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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Putin Coach on the Ascent?

President Vladimir Putin's personal judo coach, Vasily Shestakov, is now in the running to become State Duma deputy speaker, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Shestakov would replace Sergei Baburin. Shestakov coached Putin when he was a teenager and heads the Socialist United Party of Russia. (MT)

Conscript in Intensive Care

ST. PETERSBURG -- Military prosecutors are checking claims that Roman Rudakov, a conscript treated in the hospital, became ill as a result of violence or negligence by the military, activists said Monday.

"He has no more than a month to live," the group Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committee said. (Reuters)

Muslim Pilgrims Denied

More than 300 Muslim pilgrims returning from Mecca early Monday attempted to break through the border separating Azerbaijan and Russia onto Russian territory, but customs officials pushed them back, Interfax reported.

For now, the pilgrims are stuck on the Azeri border, refusing to pay customs duties for their goods, said Ruslan Yakhyayev, head of the Dagestan branch of the Federal Customs Service. (MT)