- Sputnik International
The latest news and stories from Russia. Stay tuned for updates and breaking news on defense, politics, economy and more.

Morning re-cap of main news, June 24

* Mission Control said a Soyuz carrier rocket with the Progress M-57 space freighter had been successfully launched from the Baikonur space center to the International Space Station at 3.08 p.m. GMT

* The Emergency Situations Ministry said six people died and 18 were injured in a fire in a St. Petersburg dormitory

* President Alexander Lukashenko said while summing up the results of Union Shield-2006, a large-scale military exercise with Russia:

- Belarus is determined to strengthen its armed forces at any cost

- There will be no need to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus

* Russia's defense minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia and Belarus were resolved to strengthen the operational capacity of their joint forces in the region

* Moldova's first deputy prosecutor general said Moldovan national Igor Velchev, suspected of killing Russian journalist Ilya Zimin February 26, would be tried in his country

* Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said on Ekho Moskvy radio that inflation in Russia in 2006 would be at 9%

* Igor Smirnov, the president of the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr, said three breakaway regions in former Soviet republics currently embroiled in "frozen conflicts" had started forming a joint peacekeeping contingent to be deployed should Russian peacekeepers withdraw

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