The number of subscribers of the Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) mobile operatorin St. Petersburg reached 500,000, the press service of the companyreported. More than 2,000 new users subscribe to MTS per day. By thebeginning of August 2002 more that 620 base stations and 9 switchingexchanges have been installed in the city and the North Western District ofRussia. MTS started launching its GSM network in the North Western Districtfour years ago when the company started operating in the Pskov region andthe Komi Republic. The purchase of the Telecom XXI company enables MTS toget access to other regions of the North West. In December 2001 MTSlaunched its network in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. By August2002 the operator's services have become available in the Novgorod,Kaliningrad, Murmanks, Petrozavodsk and Arkhangelsk regions. MTS will startoperating in the Vologda region and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area inthe near future..
According to a source in the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia started deploying elite commando units in eastern Libya. Russian GRU officers, mercenaries and advisors have arrived in Libya