Russian neo-Nazi yoof gang jailed for serial killings

Several year ago I was informed by a number of experts on the (now sadly defunct) ‘Melbourne Punx Forum’ that despite my wild claims to the contrary, there were in fact no neo-Nazis in Russia. Therefore, any efforts to possibly assist those punks and skinheads being murdered by these non-existent neo-Nazis was a waste of time and energy; time and energy better spent on having fun and following fashion. And yet…

June 2011: “At least six people became victims of racist and neo-Nazi attacks in June 2011, with three of those dying due to their injuries. These figures bring the year-to-date totals to 14 deaths, 58 people injured, and an additional 5 people receiving death threats across 15 regions of Russia.”

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Russian neo-Nazis get life in jail for 27 murders
Mansur Mirovalev [& Nataliya Vasilyeva]
Associated Press

[Russian neo-Nazi youth gang jailed for race-hate spree that killed 27, AFP, July 12, 2011.]

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Monday handed down sentences ranging from 10 years to life in prison to 12 members of the country’s most vicious neo-Nazi gang convicted of 27 hate killings, which included a videotaped decapitation of one of their own gang members and other crimes.

The Moscow City Court sentenced five members of the group, the National Socialist Society North, to life, giving another seven members between 10 and 23 years. One was handed an eight-year suspended sentence.

The defendants were mostly men in their 20s and one woman. Most of the gang members had pleaded partial guilt but requested leniency after their lawyers say they were coerced into committing the crimes.

“Irrespective of whether they were fooled or mentally lost, they are evil killers who will never get back to a normal life,” said Alexander Kolodkin, an ethnic Russian whose son, also named Alexander, was stabbed to death in February 2008. “They should be isolated.”

Sergei Stashevsky, a lawyer for Vasilisa Kovolyova, who was sentenced to 19 years, claimed that his client’s confession was “beaten out” of her “through torture.”

“The trial is definitely political,” he said.

Maria Malakhovskaya, lawyer for Konstantin Nikiforenko, who received a 20-year sentence, blamed the websites of neo-Nazis and Russian supremacists for brainwashing the defendants with far-right ideology.

During the 18-month trial, the court heard that the gang hunted mostly darker-skinned labor migrants from Russia’s Caucasus region, ex-Soviet Central Asia, as well as Africans and South East Asians in a chilling series of rampages that climaxed in February and March of 2008.

The youths ganged up on apparent foreigners and stabbed them with knives, metal rods and sharpened screwdrivers, the court heard, in brutal attacks coordinated by the gang’s scrawny leader, Lev Molotkov. He gave fellow assailants a few rubles for the train and cigarettes. According to court papers, Molotkov, who’s in his mid-twenties, testified that that during a New Year’s toast on Dec. 31, 2007, he proclaimed 2008 to be “the year of white terror” in Russia.

Molotkov’s gang is estimated to have hundreds of supporters nationwide.

They were also convicted of strangling and decapitating one of their comrades whom they suspected of being a police informant and stealing $112,000 from the gang’s funds. The decapitation, during which they donned clown masks and sang a patriotic song, was videotaped and posted online.

During the trial, the defendants mocked the judge, shouting curse words and performing the Nazi salute. They cracked jokes and demonstratively ignored the judge when he spoke to them. Some wore white masks. After the sentences were handed down, one could be heard to yell “our conscience is higher than your laws.”

The group’s leader and ideologue Maxim Bazylyev, nicknamed Adolf [below], committed suicide by slitting his wrists and neck in April 2009. Shortly after his suicide another of the group’s activist shot himself.

Their friends and supporters claimed both were killed by police.

The sentencing came as a loose group of nationalists announced a coalition with the country’s third-largest political party, potentially giving a growing nationalists movement a louder voice in the country’s parliament.

The LDPR party and a group of nationalist politicians and activists said their union would “protect the Russian people and (Russia’s) interests.”

LDPR stands for the Liberal Democrat Party, but the party has a strong nationalist manifesto and rejects liberal policy. The coalition gives the party access to more a hardline nationalist electorate, which is growing as Russia grapples with heightened tensions among ethnic communities. Parliamentary elections are set for December. The LDPR is represented in the parliament that is dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. Critics say all four parliamentary parties tow the official line, though to varying degrees.

Since its inception in 2004, the National Socialist Society was part of a broader network of neo-Nazi organizations that advocated for an ultranationalist government that would grant exclusive rights to ethnic Russians. In 2007 the group split in two, and the extremist North faction appeared. [The Russian Supreme Court banned the Society in February 2010. See also : Misuse of anti-extremism legislation @ SOVA.]

Ethnic Russians comprise two thirds of the country’s population of 142 million, while more than 100 ethnicities account for the remaining third.

The group recruited new members online and through a network of sports clubs that were labeled centers of patriotic education.

During the trial, one of the defendants said he killed three people in 24 hours, according to court papers.

In recent years, dozens of mostly underage neo-Nazis have been convicted across Russia.

Plummeting birth rates among ethnic Russians, economic woes and an unprecedented influx of labor migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia triggered widespread xenophobia and a spike in hate crimes. Some Russians and nationalist politicians accuse the migrants of stealing jobs and forming ethnic gangs.

Racially motivated attacks peaked in 2008, when 110 people were killed and 487 wounded, independent human rights watchdog Sova said.

Since then, the number of hate crimes have gone down, but human rights groups say neo-Nazis are increasingly resorting to bombings and arson against police and government officials, whom they accuse of condoning the influx of illegal migrants. Ultranationalist groups have also stepped up attacks on human rights activists and anti-racist youth groups.

In early May, a member of an ultranationalist group [Nikita Tikhonov] got a life sentence for the Jan. 2009 killing of a human rights advocate [Stanislav Markelov] and a journalist [Anastasia Baburova], his girlfriend and accomplice [Yevgeniya Khasis] was sentenced to 18 years in jail.

In April 2010, a federal judge who presided over trials of White Wolves, a mostly teenage group of boneheads convicted of killing and assaulting non-Slavs, was gunned down contract-style outside his Moscow apartment.

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See also : The Other Russia | avtonom.org.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anti-fascism, Death, State / Politics, War on Terror and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Russian neo-Nazi yoof gang jailed for serial killings

  1. dj says:

    How much (semi-rhetorical question) do you think this crackdown is to do with things like the World Cup going to Russia?

  2. zero says:

    Do you think you will ever do a report on groups of homosexuals gang raping straight people?

  3. @ndy says:

    In 2018? Not a lot, probably. I mean, the Russian state manages ultra-nationalist groups in a fairly strategic fashion. Insofar as the World Cup is concerned, given that it will be conducted at relatively few locations (about a dozen cities), will be of short duration (one month), and those tourists who come to the country for it will not be staying — nor competing with locals for jobs or housing — the potential for friction is fairly small I imagine. Certainly, if the state wanted to crackdown it could, the Russian security apparatus having a relationship with ultra-nationalist groups that’s (very) roughly analogous to that which the ISI has with Islamists in Pakistan.

    Overall, it’s my impression that, by the mid-2000s — and especially in the last 3/4 years — the number of murders and the frequency of attacks was becoming uncontrollably high; higher, that is, than was necessary for these groups and movements to be of service to the state and the Russian oligarchy. So… there has been something of a crackdown, but as The Other Russia and SOVA report, it’s a generalised one, not especially concerned with neo-Nazi violence (other than in the respect mentioned above) but aimed more at suppressing popular discontent or where possible channeling it in less harmful directions (ethnic minorities et al). I think these acts of violence should also be understood as the product of a fairly brutal political environment, one in which militarist and nationalist values predominate, and with particular reference to the imperialist adventures of Russia under Putin’s rule…

  4. anon says:

    Hey @ndy do you know of a replacement for Melbourne Punx?

  5. @ndy says:

    G’day anon,

    Nah sorry. As far as I can tell, most disco has moved to punk websites or takes place via Facebook.

  6. @ndy says:

    Trial exposes nazi state links
    Ulyana Bobrova
    Searchlight
    July 2011

    Connections between Russian nazis and semi-official structures have come under increasing scrutiny following the convictions in May of Nikita Tikhonov and his partner Evgenia Khasis for the murders of the lawyer Stanislaw Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburowa. Tikhonov was given life and Khasis at least 18 years in prison after a trial that attracted unusually high levels of public attention and revealed new information.

    According to statements during the trial by Ilya Goryachev, a leader of the extreme-right Russky Obraz (Russian Image) and one of the chief prosecution witnesses, the Kremlin-oriented youth movement Mestnye (Local People) has actively tried to recruit nazi activists in the Moscow region. One of its officers, Leonid Simunin, even contacted Tikhonov about weapons.

    Because of its contacts in Russia’s political class, Russky Obraz is one of the most successful far-right projects and has even received permission to stage rallies and concerts featuring openly nazi bands such as Kolovrat. Tikhonov was one of its founders and published an eponymous magazine, although he had let his membership lapse.

    Goryachev’s appearance as a prosecution witness has put Russky Obraz in a difficult position with its erstwhile extremist friends. Goryachev has fled to Serbia to avoid any acts of revenge.

    Though a legal political organisation, Russky Obraz has also functioned as a cover for shadowy violent outfits such as United Brigades 88 (OB88) and Combat 18. Tikhonov belonged to OB88 as did Alexei Korshunov who is wanted in connection with the murder of the judge Eduard Chuvashov in April 2010 and the killing of the anti-fascist Ivan Khutorskoi in November 2009.

    In a bid to distance itself from Russky Obraz, the banned Movement against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) has joined with the hardcore nazi Dmitri Demushkin, former leader of the outlawed Slavic Union, and others to set up a new alliance called Russkiye (Russians). Russkije is leading negotiations with the extreme-right populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky on co-operation in the campaign for the parliamentary elections in December.

    Meanwhile, almost all the defendants in the nazi Borovikov-Voyevodin gang in St Petersburg have been sentenced to long prison terms for a series of murders, including that of the anti-fascist academic Nikolai Girienko in June 2004, after a trial lasting more than 18 months.

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