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Russia court jails neo-Nazis for hate crimes

A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced 14 neo-Nazis [JURIST news archive], including a group leader and several teenagers, to jail terms for committing hate crimes against ethnic minorities in the country. The group leader, 22-year-old Dmitry Orlov, was sentenced to life imprisonment [AP report] for planning hate crimes as part of Russian National Unity (RNU), a fundamentalist organization promoting white supremacy and anti-Muslim and Jewish teachings. Russian police said that the group operated around Moscow and committed several violent crimes and murders, including the brutal stabbing of an activist [Euronews report]. The other group members received jail terms of up to 17 years.

Russian courts have recently taken action against neo-Nazi groups in the country. In April, the Moscow City Court ruled that the Slavic Union (SS) violated Russia's extremism laws, banning the organization [JURIST report]. The SS, whose initials are the same as the Nazi paramilitary, was one of Russia's largest neo-Nazi organizations. City prosecutors initiated the action, accusing the group of promoting nationalistic supremacy similar to the ideology of Nazi Germany. Earlier in April, a Moscow City Court judge known for presiding over cases involving neo-Nazi groups was killed [JURIST report] while leaving his apartment. Russia is currently struggling to limit hate crimes, which decreased in 2009 [JURIST report] according to the SOVA Center [advocacy website].

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