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BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities say they are investigating two audio recordings apparently featuring the voices of opposition politicians discussing ways to overthrow the government.

Interior Ministry spokesman Bakyt Seitov told RFE/RL on March 22 that the audio recordings' authenticity was being checked.

The two audio recordings circulated on the Internet on March 21-22. They carried voices similar to those of several opposition politicians discussing ways to seize power in Kyrgyzstan.

One of the politicians apparently involved, Bektur Asanov, confirmed to RFE/RL that such a discussion had taken place, but said the talks touched upon legal ways to hand over power to another government.

Asanov called the audio recordings' appearance on the Internet as "an attempt to blackmail the opposition."

The director-general of a building company working at a Russian space center under construction in the country's Far East has been sentenced to 11 months in prison.

A court in the town of Svobodny found Sergei Terentyev guilty on March 22 of misusing state money and failing to pay salaries to his employees.

Russia is building the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region to reduce its reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for manned launches.

The project has been dogged by reports of corruption.

In the spring of 2015, workers went on strike at the facility over unpaid wages. They were only paid after appealing directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Terentyev and directors of two other subcontracting firms were later arrested on corruption charges.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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