Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Russia lifts ban on National Bolshevik Party
Russia's Supreme Court today lifted a ban on the radical National Bolshevik Party.
In June, a Moscow court ordered the party to disband. Prosecutors had argued the group violated registration procedures and was involved in extremist activities.
The party has attracted wide attention with demonstrations and pranks. Thirty-nine of its activists are currently on trial for seizing a government building in December.
It claims a total of some 17,000 representatives in 57 Russian regions.
The National Bolshevik Party numbers about 17,500 activists with an average age of 20. They are best known for their colorful antics — hitting politicians with tomatoes, mayonnaise, eggs and carnations — to protest against President Vladimir Putin’s policies on social benefits, housing and electoral reform.
The party was founded in 1994. It was first regarded as a countercultural oddity with neo-fascist and nationalist ideas. Now, its leader, writer Eduard Limonov, quoted by Washington Post calls his group a “classical left-wing party.”
The party’s leader, writer Eduard Limonov, was detained in 2001 on charges of planning terrorist acts, establishing armed units and illegal storage of arms. He was released after 30 months.
Dozens of party members are currently detained for attacking state buildings.