* A prominent Ukrainian female investigative journalist and opposition activist was badly beaten by a group of unknown men outside Kiev early Wednesday morning, hours after posting pictures online of what she said was a top government official’s luxury estate.
* Russia’s Supreme Court ordered a review of past cases against the country’s former richest man Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who received a presidential pardon last week after spending more than a decade in Russian jails.
* Russia began dropping cases against the Greenpeace activists, detained over a September protest staged at a Russian Arctic oil rig, as part of a broad prison amnesty approved by state lawmakers earlier this month.
* Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry said it has proposed building an ecologically-themed tourist park on the site of a former mill infamous as the worst polluter of Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake.
* The Russian navy has pushed back the intended in-service date for a new deck-landing training installation by almost a year for undisclosed reasons, a building contractor involved in the project said.
* Russia’s ban on imports of meat products from the US have cost Washington some $5-6 billion since it went into effect in February, the US Ambassador to Russia said in an interview with a Russian newspaper.
* Damascus has signed an agreement with Russian oil and gas company SoyuzNefteGaz to jointly prospect for oil off Syria’s Mediterranean coast, a spokeswoman for the Syrian natural resources ministry said.