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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Activists Tried in Belarus

MINSK -- Courts in Minsk held snap trials Monday for opposition activists detained by police who broke up a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy in Belarus.

Police detained some 40 people in a group of about 100 who gathered late Sunday to remember opposition figures who have gone missing in recent years, and to urge the G8 to raise the issue of Russia's support for authoritarian Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. Some were released overnight, but others were to be tried for participating in the unsanctioned demonstration, and faced jail terms of up to 15 days. (AP)

Babi Yar Memorial Attacked

KIEV -- A memorial near the site where Nazis killed tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews was badly vandalized over the weekend, a Jewish leader said Monday.

Unidentified vandals smashed the inscription plate on the menorah-shaped memorial, erected in 1991 by the Jewish community near the site of the World War II massacre. In September 1941, Nazis marched tens of thousands of local Jews to the edge of the Babi Yar ravine and shot them.

More than 33,700 Jews were killed in a few days, and within months the toll is believed to have reached more than 100,000, including thousands of Red Army prisoners of war and resistance fighters. (AP)

Ukrainians Prefer Coalition

KIEV -- The majority of Ukrainians oppose calls for Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to dissolve the parliament and order new elections, according to opinion polls released Monday.

Viktor Yanukovych, whom Yushchenko defeated in a court-ordered presidential revote in 2004, outmaneuvered his pro-Western rivals to put together a new parliamentary majority last week comprised of eastern Ukrainian industrialists, Communists and Socialists. The coalition has nominated Yanukovych to be the next prime minister.

Some 54 percent of Ukrainians polled by Kiev's International Institute of Sociology oppose dissolving the parliament, while 26 support such a move. (AP)

Auditors Head to Sochi

A special team of government auditors will look into the use of government funds in Sochi's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, Interfax reported Monday.

Sochi has been shortlisted to host the 2014 games. Salzburg, Austria and Pyongchang, South Korea, are also on the list.

According to an audit covering 2005 and the first half of 2006, irregular funding from the Finance Ministry threatens to delay the completion of projects vital to Sochi's bid. (MT)

Sports in Brief

Dynamo Faces Audit

The Audit Chamber has announced it will investigate the Dynamo Moscow football club, Interfax reported Monday, citing a press release from the chamber. The probe, to be carried out in September and October, will look into Dynamo's management of funding and property.

Sergei Stepashin, Dynamo's board chairman and also a head of the Audit Chamber, has been quoted in the media as describing Dynamo's situation as difficult and called for an immediate meeting with the team's owners and directors to address the club's troubles. The media have also reported that Dynamo's players had gone a number of months without being paid and had been discussing going on strike. "I hope that we will be able to avoid it coming to this," media reports quoted Stepashin as saying, Interfax reported. (MT)

Rebrov Named Top Player

KIEV -- Dynamo Kiev striker Serhiy Rebrov, a member of Ukraine's World Cup side, has been named the Ukrainian Premier League's player of the season for 2005-06, the club said Monday.

Rebrov, 32, is the top scorer in Dynamo's history with 106 goals in 216 matches. He scored against Saudi Arabia in Ukraine's first appearance at the World Cup finals in Germany. He played for Dynamo from 1992 to 2000 and returned to the club in 2005 after a spell in England with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. (Reuters)