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Reports Russia Railway Chief Fired Called False

Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin is still in charge, officials say.
Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has denied reports that the head of Russian Railways was fired.

Naryshkin's comments on June 20 come after Russian news agencies Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and others were sent an e-mail statement late on June 19 that appeared to be a government press release announcing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had dismissed Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin.

In less than an hour, all the agencies retracted their reports after Medvedev's office denied Yakunin was dismissed.

On June 20, the head of the Duma's Committee on State Legislation and State Development, Vladimir Pligin, called for harsher punishment for the spreading of false information.

Yakunin said the false information was part of a campaign against railway projects and he would find out who was behind the e-mails.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and AFP