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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Youth Groups Investigated

The Prosecutor General's Office is investigating whether pro-Kremlin youth groups Nashi and Young Guard incited ethnic hatred during their protests outside the Estonian Embassy last month, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The case was opened after the St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko filed a complaint, the report said. (MT)

Award for Politkovskaya

The National Press Club will honor slain investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya with the John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award.

In a statement Wednesday, the club's president, Jerry Zremski, singled out Politkovskaya's reporting on the military's conduct in Chechnya and said she deserved to be remembered for her "courage and commitment to journalism." Politkovskaya will be honored at a July 16 ceremony in Washington. (MT)

30 Terrorist Acts Prevented

About 30 terrorist acts have been prevented in the Southern Federal District so far this year, the Prosecutor General's Office said Friday.

The attacks were aimed primarily at local authorities, but several targeted Muslim religious leaders, said Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Sydoruk, adding that the district continued to see violence daily. In Chechnya and Dagestan alone, 45 law enforcement officers have been killed and 55 injured this year, he said.

Also, 148 suspected militants have been detained and 39 killed. (MT)

Vologda Governor Approved

Vologda legislators on Thursday approved Governor Vyacheslav Pozagalyov for a fourth term, Interfax reported.

Pozgalyov, first elected governor in 1996, sought President Vladimir Putin's blessing for another term last month, and Putin nominated him last week.

Only one of the 27 deputies at Thursday's session voted against Pozgalyov's confirmation.

Also Thursday, Leningrad Governor Valery Serdyukov asked for Putin's blessing for a third term, Interfax reported. (MT)

Ivanov Takes the Lead

First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has dropped behind First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov in the latest poll on the 2008 presidential race Thursday.

The Levada Center said 27 percent of those asked in June would pick Medvedev for president, down 7 percentage points from April, when he was leading. Ivanov's support remained steady at 31 percent. Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov both polled 14 percent. (Reuters)

Investigations Chief Hearing

The Federation Council on Friday will consider the confirmation of Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Bastrykin as the head of a new semiautonomous agency that would take over the current investigative powers of prosecutors, Interfax reported Thursday.

The investigative committee will have branches in every city and region, the Kremlin said earlier this month after President Vladimir Putin signed off on its creation. Communists have opposed the bill, saying it would destroy official oversight. Bastrykin was a university classmate of Putin's, Ekho Moskvy radio reported. (MT)

For the Record

The Moscow Bar Association on Thursday refused to disbar Karinna Moskalenko, a defense lawyer known for representing Mikhail Khodorkovsky and opposition figures. (AP)

Serbia on Thursday welcomed Russia's rejection of a revised UN resolution that it said would only delay virtual independence for Kosovo. (AP)

An Armenian and a South African accused of agreeing to smuggle Russian arms into the United States were lured by an FBI informant with the promise of green cards, lawyers argued in New York on Wednesday. (Reuters)

President Putin will visit Guatemala on July 3 and 4 to back Sochi's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Kremlin said Thursday. (AP)