Thursday, September 01, 2005
Men in Nashi shirts attack activists
Masked men wielding baseball bats and gas pistols, several of whom were wearing T-shirts bearing the emblem of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi, attacked a group of National Bolshevik Party activists Monday night, activists who witnessed the incident said Tuesday.
The attack, which witnesses said lasted only a few minutes, left three people hospitalized. Opposition youth activists and political leaders accused Nashi of carrying out a well-planned attack against the Kremlin's political opponents and warned of an escalating conflict. Nashi, or Us, which has condemned radical youth groups as "fascists" and proclaimed them to be its primary political foes, denied any connection to the attack.
Kommersant has more:
At the police station where the attackers were taken, all information about them has been declared secret and the attackers themselves released. Kommersant has been able to obtain a list of the arrestees, however. It can be gathered from an examination of that list that the attackers were part of an organized group of fans of the Spartak team that has been suspected of having ties with Nashi.
“A little after seven, during the meeting, we heard shouts,” recounts For the Fatherland member Dmitry Sovolyev. “We looked out the window and saw people running toward the entrance f the building wearing black masks and carrying clubs, guns and torches.” At the entrance, Comrade Sovolyev continued, the masked persons fell on the seven National Bolshevik guards, two of whom were young women. “When we saw that,” he continued, “we grabbed flagpoles that were leaning by the door and headed downstairs, but the attackers had already fled. They ran off and threw away their masks and white gloves along the way.”
Several minutes later, police arrived from the Danilovsky precinct, but the perpetrators had already boarded a bus owned by the Avtotrevel Co. with markings for the No. 576 route to the suburban town of Korolev. That bus was stopped by the road police at the entrance to Lefortovo Tunnel. The young people on the bus immediately warned the traffic inspector that he was “making a big mistake and most likely would be punished.” The young people made several called by cell phone and soon police cars from the Danilovsky precinct arrived and escorted the bus and its passengers to the police station.
According to policemen from Danilovsky, things went according to standard procedure at the beginning. The officer on duty filled out papers for the detainees. A that point, an investigator was supposed to take written accounts of the incident from each of them, but that didn't happen. “A call came from above ordering us to release the detainees,” a policeman told Kommersant. “Those guys warned us when we were recording them that it wasn't worth the effort, that they would soon be released.” They were not released immediately, however, since the police station was already surrounded by television journalists and the members of leftist parties that had been attacked. The police resorted to deception to release the detainees. They took them three at a time in patrol cars and released them is different places.
The Kommersant article also has a complete list of those detained.