Main news of Russia March 23, 2011…

* Renowned Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79, ABC television said

* The death count in Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami has climbed to 9,487 people, NHK reported citing the country’s police

* Microscopic radioactive particles from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant that may spread across the world within the next few weeks are “harmless,” a Russian environmental monitoring official said

* Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma described as a “terrible provocation” accusations that he had ordered the killing of prominent journalist Georgy Gongadze in 2000

* Japan has sustained $312 billion worth of damage from the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami, Kyodo news quoted the government as saying

* Leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and France agreed in a phone conversation that NATO should take key role in the military operation in Libya

* British rock group Deep Purple visited Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at his Gorki residence near Moscow ahead of their Wednesday gig

* Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger airliner will carry out its first passenger flight from Armenia’s capital of Yerevan to Moscow on April 12, officials in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory said

* Nomos Bank, one of Russia’s top 30 banks, has officially confirmed plans to float shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in the second quarter of 2011 to become the first Russian private bank listed in London, the bank said in a statement

* Etalon Group Limited, one of Russia’s largest real estate developers, has filed an application for its Global Depository Receipts to be admitted to listing on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market under the ETLN ticker, it said

The International Skating Union (ISU) will continue on Thursday to vote on where to hold the 2011 Figure Skating World Championship after Tokyo was forced to bow out due to the tragic earthquake on March 11

* Slovenian companies are interested in joining construction projects for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the southern Russian city of Sochi

Windows to Russia!