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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

2 City Officials Detained

Moscow police have detained two officials from Rosstroinadzor, a city agency that oversees and inspects construction, after catching them accepting a $10,000 bribe, prosecutors said Monday.

The suspects, whose names and positions were not released, were caught Friday as they accepted the money in exchange for authorizing a firm to open a shop in a new building. If charged and convicted of bribery, the two face up to 12 years in prison. (MT)

Attacks Deemed Hate Crime

City prosecutors said Monday that they considered the stabbing of five immigrants as a hate crime, amid a spate of attacks on dark-skinned people in Moscow this weekend.

Four Armenians and one Azeri were attacked by about 15 assailants at the Kuznetsky Most metro station on Saturday, said Sergei Marchenko, a spokesman for the Moscow prosecutor's office. Prosecutors initially said only two people were hurt in the attack and that it was being investigated as "hooliganism," not a hate crime. (AP)

Georgian Seeks Russian Exit

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia's defense minister called on the country's parliament to demand the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping troops from the separatist provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, amid rising tension between Tbilisi and Moscow over the regions.

"The parliament of Georgia should make an unambiguous decision about the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers. … We should unify the country," Irakli Okruashvili said Sunday on Rustavi-2 television.

Meanwhile, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is preparing for a meeting this week in Washington with U.S. President George W. Bush as Georgian troops continued with their largest ever military exercises. (AP)

Man Drowns in Bird Attack

A young man drowned in northwestern Russia after being attacked by a flock of seagulls, Interfax reported Monday.

The 26-year-old Petrozavodsk resident was swimming in the Shuya Lake in the Karelia region on Sunday when the birds suddenly swooped down on him, Interfax said.

"Seagulls usually do not attack people without reason," a regional emergency response official told the news agency.

"There were probably baby seagulls or some nests in the area where the victim was swimming." (MT)