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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nationalist Group Russian Newspaper Meeting

Police on Wednesday were investigating an incident in which 25 members of the extremist Russian nationalist group Pamyat stormed a Moscow newspaper wearing paramilitary uniforms.


The members of the virulently anti-Semitic group burst into the morning editorial meeting of Moskovsky Komsomolets on Tuesday after detaining the newspaper's security guard.


Wearing black uniforms with czarist emblems, they surrounded the meeting table, complained of the paper's coverage of Pamyat and demanded public apologies, according to newspaper editors and Pamyat's leader, Dmitry Vasilyev.


The police, who launched an investigation immediately after the incident, continued Wednesday by questioning members of the newspaper's staff.


Yelena Vasilyukhina, Moscovsky Komsomolet's executive secretary, said that Pamyat's forcible entry was probably motivated by a desire for publicity.


"Two years ago, the press gave Pamyat a lot of coverage, but recently they have fallen silent", she said. "They need some kind of noise around them, so they wanted to create a dramatic act and they came to the largest newspaper in Moscow".


Pamyat first surfaced in 1987, initially billing itself as a society formed to protect Russian architecture. But it soon became clear through demonstrations and intimidating actions aimed at Jews that the group's focus was intensely nationalist and anti-Semitic.


Vasilyev was unrepentant Wednesday for the newspaper break-in and threatened further action.


"We always do everything according to the law; not a single step that we did was illegal", he said.


Vasilyev said Pamyat was not seeking publicity, but wanted Moskovsky Komsomolets to change its outlook. He demanded that the newspaper give a better portrayal of his group by Friday and said that Pamyat was considering what to do next.


Vasilukhina said that the paper would not change its editorial content, but was likely to beef up its security soon.