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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Gas Blast Kills 7

A gas explosion devastated a residential building in a Far East village on Thursday, killing seven people and injuring another seven.

Emergency Situations Ministry workers said they had established that the powerful blast had been caused by a leak of natural gas in the two-story apartment house in Vozdvizhenka in the Primorye region.(Reuters)

5 Years for Fake Bank Note

A Voronezh region resident has been sentenced to five years in a maximum-security prison for counterfeiting a 100 ruble note with his ink-jet printer, Itar-Tass reported Thursday.

Artur Burykin made the 100 ruble note, worth less than $3, at home and tried to buy goods with it in a local store in December, prosecutors said. 

Burykin, who was on probation after receiving a one-year suspended sentence for theft, was sentenced to five years for counterfeiting. He now will also have to serve out the one-year sentence for theft.(MT)

For the Record

Lawyers for former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev requested that their clients' case be referred to the jurisdiction of another court Thursday, Interfax reported.(MT)

The Georgian Interior Ministry said Thursday that Russian military helicopters had repeatedly violated Georgia's air space near the border with Abkhazia over the past day. The Russian Air Force denied the claim.(AP)

The head of Georgia's armed forces, Colonel Vladimer Chachibaia, has been replaced after four months on the job, with local media on Thursday blaming a personnel clash. He was replaced by his deputy, Devi Chankotadze.(Reuters)

Kyrgyzstan will not reverse its decision to shut a U.S. military air base that was used by Washington for the war in Afghanistan, the office of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Thursday. His office said, however, that the country was open to the United States sending nonmilitary supplies across its territory.(Reuters)