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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Sychyov Wants SPS Spot

Private Andrei Sychyov, the soldier whose name has become synonymous with the problem of hazing in the armed forces, is attempting to be included on the Union of Right Forces, or SPS, party list for the State Duma elections in December, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Sychyov has informed the party of his desire to join the ticket, his mother, Galina Sychyova, told Interfax.

Party leader Nikita Belykh said he had not yet seen Sychyov's letter but that the possibility of including him in the list would be discussed, Interfax reported.

A sergeant forced Sychyov to squat for several hours while beating him in Jan. 2006. As a result, Sychyov's legs and genitals had to be amputated. (MT)

Spying Officer Gets 9 Years

The Moscow Military District Court on Wednesday sentenced former Defense Ministry officer Igor Arsentyev to nine years in prison for treason, Interfax reported.

Arsentyev -- who had served in a Defense Ministry research institute --passed classified information to a foreign intelligence service during trips abroad from 2002 to 2004, the court ruled.

Prosecutors did not disclose to which foreign government he had passed information but said he helped that country's armed forces organize electronic jamming. Arsentyev had been held in detention since his arrest last year.

Arsentyev was also stripped of his rank of lieutenant colonel. Neither defense nor prosecution planned to appeal the verdict, Interfax reported. (MT)

Moldovan Woman Killed

A Moldovan woman was found dead at a St. Petersburg market Wednesday morning after apparently receiving deadly blows to the back of the head, Interfax reported.

The woman, who worked as a saleswoman at one of booths at the market, was discovered dead on the premises at around 10 a.m. Wednesday, a law enforcement source told Interfax.

"The dead woman, born in 1968, had characteristic injuries on the back of her head," the source said. (MT)

Free TV Ad List Finalized

The Central Elections Committee on Wednesday finalized the list of state-controlled mass media outlets required to grant free advertising to political parties ahead of State Duma elections in December.

The list contains both national television and radio channels, such as Rossia television and Radio Rossii, as well as newspapers such as Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Interfax reported. (MT)

U.S. Rebuffs Belarus

The United States has rebuffed efforts by Belarus for improved relations and said U.S. sanctions would be continued and strengthened unless President Alexander Lukashenko's government accepts democratic standards.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack criticized Lukashenko in a statement Tuesday for increased intimidation of Belarussians, mentioning especially the secret trial of former opposition lawmaker Andrei Klimov.

McCormack said Klimov was convicted of publishing material on the Internet criticizing the Lukashenko government.

"As long as the Belarussian authorities are not ready to abide by democratic norms, the United States will continue to maintain and strengthen sanctions on those responsible," McCormack said. (AP)