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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

$900,000 in Phones Stolen

Burglars robbed a cell phone dealer this week, making off with almost $1 million in handsets, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

The burglars broke into the warehouse of Mobisot Trading, formerly a subcontractor of electronics retailer Betalink, on Monday and stole $900,000 worth of phones, a heist police have classified as grand theft, the newspaper said.

Judging by the estimated monetary damages, the burglars likely made off with between 5,000 and 8,000 handsets, Sergei Savin, an analyst with J'son & Partners, told Vedomosti. (MT)

Party List on the Agenda

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party will soon begin discussing its party list for the State Duma elections in December, party spokeswoman Natalya Virtuozova said Wednesday.

Virtuozova said the party's top governing body would begin the selection process after the May holidays.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Wednesday that the draft list contains the names of nearly all current United Russia deputies with a few notable exceptions, including Alexander Lebedev, who has expressed an interest in joining rival pro-Kremlin party A Just Russia. (MT)

Armaments Chief Selected

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has picked a new deputy to oversee the armament programs, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Army General Nikolai Makarov, commander of the Siberian Military District, assumes the post, replacing Army General Alexei Moskovsky, a Defense Ministry official told Interfax.

Moskovsky, who turns 60 this month -- the maximum for military service, which can only be extended by presidential decree -- has already retired, the official said. (MT)

Grachyov Fired as Adviser

Army General Pavel Grachyov, whom the late President Boris Yeltsin once described as Russia's best defense minister, has been fired from his position as chief adviser to the general director of arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Interfax reported.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov will now decide whether to appoint Grachyov, 59, to a new position.

Grachyov served as defense minister for four years under Yeltsin. (MT)

Marchers Granted Permit

St. Petersburg authorities have approved a permit for organizers of the Dissenters' March to hold a demonstration on May 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

The city notified organizers, led by the local branch of the Yabloko party, that they would be allowed to march from the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall to Ploshchad Pionerov, the newspaper reported.

Authorities rejected at least two similar requests earlier this year, arguing that the marches would hinder traffic. (MT)