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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Dagestani Prosecutor Killed

MAKHACHKALA -- Gunmen have killed the deputy chief prosecutor of Dagestan, the republic's Interior Ministry press office said Sunday.

The ministry said the bodies of deputy prosecutor Abdu Basir Omarov and another man were found at a house outside Makhachkala in the early hours of Sunday. They had both been shot. A Kalashnikov rifle and ammunition were found nearby.

Last month, gunmen shot a leading Dagestani businessman as he campaigned in a regional election, and in a separate attack, three people died in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on the republic's interior minister. (AP)

Dead Girl's Body Identified

The body of a young girl discovered in Krasnoyarsk has been identified as that of five-year-old Polina Malkova, the Prosecutor General's Office announced Friday.

Malkova disappeared March 19, and her body was discovered Thursday in a deserted part of the city. Investigators have classified the case as a kidnapping and murder, prosecutors said in a statement Friday.

The case has raised tensions in the city, which has seen several children kidnapped and killed in recent years. In May 2005, the bodies of five boys, aged 9 to 12, were found in a large sewerage pipe in the same area where Malkova's body was found. (MT)

Vavilov No Longer a Senator

The Federation Council on Friday relieved Stanislav Vavilov of his senatorial duties following his election last week as deputy head of the Central Elections Commission, Interfax reported.

Vavilov, a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, defeated Yevgeny Kolyushin for the post. As a commission member, he was required to step down from his legislative post.

President Vladimir Putin's former subordinate, Vladimir Churov, was easily elected head of the Central Elections Commission on Tuesday, replacing long-serving chairman Alexander Veshnyakov. (MT)

UN Honors Politkovskaya

Slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya will become the first posthumous recipient of a UNESCO press freedom award, the organization announced Friday.

Politkovskaya has been named the laureate of the 2007 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, the organization said on its web site.

Politkovskaya was gunned down in her apartment building on Oct. 7 in an apparent contract murder. The award ceremony is to be held May 3, in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day, in Medellin, Colombia. (MT)

Journalist Falls to His Death

A journalist from the newspaper Selskaya Zhizn, or Village Life, has committed suicide by leaping out of the window of his apartment, the Regnum news agency reported Friday.

Viktor Kharlamov, a columnist for the newspaper, lived at 8 Protopopovsky Pereulok near Prospekt Mira metro station, police said. Citi-FM radio reported that police had found a suicide note at the scene. (MT)

Stavropol Imam Convicted

A court in Pyatigorsk, Stavropol region, on Friday convicted a local imam of inciting ethnic and religious hatred and promoting vigilantism for calling on followers to wage a holy war, RIA-Novosti reported.

The Pyatigorsk City Court convicted imam Anton Stepanenko, 25, of promoting Wahhabism, a form of Islam which has found a strong following in the North Caucasus and Volga River regions and in much of Siberia, RIA-Novosti reported.

Stepanenko was given an 18-month suspended sentence. (MT)

Khinsagov Sentence Upheld

TBILISI, Georgia -- A Georgian court on Friday upheld the conviction of a Russian citizen who sold weapons-grade uranium to an agent posing as a rich foreign buyer, a defense lawyer said.

Khinsagov was caught early last year trying to sell nearly 100 grams of uranium enriched to a level that was suitable for use in an atomic bomb. A Georgian court sentenced him to eight years in prison last July for smuggling, but defense lawyer Zurab Giguari appealed the sentence. The Tbilisi Court of Appeals rejected that motion.

Giguari, who has argued that Khinsagov was carrying not uranium but a chemical for printing machines, vowed to take his case to the Georgian Supreme Court. (AP)