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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

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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