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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Stop Car Filled With Old Weapons

The leader of a hard-line Communist youth group has been detained driving a car loaded with World War II-era explosives and small arms outside Moscow, Interfax reported Monday.

Andrei Sokolov, 29, head of the Russian Communist Youth Union, was pulled over by traffic police on the Moscow-Riga highway 116 kilometers west of the capital on Sunday.

A search of his UAZ off-road vehicle found 28 kilograms of dynamite packed in five plastic bags, two anti-tank landmines, the barrels of 10 vintage Mosin rifles and a fully loaded revolver made in 1943.

Interfax, citing a police source, said investigators had established that Sokolov collected the arms and explosives at World War II battlefields in the Tver region.

Sokolov faces charges of illegal possession of arms and explosives and is being checked for possible involvement in several terrorist attacks in Moscow, police said.

Sokolov was sentenced to four years in prison in 1999 after being convicted in the bombing of a memorial plaque to the family of the last tsar at Moscow's Vagankovskoye Cemetery in 1997. He was later freed when his sentence was replaced with a suspended one under a national amnesty. In 2001, a Moscow court convicted Sokolov of illegal possession of arms and explosives and sentenced him to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Sokolov's wife, Tatyana Nekhorosheva, was among four women in the youth group convicted in 2003 of bombing the public reception office of the Federal Security Service in downtown Moscow. Nekhorosheva, the daughter of the deputy editor of the radical Communist newspaper Duel, was the only suspect who pleaded guilty in court, and she received a five-year suspended sentence.

Earlier this year, members of the radical youth group Red Youth Vanguard and the banned National Bolshevik Party were detained briefly after an explosion in a Moscow State University dormitory that injured one person.