The sentence with a warning: why did the authorities become more severe to the nationalists

The sentence with a warning: why did the authorities become more severe to the nationalists


On Wednesday, the petty-bourgeois court of capital has sentenced a leader of the banned movement “Russian” Alexander Belov (Potkin). He received 7,5 years of imprisonment for inciting ethnic hatred, extremism and money laundering of the Kazakh BTA Bank.

This verdict was the second in his account. In 2009, the Dorogomilovsky court of the capital sentenced him to probation for inciting ethnic hatred. The occasion was the presentation Potkin on “Russian March”, when he compared the government building with the Torah scrolls.

The sentence Belov was not the most severe of the many cases of nationalists, but fit in with the trend of increasing the punishment for extremist articles.

Conditional nationalists

The founder of the ultra-nationalist organization “Russian national unity” (RNE) Alexander Barkashov was in a detention center after he was involved in the armed conflict in Moscow in 1993 on the side of the Supreme Council. But a year later he was released under Amnesty, after that, he actively continued nationalist activities. Only in 2007, he was sentenced to two years in prison, but not for nationalistic articles, and for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

The founder of the ultra-nationalist organization “Russian national unity” Alexander Barkashov, 1999

Photo: Boris Kavashkin/TASS

For hate speech to criminal prosecution the Prosecutor’s office tried to draw the other participant in the events of 1993 — Colonel-General of the army and the nationalist albert Makashov. As Barkashov, he spent a year in jail and was released on Amnesty, after which he became a Deputy of the state Duma. In 1998, speaking in the “Shark Politburo”, Makashov made a series of anti-Semitic statements. But criminal case on this fact, came to nothing — it was stopped several times and was resumed in late 1999, was closed permanently.

Escaped justice and a former press Minister and one of the founders of “the Russian newspaper” Boris Mironov in 2008 he was convicted of inciting ethnic hatred is also due to anti-Semitic remarks, but released from punishment in connection with expiry of the Statute of limitations.

A fine of 200 thousand rubles. in 2014, ended the criminal case of the leader of the movement “Russian” Dmitry Demushkin. He was found guilty of organizing the activities prohibited by the court, “Slavic Union”. Now Nagatinsky court of Moscow considers it the second criminal case, which concerns incitement of hatred or enmity. According to investigators, the nationalist was posted on his page in the social network provocative materials.

The leader of the banned movement “Russian” Dmitry Demushkin, 2014

Photo: Valery sharifulin/TASS

Real, but a small period of time, the courts appointed nationalist Maxim Marcinkiewicz. In 2014, he was sentenced to two years and ten months for the publication of extremist materials in social networks (the three clips from the movie reviews). On account of his three trial. In the first two (2008 and 2009) he was found guilty of inciting ethnic hatred or enmity — shouting fascist slogans during a political debate in “Bilingual” and participated in the filming of “Ku Klux Klan”. In these cases he has already spent in prison 3.5 years.

The assassination and the rebellion

Twice (in 2008 and 2010) verdicts of acquittal ended the case of Colonel GRU in resignation Vladimir Kvachkov. He, along with his son Boris Mironov Ivan, as well as former soldiers of Alexander Naidenov and Robert Yashin accused of attempt at life of the head of RAO UES Anatoly Chubais. In 2005, the road on which each day, Chubais went to work, mined the attackers, and the car fired from Kalashnikovs.

Colonel GRU in resignation Vladimir Kvachkov, 2013

Photo: Sergei Karpov/TASS

During the trials Kvachkov became a famous public figure and was organized by the public movement “militia them. Minin and Pozharsky”, which was later found to be prohibited by the organization.

In December 2010, a week after the Supreme court upheld the acquittal Kvachkov, he was arrested again on charges of organizing an armed rebellion (an attempt to capture the Arsenal of the interior Ministry and the FSB in the city of Kovrov) — his case was considered by three judges. As a result, in 2013, he was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Themis becomes stricter

Severe punishment nationalists, the courts began to make at the end of 2000-ies, but in cases of homicide. One of the most notorious was the case Ryno — tkachevskogo in 2008 the Moscow city court found the minor Artur Ryno and Pavel tkachevskogo and five of their supporters guilty of 20 murders on nationalist grounds and in 12 attempts. Ryno and Skachevsky was sentenced to the maximum penalty for minors — ten years in prison. The other defendants received sentences up to 20 years.

Long sentences, up to life sentence, were members of the extremist organization BORN. The first trial was one of the leaders of the group Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend Yevgenia Khasis. According to investigators, they planned the murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who specialized in protection of people from the North Caucasus. During the same crime Tikhonov also shot and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who was there with a lawyer. Their business in 2011 was considered by the jury Moscow city court.

In court neither Tikhonov nor Khasis did not recognize guilt, and a guilty verdict was passed with the minimum majority of votes of the jury. But in the end, Tikhonov was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Khasis to 18 years imprisonment. Being in a colony “the polar owl”, Tikhonov confessed to the murders, and his testimony became important evidence in the case of other members of the Bourne.

In July 2015 a life sentence the court has appointed the born organizer and leader of the movement “Russian obraz” Ilya Goryachev. Khasis and Tikhonov became one of the main prosecution witnesses in his case. According to them, Goryachev, on the one hand, encouraged them to commit high-profile murders, to put pressure on the government and on the other hand, boasted of ties in the Kremlin.”

Echoes of war

Over the past few years, all the major leaders of nationalist movements have been arrested or are under investigation, said Demushkin. “This applies to local offices. Every day in the cities were detained, arrested, declared travel abroad the organizers of the movement. There are no forces ready to organize a “Russian March” — said Demushkin . Prosecuted, the Central figure of one of the largest nationalist movements in Russia, “Russian” (an organization banned in Russia), lists Demushkin: “Belov is in jail, I’m under house arrest, [Councilman Dennis] Tuckin — in Kiev, [member of the Board Vladimir] Basmanov emigrated”.

“Russian March”, the Central event of the nationalists, gathers from 5 thousand to 10 thousand people. But the latest event, held in October 2015, was the smallest in the history of the procession. In the opinion of the members of the movement, there was not a single well-known nationalist — all fear of repression and persecution.

Lately, the sentences nationalists have become stricter, says head of information-analytical center “Sova” Alexander Verkhovsky, who said that authorities “decided to get tougher for the nationalists”. Verkhovsky believes that such close attention to the nationalists connected with the events in the Donbass. “There are thousands of people who have gone through the war and came back extremely dissatisfied with life. Where they are beaten, it is difficult to guess in advance, but experience shows that people who have passed war, are inclined to join radical groups, as it is fraught with more serious events in the country”, — he explained. Probably, the authorities decided to prevent and to deal with radical groups, he added.

With the participation of Anton Baev

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