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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Ivanov Talks of New Missile

The military has begun mass-producing an updated version of its intercontinental missiles, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday.

"We are now entering a new and crucial stage of reequipping all of the strategic nuclear forces and operational and tactical systems," Ivanov said at a meeting in the Udmurtia republic city of Votkinsk.

"I'm talking about both stationary and mobile Topol-M systems, equipped with various types of warheads, as well as Iskander-M systems," he said, Interfax reported.

Designers developed the Topol-M missile in the 1990s and it now forms the bedrock of Russia's long-range missile capability. The Iskander-M missile is a new short-range Russian-developed missile. (Reuters)

Diplomat to Visit Japan

TOKYO -- Russia's chief envoy to international disarmament talks on North Korea is expected to visit Japan to discuss the negotiations and Pyongyang's progress toward denuclearization with his Japanese counterpart, a news report said Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov is expected to visit Thursday to meet with Kenichiro Sasae, Kyodo News agency said, citing an unidentified Japanese Foreign Ministry official. The pair are likely to take up the timing of restarting the six-nation disarmament talks and the initial steps Pyongyang is taking toward denuclearization, including stopping its plutonium-producing Yongbyon reactor, it said. (AP)

Yushchenko Meets Patriarch

ANKARA, Turkey -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox, met Tuesday with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for talks that included the state of Orthodox churches in Ukraine.

"I hope that our unity can be a reality not only in Ukraine but in all corners of the world," Bartholomew said after the meeting, the Anatolia news agency reported. Yushchenko was in Istanbul to attend a regional leaders' meeting. (AP)

Clashes in Odessa

KIEV -- Ukrainian nationalists protesting the dismantling of a historic naval monument scuffled with a group of young people in Odessa, police said.

No injuries were reported in the Monday fight, which ended quickly after police moved in. Shortly thereafter, city workers with cranes and tools removed the monument dedicated to the sailors of the battleship Potemkin, whose 1905 uprising was memorialized in a legendary film by Sergei Eisenstein. (AP)

Jailtime Over Strippers

DETROIT -- An Ukrainian immigrant who pleaded guilty to bringing Ukrainian women to the United States and forcing them to work as strippers has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Aleksander Maksimenko, now a U.S. citizen, also Monday was ordered to pay restitution totaling more than $1.5 million, the amount authorities said he and a co-defendant took from the dancers.

Maksimenko, 27, pleaded guilty in 2006 to involuntary servitude, alien smuggling conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

Authorities said he used the business name Beauty Search Inc. to bring at least 12 women from Ukraine and elsewhere and forced them to work 12-hour days six days a week as exotic dancers at Detroit-area strip clubs. (AP)