Author`s name Ольга Савка

National Bolshevik Party members sentenced to 5 years in jail for insulting Putin

Relatives of the convicted men ambushed the state prosecutor

Moscow court brought down a sentence against seven activists of Russia's National-Bolshevik Party (NBP) for attacking the premises of the Healthcare and Social Development Ministry on August 2nd of the current year. The court sentenced the party members to five years in jail for “hooliganism with the use of the items, which could have been used as a weapon,” and for “damaging the ministry's property.”

The trial had quite a scandalous ending: relatives of the convicted were about to attack the state prosecutor in the street.

A group of NBP activists rushed into the building of the Russian Healthcare Ministry on August 2nd and blockaded themselves in several of its offices to protest against the elimination of state benefits. National Bolsheviks were chanting “Putin is the nation's enemy!” They took Vladimir Putin's framed photograph and threw it out in the window of one of the offices. Seven protesters were arrested as a result of the action.

A special police unit cordoned the court, when the trial started. The notorious Russian politician and writer, Eduard Limonov, took part in the court process too. “The party will take care of its political prisoners,” Limonov told reporters. It is worth mentioning that the NBP leader was trying to stay away from defendants' relatives – their attitude to Mr. Limonov was highly negative.

The seven arrested party activists - all young men – were happy to pose for cameras before the trial to show their high spirits. When the defendants were taken away, relatives, reporters and a group of supporters with Eduard Limonov at the head lined up in front of the building of the court. A court officer told them later that reporters would not be allowed in the court room.

Judge Elena Stashina read the sentence rather quickly: the text of the sentence coincided with the text of the indictment. Each of the seven party members were sentenced to five years in prison. National Bolsheviks used nail guns to nail up office doors. Police officers had to smash the doors to arrest the protesters. A thousand-dollar worth armchair was broken during the operation. The court classified those incidents as “damage.”

The author of the indictment, Deputy Prosecutor General, Sergei Tsirkun, who also acted as the state prosecutor on the trial, was rather emphatic in his comments: “If those bolsheviks come to power, they will shoot me in the first place, so I have no regrets,” said he.

A scandal occurred when relatives of the convicted started leaving the court building. When the mother of one of the convicted men saw the state prosecutor outside, she went furious: “That is Tsirkun! Come here, you, butcher! Let me look into your eyes,” the woman screamed. Sergei Tsirkun leaned over the wall and yelled: I hate you, goddamned communists! You killed my grandfather – you shot him like a bourgeois! And what have you done to the nation!”

When the relatives heard such words, they ambushed the prosecutor: “Beat him, beat the butcher!” the people were screaming. Sergei Tsirkun was standing next to the court building, and there was no way for him to escape. Police officers saved the prosecutor's life: they forced the infuriated people back and took the prosecutor inside the building, where he stayed for the rest of the day.

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