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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nationalists Targeting Authorities

Ultranationalists are increasingly resorting to violence against authorities in response to a sweeping government crackdown on hate crimes, an independent watchdog said Monday.

Right-wing radicals plotted explosions at police stations and military conscription offices in three cities in early May, while several nationalist groups claimed responsibility for burning police cars and setting police stations ablaze earlier this year.

"The scale of neo-Nazi activities is impossible to ignore," said Galina Kozhevnikova, the director of Sova, an independent hate crime monitoring group.

She praised the government crackdown aimed at the right-wing radical groups that often target racial minorities and immigrants in grisly hate crimes.

In December, a nationalist group planted the head of a Tajik migrant at a municipal office in central Moscow with a threat to kill officials that hire "blacks."

All that violence is a backlash, Kozhevnikova said, from authorities addressing the problem of hate crimes as they should.