Galina Kozhevnikova. Winter 2007-2008: An Epidemic of Murders against the Backdrop of Elections

Edited by Alexander Verkhovsky


Manifestations of radical nationalism : Violence : Vandalism : Public activity of right-wing radical groups

Counteraction to radical nationalism : Criminal prosecution of nationalists : Other Measures of Counteraction

Excessive and unfounded actions against extremism

Appendixes. Crime and Punishment Statistics


The 2007-2008 winter season's main trends in radical nationalism were diverse - as were the efforts to counteract it.

Racist and neo-Nazi attacks were crueler in nature as compared to the same period last year. Moscow also experienced a particularly dramatic increase in killings.

Ultra-right movements were less active in public and did not manage to organize any noticeable street actions during winter. On the other hand, right-wing radicals were active in election campaigns at various levels coinciding with the presidential elections. These election campaigns featured a revival, after eighteen months off, of collaboration between the ultra-right (including explicitly neo-Nazi groups) and the CPRF, which offered its party brand to xenophobic candidates running for municipal elections.

Authorities continued to prosecute hate propaganda at an ever-increasing rate, but just as before, high profile nationalists got away with the crime (the case of M. Martsinkevich was the exception that proved the rule).

While efforts to suppress the truly dangerous activities of right-wing radicals were rather inconsistent, cases of abusive anti-extremist enforcement were on the rise. It also appeared that law enforcement authorities were prompt in adopting and spreading the latter.



The winter of 2007-2008 was not marked by an outburst of violence, even though on first impression the opposite could have been true. As far as we know at the time of this writing, a total of 151 people were affected by violence during this season, including 37 deaths[1], while the same period during last year was marked by 181 casualties, including 26 deaths.

We do not think, however, that these figures demonstrate a decline in racist attacks; it is more likely that we are not aware of some additional cases yet (many reports of attacks only surface after some time). It is clear, however, that the already reported attacks were carried out with increased cruelty, a fact evidenced by an increase in the number of deaths, particularly since the middle of January 2008. It is possible (and appears likely) that less cruel attacks simply remained unreported in the face of cases of increased brutality. This assumption is indirectly supported by the fact that law enforcement authorities have come forward claiming that they had arrested certain gangs responsible for dozens of violent attacks.

Moscow remained the center of violence (24 killed and 62 injured) [2]. The other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg, were far behind. In fact, it was in Moscow that a wave of particularly cruel attacks was reported, starting in mid-January.

As before, natives of Central Asia are the main at-risk group (23 killed, 36 injured) [3].

In describing the racist and neo-Nazi violence reported during this period, we have noted a sharp decline, which we cannot explain, in the reporting of crimes against the so-called :nonformals; - members of youth subcultures[4]. We can understand, though, that radical antifa would rather not publicize such information, as their feud with neo-Nazi skinheads has escalated into a street war, and neither side was particularly keen on making these developments public. Only some attacks found their way into the public eye, such as several attacks against audiences of rock concerts, individual activists of the antifa movement (as, for example, in Bryanks, where at least four anti-fascists were injured as a result of three attacks within one week), or certain high-profile community actions, where neo-Nazi attacks were anything but inevitable (such as the gay activists' flash mob on Tverskaya Street in Moscow on 14 February, guarded by the antifa; the incident ended in a few fights with casualties on both sides). However, the main events of this :street war; remain virtually unknown[5]. We are still not sure why no attacks against members of youth subcultures were reported in winter.

Speaking of neo-Nazi violence, we are aware of the terrorist potential associated with neo-Nazi skinheads. In December 2007, at least two incidents involved the threat or use of explosives, which law enforcement authorities linked to the ultra-right activity, These included the false report of a bomb being planted in Cherkisovsky Court in Moscow on 19 December, as the trial over "the Cherkizovo bombers" was about to start, and the blast in Manezhnaya Square in the center of Moscow on the last day of 2007. Moreover, supporters of Nikolay (Nikola) Korolyov, the leader of "Cherkizovo bombers; claimed responsibility for two other blast attacks and two arson attacks committed in Moscow between November and December of 2007.


As before, vandalism was a common manifestation of intolerance, targeting religious buildings and/or any other installations which the ultra-right associated with certain hated ideologies.

In the winter of 2007-2008, we documented at least 22 acts of vandalism of this type (including 11 in 2008[6]) in 14 Russian regions (Moscow, Vladimir, Volgograd, Kaluga, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl Oblasts, in the republics of Dagestan, Marii El and Udmurtia, in the Altai, Kamchatka and Krasnodar Krai). At least six attacks involved arson attempts.

We note that in 2008, vandalism was reported mainly in those regions where election campaigns of the regional or local levels were held (e.g. in Barnaul, Yoshkar Ola and Yaroslavl, elections to offices at different levels of government were held simultaneously, and in Volgograd local municipal officials were elected). In Ulyanovsk, where a number of election campaigns for different offices were held all at once, one of the candidates was suspected to be the mastermind of an attack against the local synagogue.

The pattern of vandals' attacks remained the same as before: of the 22 affected buildings and installations seven were Jewish, four were Moslem, three were Protestant, three were :ideological; (vandalizing a monument to Lenin, massive painting of Hitler's portraits on buildings), two were Roman Catholic, and one each were Russian Orthodox and Armenian.

Public activity of right-wing radical groups

Besides violent attacks, the activities of ultra-right groups in the public arena were hardly noticeable in winter. After the elections where the ultra-right not only failed to pass any new candidates into parliament, but lost most of the old representatives, their activities appeared to be following a downward trend.

In the winter, these groups focused mainly on elections to municipal and regional legislatures held in some Russian regions on 2 March alongside the presidential elections. We note that the ultra-right were very negative about the federal presidential elections - not only due a lack of viable alternatives to the officially nominated candidate, but also due to their dislike of Dmitry Medvedev whom they assumed to be Jewish and actively discussed his allegedly Jewish origin. As a result, most nationalist organizations, from fairly moderate to rather radical, called for a boycott of the presidential elections (or, when people went to the polls to vote for local legislators, they were urged to spoil the presidential ballots).

An almost humorous incident which momentarily brought back into the limelight the name of Russia's neo-Nazi movement veteran Nikolay Bondarik[7] was associated with the discussion of Medvedev's alleged :Jewishness.; Bondarik announced a :Russian March; in St. Petersburg on 23 February, with a :collective prayer to honor the liberation from the alien yoke." Bondarik had planned to march in early February, and the other members of the Russian March organizing committee in St. Petersburg declared publicly that they had nothing to do with Bondarik's :provocative; plans. On 23 February, all participants of Bondarik's march - about a dozen people, including Bondarik and ex-member of the Oblast Legislative Assembly Vladimir Leonov - were arrested by police.

The ultra-right consistently run for local and regional elections, which are less strictly supervised than federal-level campaigns. During the 2008 election campaign, the ultra right - quite unexpectedly - resumed their collaboration with the Communist Party (CPRF).

To remind the reader, the last time CPRF associated openly with radical xenophobic groups was in the spring of 2006, by involving the Movement against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) in public events as the communists' equal partner. But following protests of youth leftist groups, open collaboration stopped and was not revisited until the recent election campaign, where xenophobic candidates ran on behalf of CPRF for local offices in a number of regions. Thus, for example, in the Moscow municipal elections, at least 12 candidates known for their xenophobic views and/or associated with openly xenophobic movements, such as DPNI, the Russian National Bolshevik Front (RNBF), the Russian Public Movement (ROD), and others, ran under CPRF's umbrella, while Yevgeny Shilin, leader of the local DPNI chapter in Oryol facing criminal charges under art. 282, attempted to run on behalf of CPRF, but failed.

CPRF's federal presidential campaign was not a model of tolerance either. Their campaign paper featured a policy statement by Gennady Zyuganov, where he regretted what he called "a lack of [ethnic] Russian faces; in some industries of the Russian economy. [8] A communist rally in Pskov adopted an explicitly racist resolution, and the entire print-run of a communist campaign paper, also in Pskov, was confiscated for an anti-Semitic article.

Xenophobic candidates also ran on behalf of other political parties and on their own behalf. For example, the xenophobic State Duma ex-MP Nikolay Kuryanovich led the Popular Union Party candidate list in Yaroslavl. The Russian Patriots in Moscow offered a place on their party list to the leader of Great Russia (the latter party had been denied registration), while Stanislav Terentyev, leader of the local Union of the Russian People in Volgograd (who usually runs for all elections in his region), ran as a self-nominated candidate to the Volgograd City Council.

Either way, nationalists did not score any electoral victories - by far! - on March 2nd. According to early reports, they only had four of their candidates elected in Moscow, and the Popular Union in Yaroslavl attracted less than half of a percent of local votes. Terentyev did not make it into the City Council, coming second in his constituency.

We can assume that a certain decline in public activities of the right-wing radicals later in the winter was caused by their fear of repression for their nationalist election campaigning. If this assumption is accurate, we will see a new wave of activity in spring.

Apparently, DPNI's attempt to follow a standard pattern and provoke nationalist riots in Belorechensky District, Krasnoadr Krai in winter, was directly linked to the forthcoming municipal elections. On 1 November 2008, a fight broke out at a local discotheque, probably caused by a merely interpersonal, rather than racist, conflict. It was followed on the next day by massive fighting between two youth groups. It so happened that young people of different ethnicities were involved in the latter fight, a fact used by the ultra-right as a pretext to discuss :the outrage of non-Russians." Then leaflets appeared in the city urging the residents to come to a public rally and voice nationalist demands (by unconfirmed reports, the local Prosecutor's Office launched a criminal investigation under art. 282 into the dissemination of these leaflets). In January, the nationalists in Belorechensky tried, but failed to provoke a massive conflict and were denied support from their Moscow :comrades.; They revived the incident in February as the election day approached. Others joined in the efforts to inflate the conflict, including DPNI, the National Imperial Party of Russia (NDPR) and associated groups[9]; a :popular assembly; had been scheduled for 23 February, but was arbitrarily stopped by police, and the :Belorechensky campaign; was never resumed.

The only noticeable public event organized by the ultra-right this winter was their attempt to celebrate the Heroes of Fatherland Day on 9 December[10]. On that day, an ultra-right coalition, including DPNI, the "Rus" Party in Defense of the Russian Constitution (PZRK), the Pamyat National Patriotic Front, and the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Carriers, staged a meeting under explicitly xenophobic slogans in Mayakovsky Square in Moscow, attracting around 150 people. One of the messages voiced at this meeting, designed to be part of a nationwide action[11], was a demand to toughen the punishment of a Vladivostok resident, an ethnic Azeri, who had been sentenced (following appeal proceedings) to probation for killing a person from a nonlethal pistol. The gunman's ethnic origin was used by DPNI and associated groups as a pretext to blow up the case in an attempt to reproduce their success in the Ivannikova case[12]. In Stavropol, a meeting was officially announced in protest against :letting the immigrant-murderer get off without punishment" - but was banned by the authorities.


Criminal prosecution of nationalists


In the winter of 2007-2008, at least six trials ended in convictions for xenophobic violence[13] - in Altai Krai, Leningrad Oblast, Tyumen and Novosibirsk for killings; in Nizhny Novgorod for grave bodily injuries, and in Stavropol for battery. In the Stavropol case, the updated Criminal Code (providing for tougher sentences, inter alia, for battery, if a hate motive is established) was applied for the first time.

A total of 21 defendants were convicted, and the hate motive was taken into account in most sentences[14]. We find the sentencing appropriate: between 7 and 17 years for the killings, and 21 months plus a fine for the battery. The only exception where we believe the punishment was too mild was the case of neo-Nazi skinheads in Nizhny Novgorod, where nine defendants were charged with the cruel battery of three Azeris and got off with probation sentences. Do we need to mention that the judgment was welcomed by all neo-Nazi in Nizhny Novgorod, given that it was announced on 29 December, an important date for the local neo-Nazi, marking the anniversary of their leader Alexey Boitsov's death[15]? Incidentally, this trial in Nizhny Novgorod was the only case last winter where racist violence was treated under art. 282 of the Criminal Code, rather than under more appropriate articles punishing for violent crimes.

We note that in two of the above cases the courts also found instances of robbery, which did not prevent them from establishing the hate motive.

Propaganda and Campaigning

While criminal prosecution of violent racist crimes did not show an upward trend in winter, trials of offenders charged with hate propaganda actively continued, with at least 12 of them ending in convictions of 18 hate offenders: two in Krasnodar Krai, and one each in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Syktyvkar, Tyumen, Novosibirsk, Kaliningrad, Maykop, Samara. Kaluga, and Nerungry (Sakha-Yakutia Republic). Eight of the 12 trials ended in 2008.

It is important to note that only three of the 18 defendants were sentenced to probation without any additional punishments, i. e. virtually got away without a penalty. Moreover, former co-chair of the National Imperial Party of Russia (NDPR), a high-profile "nationalist patriotic' ideologist Boris Mironov got away without any sanctions whatsoever due to expiration of the statute of limitations: his trial began on 23 January 2007, but due to excessive delays the sentence was pronounced as late as 25 February 2008. That said, courts in Novosibirsk generally deal promptly with this type of cases, and Mironov's trial was the first where they failed to complete the proceedings within the statute of limitations.

The number of trials ending in a prison sentence - an excessively tough punishment for a hate promoter - decreased in winter. We find three of the five such penalties excessively tough: those to a student in Maikop, who had published a scandalous double-murder video on the web, to offenders who had posted anti-Chinese leaflets on buildings in Nerungry, and to a low-profile nationalist Vladislav Nikolsky in St. Petersburg convicted for producing an anti-Semitist brochure. However, Nikolsky's sentence may informally have taken into account certain additional facts; for example, we recall that his name had been associated with the attack in 2007 against Valentina Uzunova, a forensic expert in hate crime.

Of course, the most high-profile sentence was meted out on 12 February 2008 to Maxim (Tesak) Martsinkevich, leader of Format 18 Group. He was charged under art. 282(2)(c) (public incitement to ethnic hatred committed by an organized group) for a neo-Nazi scandal in Bilingua Club in Moscow. The court sentenced him to three years of prison, and it is probably the toughest known sentence under this article for an offence which did not involve physical violence. Apparently, in meting out the sentence, the court took into account, in addition to the incident in Bilingua, also the defendant's personality. It is not a big secret that Martsinkevich was a role model for all Russian neo-Nazi. His imprisonment could potentially discourage neo-Nazi activity, and in fact this was what happened after Tesak's arrest in August 2007: a crisis in the Format 18 group and a split in NSO occurred as direct consequences of the arrest.

Unfortunately, punishments involving bans on engaging in certain activities or occupations were not common: of the 12 sentences passed in the winter, only one sentence handed out to Nadezhda Donskaya, editor of the Russkii Vestnik Kubani paper, involved such a ban

Furthermore, in February 2008 in Izhevsk, an offender was convicted for having repeatedly vandalized the local Jewish Cultural Center. Neo-Nazi graffiti was first painted on the Center's building on the night of 8 November, following the sentencing of the murderers of teenage skater from Izhevsk Stanislav Korepanov. Later, swastikas reappeared on the Center's walls twice. The graffitist was caught red-handed on 14 December and after a prompt investigation, was sentenced on 22 February under art 282(1) and art. 214(2) (vandalism motivated by racist hatred) to three years of probation. It was the first instance that we know of in Russia where the new editorial version of art. 214 of the Criminal Code was applied taking into account the motive of racist hatred as an aggravating circumstance. We believe however, that qualifying the crime under art. 214(2) made the use of art. 282 excessive.

Other Measures of Counteraction

Twice in winter - on 15 and 29 December 2007 - the authorities updated the list of materials found by Russian courts to be extremist. By the end of 2007, the list contained 79 titles. We find some of the bans to be clearly arbitrary, while some others raise concerns as to their legitimacy (see below).

Moreover, two more bans were pronounced by courts in the winter, but have not yet found their way to the federal banned list as of this writing.

The first case concerned a judgment passed in Kirov in December 2007 banning the extremist Russia with a Knife in Its Back film by Konstantin Dushenov. While banning this explicitly anti-Semitic film was totally appropriate, the judgment against a film produced in St. Petersburg by a local resident was banned by a District Court in a different subject (region) of the Russian Federation, so the author may miss the deadline for appeal on the merits because of the distance and may then appeal on procedural grounds. This is not a far-fetched concern: a similar situation with another ban is currently the subject of an application to the European Court of Human Rights (see below).

Another recent ban also deserves a mention. In February 2008, a court banned the texts of several posts published on a web forum. Back in 2006 their author and activist of the Russian Republic group Alexander Vtulkin was convicted for posting these texts which contained nationalist threats against St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvyenko. The judgment, while appropriate on merit, concerned offensive texts which had been accessible on the web forum for a very short time, but removed by the forum administrator; by now Vtulkin's case file may be the only place where these texts can be found. Nevertheless, a court banned these texts (technically nonexistent) from dissemination.

In the winter, the prosecutor's office issued at least one warning against extremist activity; the recipient was the leader of the Union of Slavs, a group in Vladivostok, which at the time of the warning was not formally registered (the group was a fragment of the former Vladivostok chapter of the Slav Union). However, a few days later the group received their formal certificate of registration regardless of the warning.

Rossvyazokhrankultura continued its oversight of mass media. In the first two months of 2008 they issued at least three warnings to newspapers for publishing extremist materials. One of the warnings concerned The Duel newspaper produced by Yuri Mukhin. Back in November 2007, the Zamoskvoretsky Court in Moscow ordered the paper to be liquidated, but the publication continued anyway. The paper was then warned again for reproducing, without any comments, one of Hitler's speeches made in 1939. [16] Admittedly, the Moscow City Court had overruled the judgment of the first instance court on 28 February 2008, and sent the case back to be reconsidered.


Abusive anti-extremist enforcement continued to target political opposition at an ever-growing rate. It should also be noted that in contrast to previous years, law enforcement and other authorities did not bother to take cases to court or to punish specific offenders, but instead used the pretext of fighting extremism to prevent certain public events.

In particular, they often confiscate campaign materials, ostensibly to check them for extremism, and then return them after the event, when the owners no longer need the materials. Probably the most cynical incident was the confiscation of a few million election campaign leaflets of SPS political party before the elections, just to return them after the elections on 3 December. This was not the only incident; in mid-February, authorities confiscated 60 thousand copies of CPRF's bulletin in Smolensk Oblast on the pretext of suspecting "incitement to social animosity.;

Increasingly, courts are finding materials to be extremist without good reasons.

In the winter of 2007-2008, judicial proceedings began in Moscow to find political scientist Andrei Piontkovsky's books to be extremist. Proceedings were also launched to ban books on the history of Nazi Germany, Hitler's biography by Joachim Fest (one of the best known and widely read Hitler's bios in the world), and a book by Alexander Yermakov entitled The Nation's Henchmen. Wehrmacht in the Nazi Germany.

We have grave doubts about the so-called Buguruslan list which substantially expanded the federal list of banned extremist materials. Apparently, some of the publications banned by the judgment of Buguruslan District Court on 6 August 2007 were Wahhabi texts[17]. However, the judgment lacked any references other than titles of the banned publications, causing massive and legitimate protests from different parts of Russia's Moslem community. In fact, it was the controversial Buguruslan list that triggered the first attempt to challenge the ban before the European Court of Human Rights. In February 2008, Rustem Valiullin, a lawyer from Izhevsk, filed an application with the ECHR. According to Valiullin, the ban violated articles 6 (right to a fair trial), 9 (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion), 10 (right to freedom of expression), and 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Court actions designed to suppress oppositional activists, organizations and mass media were common.

In February 2008, after a long preparation, the Prosecutor's Office of the Komi Republic brought charges against Savva Terentyev, a blogger in Syktyvkar, for incitement to hatred against police as a social group. To remind the reader, the prosecution was triggered by just one rude remark against the police posted in comments to a Live Journal posting about a case of police abuse.

In January 2008 authorities in Kabardino-Balkaria applied a broadly interpreted definition of "extremism" to liquidate the Council of Balkar Elders after a series of prosecutorial warnings, one of them for the elders' criticism of Kabardino-Balkarian President Arsen Kanokov, which the court qualified as libel coupled with allegations of terrorism.

Similar charges were brought and liquidation proceedings were launched against Golos Beslana (the Voice of Beslan) group for their criticism of President Putin in an open letter disseminated by the organization in 2005: in this letter, relatives of the Beslan victims denounced the federal authorities for indirectly aiding the terrorists by inaction and the inadequate investigation of the Beslan tragedy.

The biggest development in the sphere of abusive anti-extremism was the authorities' denial of requests to reconsider their ban of the National Bolshevik Party as extremist. To remind the reader, the decision to ban NBP was based on three episodes, one of which (the case of Chelyabinsk National Bolsheviks) should not have been brought up against the party, because they had complied with all legal requirements by disowning, publicly and repeatedly, their former members convicted for incitement to ethnic hatred and condemning the extremist statements of these ex-members. The other two episodes invoked to justify the liquidation were not considered by the court on merit by the material time, although both were the subject of criminal proceedings. On 28 November, one of the latter incidents (activists spreading leaflets in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly) ended in a peaceful settlement between the parties. The party challenged the ban :in view of newly discovered circumstances,; but the appeal was denied on the grounds that the court, in banning the party in 2007, was guided by the warnings issued to the party, rather than by prior court judgments. So in banning the party, the court failed to consider a critically important issue of whether or not the National Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg had used violence.

Soon after the ban of NBP, charges were brought against one of its activists in Moscow in the first criminal proceedings under art. 282.2 (involvement in a banned group).

We have repeatedly noted that :anti-extremist; sanctions are often designed to intimidate certain people or groups, but it is still possible to resist the attacks, because appealing :anti-extremist; actions in courts often ends in winning the case against the executive authorities.

The Supreme Court of Marii El, once again, refused to find any extreme content in a brochure by Vitaly Tanakov, a local pagan priest and also a leader of opposition against the President of Marii El Republic; in 2006, Tanakov had been wrongly convicted under art. 282 of the Criminal Code for this very brochure.

In February, proceedings against Saratov Reporter paper were dropped; authorities had attempted to liquidate the paper after two warnings by Rosokhrancultura. In January, the paper successfully challenged one of the warnings in court; the warning, which Rosokhrancultura had perceived as propaganda of Nazi symbols, concerned an illustration featuring V. Putin as Schtirlitz [a movie character: a Soviet spy in the Nazi headquarters].

Two months before, on 7 December, a lesser known, but equally absurd, warning to another Saratov paper was overruled by a court; the paper Nashe Vremya had been warned for their publication of an article about a conflict in the local university, titled Triumph of the Will and illustrated by photos from Hitler's National-Socialist Party congress.

Nevertheless, even where the authorities lose the court battles, mass media and the entire society are negatively affected due to the psychological pressure and the substantial legal costs of the proceedings borne by the respondent party. And of course, everyone receives a strong and disturbing message.

APPENDIXES.Crime and Punishment Statistics (ZIP (Word))


[1] Including 28 killed and 80 injured in 2008.

[2] Including 18 killed and 40 injured in 2008.

[3] Including 17 killed and 28 injured in 2008.

[4] We note that reports of such incidents appeared mainly on the unofficial web space (blogs, forums) just as frequently as before. However, as opposed to previous months, victims and/or witnesses of such incidents, even if they agreed to describe the event, refused to give any further contact, so we cannot use their stories in our coverage.

[5] For example, we hardly know anything about the events in Pervouralsk (Sverdlovsk Oblast), where by some reports, massive Nazi skinhead attacks against people in the streets on 21 January marked an outburst of the ongoing conflict with the antifa.

[6] We do not include the arson attack against a Moslem prayer house in Shuya, because the investigators' finding that the arson attack was not a hate crime appears plausible to us.

[7] Nikolay Bondarik (born in 1965), chairman of the Russian Party (St. Petersburg), deputy chairman of the St. Petersburg Slav Community, co-chair of the Russian March - St. Petersburg organizing committee, and activist of nationalist groups since the early 90-ies. In 1999, he was convicted for inflicting grave injuries causing the victim's death, and sentenced to five years of prison (the crime was committed in 1997). See details of N. Bondarik's bio at: (

[8][G. A. Zyuganov]. Save the Russian People - Save Russia // Pravda. 2008. February.

[9] We are thankful to the :ETnIKA; Youth Group For Tolerance (Krasnodar) for the analysis provided.

[10] This :day of military honor; was introduced in 2007 to coincide with the pre-1917 (old style) the Order of St. George Companions' Day (26 November).

[11] Besides Moscow, actions had been expected in Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Kursk and Stavropol. It appears, however, that they staged pickets only in Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod. In St. Petersburg, they distributed leaflets - an action described as :one-person pickets.;

[12] The background is as such: on 4 October 2006, during a conflict between drivers stuck in traffic, N. Gamidov fired an Osa self-defense pistol, killing a 50-year-old man, resident of Vladivostok. On 7 June 2007, Gamidov was sentenced to 7 years of strict regime prison. He appealed the sentence. On 15 November 2007, a court established that Gamidov acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbances and sentenced him to three years of probation. The prosecutor, however, immediately appealed the sentence, and on 17 December it was overruled. Currently, the case is pending before a court in Vladivostok.

[13] Two trials - in Altai and Novosibirsk - ended in convictions in 2008.

[14] At least one defendant in Altai Krai was sentenced without reference to a hate motive

[15] In July 2006, he received a probation sentence under art. 282 in a murder trial, and was killed a few months later.

[16] To remind, the Law on Combating Extremist Activity directly prohibits :works by leaders of the National-Social Working Party of Germany, the Fascist Party of Italy; as extremist materials (art. 1, p. 3).

[17] In this context, it is not a political label, but a reference to Wahhabism as a religious teaching.