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Interethnic relations

Suspected members of a criminal racist gang arrested in Kirovohrad


In Kirovohrad officers of the regional department of the SBU [Security Service] have uncovered a racist gang whose members are believed to have been planning a series of terrorist attacks near a synagogue, as well as intending to beat up Jewish people and other non-Slavs.

During a briefing on Monday, the Head of the Kirovohrad Regional SBU Department for the Protection of National Statehood, Serhiy Tkachuk reported that the band had been headed by a Kirovohrad resident born in 1971, who had a professional legal education and at one time had been dismissed from the law enforcement bodies for lack of professionalism. The alleged racist had sought supporters via the Internet where, chatting on different forums, he called for the extermination of people who were Jewish.

“Over a brief period of time he gathered 14 young people aged from 18 – 20 around him. All of them were students on academic institutions in Kirovohrad. Members of the gang were ideologically prepared for committing crimes through studying literature from Nazi Germany and the writing of Adolph Hitler. Furthermore, under the cover of legal patriotic organizations the leader systematically carried out training and visits to the place of the Führer’s headquarters in the Vinnytsa region”.

He pointed out that the racists were preparing leaflets to be handed out which denigrated Jews. The State Committee on Nationalities and Religion has already declared the content and form of the leaflets to be unacceptable for circulation and to be subject to scrutiny by the courts.

Mr Tkachuk added that the file on the case had been submitted to the Kirovohrad prosecutor’s office. The facts set out in the case contain features of the crime under Article 161 of the Criminal Code which carry a sentence of up to 5 years.

“At present all members of the gang have ceased their criminal activities and are under the surveillance of SBU officers while the pre-trial investigation is being carried out by the prosecutor’s office. It has already been established that it was these young people were involved in the beating up in February this year of a Palestinian man on purely ethnic grounds.”

In March this year Kyiv police arrested two 16-year-olds on suspicion of murdering a Congolese man in the Shevchenkivsky District of Kyiv. The arrested adolescents belong to an informal skinhead organization.  The man’s body was found on 27 January 2007 with 10 knife wounds.

Based on material at www.newsru.ua

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