Nationalists Arrested and Charged
Published: October 24, 2013 (Issue # 1783)
The police have said that the alleged attacks on local residents by migrants during the Oct. 15 Muslim festival of Kurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) had in fact been faked by nationalist Nikolai Bondarik and his associates in order to provoke anti-immigrant riots.
At a press conference on Oct. 16, St. Petersburg police chief Sergei Umnov claimed that Bondarik was preparing a “bloodbath,” Fontanka.ru reported.
Bondarik, infamous for his role in so-called “Russian clean-ups,” the recent series raids against migrant vendors, and anti-LGBT demonstrations, was arrested after his home was searched on Oct. 16. The Investigative Committee announced the same day that Bondarik is a suspect in two criminal investigations launched under “anti-extremist” article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code on “inciting racist or religious hatred as an organized group.” Bondarik, who has been taken into pre-trial custody until Dec. 16, faces up to five years in prison.
According to the Investigative Committee, the 47-year-old Bondarik formed an organized group that persuaded a 16-year-old teenager to stab himself in the arm and posted false information about him being a victim of racist attack, which the group used to ignite hatred and hostility toward those of different ethnicity.
In the second case, Bondarik is suspected of offering a reward of 20,000 rubles ($620) to a certain Vasily Baranov, so that Baranov would allow Bondarik’s associates to fire a rubber bullet in his back on Oct. 15. The Investigation Committee alleged that after the shot had been fired, Baranov told the police officers and paramedics that he was injured by a kiosk vendor of a different ethnicity.
According to Bondarik’s page on a Russian social network, the news about the alleged attack on Baranov was posted at 6:27 a.m. on Oct. 15.
Contrary to the Investigative Committee’s statement, Bondarik’s social network page said that Baranov was allegedly injured in an attack at the Alyans street cafe near 52 Prospekt Prosveshcheniya in the north of the city. According to Bondarik’s report, around 10 men from the North Caucasus fired rubber bullets at three Russian men, who visited the cafe at around 1 a.m. Bondarik also cited a message from Baranov’s wife that said that her husband was unconscious in their apartment while she was afraid to call an ambulance because the “non-Russians” were blocking the doorway.
According to Bondarik, two other men, 26-year-old Vyacheslav Slyadnyov and 28-year-old Alexander Pravkov, who were with Baranov, were also injured in the alleged incident, albeit less seriously.
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