Neo-Nazi leader given suspended sentence

The founder of a banned Russian fascist organization was given a two-year suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer.

Alexander Barkashov, founder of the paramilitary organization Russian National Unity, was found guilty Wednesday in a Serebryany Prudy court for his role in a December 2005 attack on a police officer. Barkashov was accused, along with three other men, of beating Maj. Alexander Stekolnikov with shovels after they found the officer filming the Barkashov residence.

According to a report in Vremya Novosti, the three were found guilty of “using force against a representative of the government,” and not “hooliganism,” the charge typically leveled by the government against members of far-right groups when caught commiting violent crimes.

All four men were found guilty but given suspended sentences after time served.

At one time considered a major force in the world of Russian ultranationalism, staging large marches and menacing Russia’s numerous ethnic minorities, Barkashov and his RNU by the late 1990s had mostly disappeared from the public stage.

The Moscow District Prosecutor’s Office had sought a four-year sentence for the crime.

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