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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kasparov's Aide Detained

Marina Litvinovich, a top adviser to political opposition leader Garry Kasparov, was detained Monday morning in St. Petersburg after arriving from Moscow ahead of a planned Dissenters' March on Saturday, Litvinovich said.

Police attributed Litvinovich's detention to her "active" participation in the marches, she told Interfax.

"I told the police it's illegal and refused to give any written statement," Litvinovich said.

She said she was released after she consented to sign a document invoking her constitutional right against self-incrimination. (MT)

Kidnappers Demand $8M

Kidnappers in St. Petersburg are demanding a $8 million ransom for a brother and sister they took captive last month, Argumenty i Fakty reported Monday.

Dmitry Borodulin, 6, and his sister Alexandra, 11, were kidnapped May 15 in central St. Petersburg while walking home with their father. Five men attacked Pavel Borodulin, a businessman, and beat him up before taking the children, the report said. The ransom demand for 6 million euros ($8 million) came several days later, it said.

Prosecutors believe the kidnapping was masterminded by a family acquaintance familiar with the children's schedule and the family's income and property. (MT)

Georgian Regions Press UN

The leaders of Georgia's separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia appealed to the United Nations on Monday to put them in line for international recognition after Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo.

Abkhazia's Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetia's Eduard Kokoity also said they hoped for stronger support from Russia now that it finds itself increasingly at odds with the West.

"If Kosovo is separated from Serbia and its independence is recognized, one more powerful proof will emerge that ethnic conflicts can be solved on principles other than a respect for territorial integrity," they said in a statement released after a regular meeting in Moscow. "Abkhazia and South Ossetia have just as strong grounds to demand independence as Kosovo." (Reuters)