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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nashi Youth Activists Accused Of Harassing Rights Activist

The wife of a veteran human rights activist and journalist complained Friday that the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi was hounding her husband for criticizing the renaming of a Moscow restaurant from Antisovietskaya to Sovietskaya.

The restaurant’s owner has said he changed the name in mid-September under pressure from Oleg Mitvol, the prefect of the northern district where the establishment is located. Mitvol had claimed that the former name, which translates as Anti-Soviet, was an insult to World War II veterans.

Alexander Podrabinek, a human rights activist since the 1970s and head of the Prima-News news agency, criticized the name change in an article published Sept. 21 on the Yezhednevny Zhurnal online news service and on his personal Livejournal blog.

His wife, Alla, said Friday that she had been harassed by “a large number of couriers” who showed up at the door of their apartment throughout the day Thursday, saying they wanted to “urgently pass packages containing documents to my husband,” Ekho Moskvy radio reported. She said the visitors appeared to be Nashi activists.

Nashi did not comment on the couriers, but the group threatened to sue Podrabinek over the article Friday. Nashi spokesman Gleb Krainik said the article insulted World War II veterans by declaring that the Soviet Union “has been gone for 18 years, thank God,” Interfax reported.