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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Party Leader Questioned

State Duma Deputy Andrei Savelyev, a co-founder of the newly formed party Great Russia, was questioned for more than two hours Monday by investigators from the Basmanny district prosecutor's office, Interfax reported.

Savelyev said the Duma factions of the Liberal Democratic Party and United Russia had sent a request to the Prosecutor General's Office asking it to investigate his party's finances.

Great Russia held its inaugural congress Saturday. (MT)

Britons Send Letter to Putin

More than 100 members of Britain's political and cultural elite have sent an open letter to President Vladimir Putin urging him to restore "peace and justice" in Chechnya.

"For the vast majority of the Chechen people," the presidency of Ramzan Kadyrov is "little more than a regime of fear and oppression," read the letter, which was published in the British daily The Independent on Monday.

Chechnya's human rights ombudsman, Nurdi Nukhazhiyev, said the criticisms in the letter were groundless and invited the signatories to Chechnya to meet locals and travel around the republic, Interfax reported. (MT)

Georgian PM Back in Tbilisi

TBILISI -- Georgia's prime minister returned to Tbilisi early Monday after undergoing a successful heart operation in a U.S. clinic, the Georgian government said.

"Zurab Nogaideli feels all right and will resume carrying out his duties this week," government spokesman Lasha Ckikvaidze said Monday. (Reuters)

Settlement Talks to Resume

Representatives of the victims of a plane crash in Irkutsk last year will negotiate an out-of-court settlement next week with S7 Airlines and the U.S. company Airbus Leasing II, lawyers for the relatives said Monday.

Lawyers representing 150 passengers killed or injured in the July 9 crash at the Irkutsk airport have filed a suit against the companies in a New York court and are asking for $300 million in damages.

The companies offered to settle out of court on May 1, but lawyers for the plaintiffs rejected the offer, Sergei Polevoda, a lawyer representing the relatives, said Monday. (MT)