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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

State Has $194M for NGOs

The Kremlin has allocated more than 5 billion rubles ($194 million) for nongovernmental organizations this year, the Kremlin press service said Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that will provide 1.25 billion rubles in grants and divide another 4.22 billion rubles among 14 regional NGOs, including four in Chechnya. The decree states that the money is for NGOs that help "develop civil society."

Several NGOs said they would apply for grants if the process were transparent. "We are often reproached for living on Western money, but the conditions of the last competition were such that we couldn't even enter to take part in it," said Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of Moscow Helsinki Group, Interfax reported. (MT)

Lebedev Injured in Crash

Former Yukos owner Platon Lebedev, who is serving an eight-year sentence on a tax evasion conviction, suffered slight injuries when a police van he was riding in collided with a Toyota Land Cruiser in the Chita region, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Lebedev was traveling from a Chita court to his detention facility when the accident happened Monday night, police said. Lebedev and several police officers in the van were slightly injured and treated at the scene before they continued to the detention facility.

Police have determined that the Toyota driver had violated traffic regulations and will revoke his license. (MT)

Lukashenko Slams Shield

MINSK -- President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday that Belarus would disregard its economic disputes with Russia and work closer with Moscow to counter U.S. plans to erect a missile shield in Central Europe.

"The eastward expansion of NATO's military infrastructure and planned deployment of parts of the U.S. anti-missile system in countries next to Belarus seriously worsens the military and political situation on our borders," he said at a ceremony to celebrate Belarus' independence day. (Reuters)

Helicopter Flips Over

An Mi-8 military helicopter crashed Tuesday in northwestern Russia, hurting one passenger, an Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman said.

She said 13 people were on board.

The helicopter caught its rotors on the ground during takeoff and flipped over, Itar-Tass reported. (Reuters)

German Satellite Launched

A Kosmos-3M rocket sent a German reconnaissance satellite into orbit, a military spokesman said Tuesday -- the latest good news for Russian efforts to garner a larger share of the lucrative international market for space launches.

The German SAR-Lupe-2 satellite went into orbit late Monday night about 30 minutes after the rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk launch pad in northern Russia, the Space Forces said.

A total of five satellites will ultimately comprise the SAR-Lupe system, which will be Germany's first satellite-based reconnaissance system, allowing high-resolution radar images night and day, German officials said. (AP)

Soviet Submarine Found

STOCKHOLM -- A Finnish-Swedish search team has found the wreck of a Soviet submarine sunk by the Finnish navy in the Baltic Sea during World War II.

The Soviet SC305 was fired on and rammed by a Finnish submarine in November 1942, sending it to the bottom in Swedish territorial waters off the island of Aland.

The Soviet submarine, one of many used to prowl shipping lanes in the Baltic Sea during the war, was found at a depth of 136 meters. All the 38 crew members were reported lost when submarine sank. The team said it considered the site a war memorial and had only given the exact position of the wreck to Swedish authorities, leaving it to them to decide whether the information should be published. (Reuters)