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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

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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