire erupted at Moscow's Kurchatov Institute, a major nuclear research institute, but it was quickly extinguished and posed no threat to reactors, city emergency officials said.

The fire occurred Tuesday when a computer short-circuited and affected an area of about 10 square meters.

The fire was put out about 30 minutes after it was reported and presented no threat to nuclear research reactors at the institute, which is located in northwestern Moscow. The short-circuit caused a table to melt and sent smoke into nearby rooms. (AP)

Media Freedoms Criticized

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan failed to improve its already-poor press freedom record in 2005 as the government shut down opposition media in the lead-up to a presidential election, an international media advocacy group said Wednesday.

"I'm sorry to say that no progress was achieved by Kazakhstan in 2005," said Antonio Stango, the Freedom House project director in Kazakhstan, speaking to reporters on World Press Freedom Day.

Stango said the media situation got worse particularly in the run-up to the December presidential vote. (AP)

Beslan Children Visit China

BEIJING -- Ten children who survived the Beslan school attack have arrived in China for a month of therapy, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

The children, and four chaperons, arrived in the city of Sanya on China's southern Hainan island Tuesday, Xinhua said on its web site. The site ran a picture showing a Russian girl, wearing a garland of flowers, being greeted by a local schoolboy.

China's health department dispatched a medical team to Russia in March to examine the children and then finalized the list of patients after consulting Russian authorities. (AP)