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Extremist Held After Debate

Published: July 6, 2007 (Issue # 1286)


MOSCOW Authorities have arrested the leader of an ultranationalist group on suspicion of inciting hatred by shouting Sieg heil and Kill the liberals during a political debate, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Maxim Martsinkevich, 22, has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident Feb. 28 at the Bilingua cafe in central Moscow, City Prosecutors Office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said.

Titova declined to elaborate, but a law enforcement source told Interfax that Martsinkevich, leader of the group Format 18, was arrested early Tuesday morning at his apartment on Rublyovskoye Shosse in western Moscow.

Martsinkevich, who goes by the nickname Tesak, or Hatchet, and several other young men flashed Nazi insignias and began yelling Sieg Heil and verbally attacking participants at the political debate titled Where are the Democrats? witnesses said.

They were shouting, Kill the liberals, but they almost immediately retreated, said Yulia Latynina, a political commentator and columnist for The St. Petersburg Times, who was participating in the debate. If they wanted to kill liberals, there were plenty around.

Martsinkevich, a student at the Russian State Social University, has been charged with inciting hatred and faces up to five years in prison if convicted, Titova said.

Human rights activists have accused authorities of largely turning a blind eye to hate speech by skinheads and other ultranationalists, and apparent racially motivated attacks are often classified as lesser crimes, such as hooliganism.

Im very pleased that the prosecutors office is arresting fascists, said Maxim Kononenko, a political satirist and well-known blogger, who also participated in the debate.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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