Itar-Tass Russia, CIS news summary for Wednesday, July 20=2 .

21/7 Tass 3

MOSCOW— Lyudmila Chursina – a famous actress who still remains a theater and movie star in Russia, is celebrating her jubilee on July 20. Organizing jubilee celebrations at the peak of a vacation and theater tour season is practically a hopeless thing. Therefore Chursina celebrated her official jubilee, ignoring all prejudice and superstitions, beforehand, on July 8. The jubilee celebration was a great success.

MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated People’s Artist of the Soviet Union Lyudmila Chursina upon her jubilee, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday. “As an outstanding actress you have created an entire gallery of bright, diverse characters in the cinema and theater. You enjoy success and true love of everyone in Russia as your award for your multifarious talent and being faithful to the cause you serve.

MOSCOW — Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta had a telephone conversation on Wednesday, in which they discussed international security and missile defence, the Russian Defence Ministry reports. Serdyukov congratulated the U.S. counterpart on his appointment to the post, a ministry report said. The ministers discussed international security issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, as well as military cooperation of the two agencies.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Russian Armed Forces will use domestically-manufactured drone planes. The Defence Ministry plans to test unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of different manufacturers at the end of this year. Based on the results of the testing, it will make the decision on the purchase of drone planes for the Russian army, chief of the Russian Army General Staff and First Deputy Defence Minister, General of the Army Nikolai Makarov said.

MOSCOW — Russia’s military exports in 2011 will exceed 11 billion U.S. dollars, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director Mikhail Dmitriyev said on Wednesday, July 20. “We have made 64 percent of export arms supplies [scheduled for this year]. And there is no doubt that we will meet the target figures and bring arms exports to over 11 billion U.S. dollars this year,” he said.

GORKI— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the head of the Russian republic of Karelia, Andrei Nelidov, discussed on Wednesday the situation with wildfires in the region. Nelidov reported that the situation is favourable at the moment. Four fires were fixed in Karelia as of Tuesday evening.

MOSCOW — At least 13 people were killed in an earthquake measuring 6.5 to 7.0 on the Richter scale that occured in Uzbekistan last night. Over 80 people were wounded, sources from the Uzbek Ministry for Emergency Situations report on Wednesday.

MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev sent his condolences to Uzbek President Islam Karimov on Wednesday, July 20, in connection with an earthquake in Uzbekistan.

KHABAROVSK — The Republic of Yakutia in the Far East remains a problem area from the viewpoint of efforts to grapple with forest fires. By Wednesday morning, 21 forest fires are still raging in the republic on an area of over 8,600 hectares, an official at the forestry department for the Far Eastern Federal District has told Itar-Tass.

DUSHANBE — A strong earthquake rocked residents of several regions in Tajikistan at midnight on Wednesday. The earthquake measured 6.2 points jolted north-eastern Tajikistan on the border with Kyrgyzstan, a source in the Dushanbe seismological station told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. The tremors made many residents in the Tajik capital leave their houses despite the nighttime. Meanwhile, no reports were made about the damages to the republican emergencies committee.

DUSHANBE — A resident from the city of Khujand, which is the administrative centre in the Sogdi Region, is the only victim of an earthquake that rocked northern Tajikistan overnight to Wednesday. Abdullo Ashrapov, who was afraid of tremors, jumped out of the window of his flat on the second floor and died, a source in the Tajik Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

KRASNOYARSK — The firemen have put out 18 fires on 1,017 hectares in Siberia’s forests over the past day. However, another 22 forest fires on 1,013 hectares keep burning, a source in the regional emergencies centre told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

VLADIVOSTOK —An emergency wildfire warning has been issued in Yakutia on Wednesday. High air temperatures with little precipitation are expected in more than 15 districts of Yakutia in the following three days. The worst heat is expected in the Aldan district where air temperatures might go up from 31 to 36 degrees Celsius, Yakutia’s weather service said.

BISHKEK— Several buildings were slightly damaged, no casualties and destroyed buildings were reported, in an earthquake, which rocked southern Kyrgyzstan overnight to Thursday, Director of the Seismology Institute at the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov told a press conference here on Wednesday.

MOSCOW — An overall number of murders and rapes is on the decline in Moscow, but the number of crimes, which the migrants commit, keeps growing, chief of the Moscow branch of the Investigation Committee Vadim Yakovenko told Itar-Tass after the results for the first six months are summed up.

NAZRAN — Three policemen on mission in Ingushetia were injured in a bomb blast on the Caucasus federal highway, a source in the Ingush investigation committee of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said on Wednesday.

KHABAROVSK — The second criminal case was opened against former Blagoveshchensk mayor Alexander Migulya in Blagoveshchensk. “He is accused of embezzlement of major budget funds under Article 285 Part 1 of the Criminal Code,” a source in the Amur regional branch of the Investigation Committee told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

BANGKOK — Two Russian nationals suspected of laundering 25 million dollars have been detained in Thailand. Valery Bovsun and Andrei Ustinov will most likely be extradited from Thailand, a police source told Tass on Wednesday.

MOSCOW — Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK) Alexander Bastrykin expressed dissatisfaction with the progress of investigation into the mass brawl case in the village of Sagra of the urban district Verkhnyaya Pyshma in the Sverdlovsk region, where a man was killed on the night to July 1 as a result of a conflict between local residents and visitors from Yekaterinburg.

MOSCOW — More than 300 corruption cases have been opened in Moscow since the start of the year. In the first half of 2011, the Investigation Committee’s division for Moscow opened 310 criminal cases for corruption offences. Nine officials in executive and local bodies, 117 policemen, 10 officials from the service of court bailiffs, six from the tax service, 16 from the healthcare and 10 from the education systems, 13 lawyers and others faced criminal charges.

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