Report: Russian authorities soft on neo-Nazis


Russian prosecutors in the city of Lipetsk are scandalously lenient when it comes to prosecuting hate crimes by neo-Nazi groups, a Russian news Web site reported.

The report in Lipetskie Novosti on prosecutors in Lipetsk, a city of more than half a million people about 330 miles from Moscow, listed several recent incidents of hate crimes in which local law enforcement agencies took little or no action.

In one case, neo-Nazis attacked a member of the pro-Kremlin group Nashi, some of whose members participate in “anti-fascist” actions. The neo-Nazis reportedly robbed the Nashi member of his gas-powered pistol. Police detained the attackers and prosecutors opened a robbery case against them, but the investigation was soon closed. When a reporter for Lipetskie Novosti asked the prosecutor’s office why the case had been terminated, the official refused comment.

The report comes against the backdrop of numerous recent studies showing increasing rates of anti-Semitism in Russia and in some European countries.

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