Main news of August 17


* Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko gave false testimony in a Kiev court saying he was not involved in disputed gas contracts with Russia, a high-ranking source in the Kremlin said

* Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for “crimes perpetrated by the Syrian regime against their own people,” Egypt’s Al-Gomhuria daily reported

* Syrian special task services killed more than 360 people in popular uprisings during the first half of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, Syrian media sources reported citing combined data from local rights organizations

* Iran is against any foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries engulfed by popular uprisings, but urges the governments of these states to react to civilian demands, the Iranian foreign minister said

* Iran’s foreign minister hailed Moscow’s proposal to resolve the Islamic republic’s vexed nuclear issue ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart

* Ukrainian former president Viktor Yushchenko told a Kiev court that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should be summoned to give evidence in the trial of his one-time premier Yulia Tymoshenko

* With just months to go before the end of a Moscow-based simulated journey to Mars, the European Space Agency (ESA) head said a joint mission with Russia to the Red Planet was in the pipeline

* Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko began testifying in the trial of his one-time prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko

* Vassily Dzharty, the prime minister of Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea, has died, his spokeswoman said

* One of Poland’s largest rail carriers, Przewozy Regionalne, went on a 24-hour strike


* Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the hard-line coup said that he knew about the coup being prepared but he thought it was more important to avoid bloodshed and especially a civil war

* Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is planning to create three squadrons of Be-200 amphibious planes to fight forest fires, Minister Sergei Shoigu said

* Police in south Russia’s Dagestan region defused a powerful car bomb

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is being outmaneuvered by his powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said


* The Russian Helicopters holding closed a deal to sell 40 Mi-171s to Russia’s UTair Airlines, a spokesman for the holding said

* Russia’s state-run Rostekhnologii (Russian Technologies) corporation and Irkut Corporation (part of the state-run United Aircraft Corporation) signed a $3.8-billion contract for 50 MS-21 passenger jets

* The Russian national carrier Aeroflot is interested in the purchase of the Airbus A380, Airbus Vice President Chris Buckley said

Russia’s state-run arms exporter has lost a total of $4 billion over the cancellation of contracts with Libya, Rosoboronexport head Anatoly Isaikin said


* A Russian company has unveiled a unique “Pandora’s Box'”cruise missile system which is deployed and can be fired from a standard 40-foot shipping container, from ships, rail cars or even off the back of a truck

* Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 5th generation fighter performed its first demonstration flight at the MAKS 2011 International Aviation and Space Show

* The Russian firm that produced the Soyuz space rocket has shown off a new twin-engine multi-role turboprop at MAKS that could replace hundreds of obsolete flying workhorses around the country


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