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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Ryazan Rally Broken Up

Authorities broke up an anti-government rally in Ryazan on Saturday, detaining more than a dozen opposition activists, organizers said.

Some 70 members of the banned National Bolshevik Party and liberal activists had gathered in a central square in Ryazan, some 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow, to hold a demonstration.

But police rounded up 15 protesters and prevented the others from going ahead with the rally, said Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the National Bolsheviks.

Averin said city authorities had granted permission for a rally in a remote part of the city, but the protesters decided to defy the order and hold their demonstration downtown.

City police said six activists had been detained, Interfax reported. (AP)

Lavrov Irked by Zakayev

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Russia had asked France to explain a recent trip by Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev to Strasbourg and expressed concerned over his freedom of movement in Europe.

"We have approached the relevant French authorities requesting an explanation," Lavrov said on Channel One television. He said Zakayev was on the Interpol wanted list.

There was no immediate comment from the French government.

Britain has repeatedly snubbed Moscow's requests to extradite Zakayev, who lives in London. (Reuters)

Extremism Bill Delayed

The State Duma on Friday postponed a second reading of a controversial bill on extremism to Wednesday.

The bill, which toughens the penalties for a range of activities deemed extremist, was expected to come up for the crucial second reading Friday. Duma Deputy Dmitry Yeryomin, a member of the committee developing the bill, said it needed further changes, Radio Mayak reported. The bill has been criticized by opposition activists who fear it could be used against them. (MT)

Blast Kills 2 in Chechnya

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A powerful improvised explosive device detonated in Chechnya on Sunday, killing two soldiers and seriously wounding two others, police said.

The bomb, fashioned from an anti-personnel mine, went off in a wooded area in southeastern Chechnya's Vedeno district while a group of soldiers was passing through, the Chechen Interior Ministry said. Authorities were searching for those who set the device.

Meanwhile, unidentified attackers forced their way into an apartment in Grozny late Saturday and shot a mother and adult daughter living there, killing one and wounding the other, the ministry said. No suspects were detained and the motive was not known. (AP)

Policeman Attacks His Child

A policeman attacked his stepdaughter with a knife before plunging to his death from an 11th floor window in southeast Moscow early Friday, reported.

The 46-year-old officer of the Police Guard Service was arguing with his ex-wife in an apartment on Ulitsa Verkhniye Polya when he grabbed a knife and stabbed his 16-year-old stepdaughter in the chest, a law enforcement source said. He then threw himself out of an 11th floor window and died at the scene from injuries sustained in the fall, the source said. The girl was hospitalized with knife wounds. Her condition was unclear Sunday. (MT)

Construction Chief Killed

The head of a construction company that builds suburban houses was gunned down in an apparent contract murder last week near his apartment building in western Moscow, authorities said.

Vyacheslav Cherepovsky, head of the construction company Villa-Vera, was discovered early Tuesday at his home on Kutuzovsky Prospect, Interfax reported.

The killer, who shot Cherepovsky at least 11 times, fled on a bicycle, Moskovsky Komsomolets said. (MT)

Military Satellite Launched

A space rocket on Friday sent a new military satellite into orbit, military officials said.

A Zenit-2M booster rocket put the Kosmos-2428 satellite into its designated orbit 13 minutes after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Space Forces said in a statement.

It was the first successful launch of the Zenit-2M rocket with an additional booster, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. (AP)

Woman Robbed in Hummer

Police have arrested an unemployed man suspected of robbing a female passenger at gunpoint in his Hummer, a law enforcement source told RIA-Novosti.

The robbery happened at around 3:30 a.m. on June 24 while the suspect, a 45-year-old Moscow region resident, was giving the woman a ride on Raushskaya Naberezhnaya in central Moscow, the source said Thursday.

Threatening her with a handgun, the suspect took her telephone, cash and gold jewelry before leaving her on the side of the road, the source said.

Other details were unclear, including why the owner of a Hummer would need cash or a phone. City police could not be reached for comment. (MT)