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Russian group organizing militant gangs

A far-right Russian political party has announced plans to form “self-defense brigades.”Members of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration have been linked to recent racist violence in Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Stravropol and Kondopoga, where riots last summer left several dead. The group, a member of the Great Russia Party, is seeking registration in the upcoming Duma elections.The group’s Web site said the brigades will be charged with “uniting native citizens in order to combat any actions by criminal migrants,” which will be accomplished at least partially through combat and firearms training.The most recent violent provocation from the group’s members came June 22 when a mob of about 50 skinheads armed with metal poles and broken bottles attacked a crowd outside the Kitai Gorod metro station in central Moscow.

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