The trial of three members of a Russian neo-Nazi group known as the Werewolf Legion began last week in Yaroslavl, a city 130 miles north of Moscow.
The group, which was formed in the spring of 1994 in Moscow, includes about a dozen youths allegedly bent on carrying out acts of terror.
Two of the group’s members on trial last week are facing charges of homicide, robbery and hooliganism.
The third defendant is the group’s leader, Igor Pirozhok, who is accused of inciting racial hatred.
Pirozhok was charged under Article 74 of the Russian criminal code, which makes acts of inciting ethnic and racial hatred a criminal offense.
Shortly after it was organized, the Werewolf Legion allegedly attempted to set fire to the Olympic sports hall in Moscow, which was serving as the site of a Messianic Jewish conference.
The group was also reported to have planned a series of arson attacks on movie theaters that were showing Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed Holocaust film “Schindler’s List.”
Prior to his arrest, Pirozhok said in interviews with several Moscow newspapers that “Democrats, Yankees and kikes should be wiped out ruthlessly.”
One of the legion’s stated goals is the “final solution of the Jewish question by using radical methods.”
The Moscow daily Izvestia said last year that the organization’s ideology was based on “anti-communism, anti-Semitism, racial segregation and anti- liberalism.”