Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

SPS Offices Searched

Police searched the offices of the Union of Right Forces in Krasnoyarsk Saturday before local elections, party leader Nikita Belykh said.

The Union of Right Forces was accused of engaging in illegal activities by a rival party and "police are checking whether this is true," Belykh said, Interfax reported.

He said the search had "paralyzed" the party's activities before April 15 elections in the region. (Bloomberg)

3 Georgian Flights Allowed

Russia waived its six-month-old embargo on air links with Georgia on Saturday to allow a planeload of people to visit relatives for Easter.

Russia allowed three charter flights from Tbilisi to Moscow as a humanitarian gesture, state television reported. The flights were organized by Georgia's Orthodox church.

Moscow severed all air, sea and postal links with Georgia in October after a spying dispute triggered a sharp deterioration in relations between Moscow and Tbilisi's pro-Western government. (Reuters)

Chechens Held in Moscow

Two suspected Chechen rebels have been detained at Belorussky Station, Interfax reported Friday.

The two, who were detained Wednesday, are suspected of taking part in a number of raids in Chechnya, including an attack in 2001 that killed three policemen, the report said. (MT)

$44,000 for Falling Icicle

A Nizhny Novgorod student who suffered a serious head injury from a falling icicle was awarded more than 1 million rubles ($44,000) by a city court Friday, Interfax reported.

Dmitry Nekrasov was hit by an icicle that fell from the roof of a building at Nizhny Novgorod State University.

The court ordered eight organizations listed as the owners of the building to pay 1.13 million rubles to the student. (MT)

Embargo Criticized

An aid embargo on the Palestinian government is hurting the chances of peace talks with Israel by radicalizing Palestinian society, Russia's top Middle East diplomat said Friday.

"In our view, any sanctions and restrictions are in principle harmful because in the first place it is the Palestinian people who suffer," said Alexander Saltanov, the Kremlin's special representative for the Middle East.

"Naturally they are unhappy, they feel anger, which can spill over into certain phenomena and that mood will be used by those forces who are against restoring [talks between Israel and the Palestinians]," Saltanov said at a news conference. (Reuters)

Diver Dies in Egypt

A Russian diver died of asphyxiation while on vacation in Egypt, Interfax reported Friday.

The diver, Yevgeny Skvortsov, born in 1971, died in the city of Dahab, the report said. No date of death was given. (MT)

Rakhmon Seeks Treasure

LONDON -- The British Museum is unlikely to hand an ancient gold and silver collection to Tajikistan, despite an appeal by the country's president, an official said.

President Emomali Rakhmon said Wednesday that he was seeking the Oxus Treasure -- which consists of about 170 objects dating from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., including vessels, model chariots and figures, armlets, seals, rings and coins.

The treasure is named for the Oxus River, now called the Amu Darya, which runs through Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Museum spokeswoman Hannah Boulton said it was not even clear that the artifacts had originated in Tajikistan. "Nobody knows exactly where it was found," she said. (AP)

Student Drivers Targeted

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Students in Tajikistan driving expensive cars may find their names in local newspapers under an anti-corruption measure announced Friday by President Emomali Rakhmon.

The president ordered the Agency for Financial Control and Fighting Corruption to investigate the incomes of students with expensive cars and publish their findings, his web site said.

Tajikistan has announced frequent anti-corruption drives, but the only senior official implicated in graft has been a former head of the state gas company who had announced that he planned to run for president. (Reuters)