Translated by Ollie Richardson
On June 20th, 2017, the Moscow district military court sentenced three alleged members of the extremist community Misanthropic Division to three to three and a half years of imprisonment (its activity is forbidden in Russia under the court’s decision), having been accused of extremism and justifying terrorism.
“The court came to a conclusion about the validity of the guilt of the defendants. The defendants were found to be guilty of extremism and justifying terrorism. Khalepo was given a sentence in the form of three years of a colony regime; Tsaruk — three years two months of a standard regime penal colony; Pekhterev — three years six months of a standard regime penal colony,” it is said in the verdict.
More than 30,000 rubles were collected from the persons involved, and in addition to the mobile phones, income of the State was also collected from the defendants. The symbols of Misanthropic Division will be destroyed.
On June 20th only the introduction and operative parts of the sentence were announced, and the motives of the court in its sentencing will be announced later.
During the debate the prosecutor asked to sentence Kirill Khalepo to three years and six months of imprisonment, Viktor Pekhterev — five years of imprisonment, and Vitaly Tsaruk — six years of imprisonment (earlier he was condemned for a similar crime). In order to serve the sentence, according to the prosecutor, the persons involved must be in a standard regime penal colony.
As was reported, the accused partially admitted their guilt. In particular, Tsaruk stated that he only created the group on the social network “VKontakte”, where texts were posted that were recognized during the investigation as extremist, and Khalepo recognized that he was the administrator but did nothing else illegal, and he didn’t post the specified texts. In turn, Pekhterev didn’t begin to deny that he himself posted on the page the extremist text “Adolf Hitler about the Jews”.
At the same time, Khalepo reported that after leaving school he fell under the influence of the ideas of nationalists Maksim Martsinkevich and Roman Zheleznov, the latter of which is wanted in Russia for participating in military operations in the east of Ukraine as a part of then “Azov” battalion (the regiment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine that is a neo-Nazi organization, the activity of which is forbidden in the Russian Federation).
Meanwhile, the lawyers of persons involved consider that the actions of their clients don’t form corpus delicti, and are a consequence of “provocations of the special services”. According to the lawyer Matvei Tsen, the alleged organizer of the movement Misanthropic Division Dmitry Pavlov is in general a fictional character. “Such a person doesn’t exist, there is no date of his birth, there is no photo,” he said.
Earlier the official representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia Svetlana Petrenko reported about the end of the legal investigation of the case against the participants and heads of structural divisions of the extremist community Misanthropic Division – the citizens of Russia Tsaruk, Pekhterev and Khalepo, forbidden in the territory of Russia, in the commission of nine crimes of an extremist and terrorist character. According to the investigation, in 2013 the citizen of the Republic of Belarus Dmitry Pavlov, adhering to racist and neo-Nazi views, created the extremist community Misanthropic Division on the Internet.
“The set of materials placed on various Internet websites aimed at the humiliation of representatives of the Caucasian and Asian national (ethnic) groups of persons, excitement of hatred and hostility concerning Jews, the negroid racial group, the religious group of Muslims, the promotion of ideology of Misanthropic Division, Nazism (fascism), racism, and justifying extremist terrorist activity,” said the representative of Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
In July, 2016, the department reported about the initiation of legal proceedings against Pavlov concerning extremism and conducted searches in Moscow, the Arkhangelsk region, Bashkiria, and some other regions of Russia. Pavlov is accused of creating the extremist organization, making public appeals for terrorist and extremist activity, and initiating hostility. According to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, he was on the territory of Germany. The investigation considers that Pavlov created Misanthropic Division “as a subcultural project, planning to strengthen positions among nationalists, and also to make profit from the sale of the produced corresponding symbolics”, however from the beginning of events in Ukraine in 2014 the activity of the organization gained an international character and became more radical. Cells of the community were active in 19 countries, among which are not only Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, but also Germany, France, Poland, Britain, and other European countries, reported the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
As the department noted, “functionaries of the Ukrainian cell of this organization participated in the events of ‘Euromaidan’, and also nationalist radicals and armed formations in Ukraine fighting in military operations in the east of Ukraine, which conduct the promotion of the Banderist ideology (the extremist organizations ‘Right Sector’ forbidden in Russia and a regiment “Azov”), and also recruit for their ranks”.
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