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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

National Bolsheviks Targeted

The Moscow City Prosecutor's Office has ordered the unregistered National Bolshevik Party to suspend its activities Thursday and asked the Moscow City Court to deem it as extremist and disband it.

City prosecutors said the group was engaging in activities that violate the country's recently adopted anti-extremism laws, the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement Thursday.

A National Bolshevik spokesman denounced the move as part of a government crackdown on the group, which bears little resemblance to any political party and which has long railed against President Vladimir Putin.

"That means the authorities are afraid of us," the spokesman, Alexander Averin, said.

He said prosecutors' action appeared to be a response to the so-called Dissenters' March that took place earlier this month by members of liberal and communist groups, including the National Bolshevik Party. The March 3 demonstration in St. Petersburg drew several thousand protesters and was broken up by police, who rounded up and beat dozens.

"It's a response to the march in St. Petersburg and part of official pressure on the opposition," he said.

AP, MT