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Russian feds open extremism case against disabled senior citizen who denies USSR’s collapse

Federal agents in Omsk have arrested a 72-year-old disabled man for allegedly creating an extremist group. Relatives of Vladimir Beskhlebny told the newspaper Novaya Gazeta that he denies the collapse of the USSR and acts as the chairman of the Omsk “Executive Committee of the RSFSR’s Council of People’s Deputies.” 

Last week, the authorities raided Beskhlebny’s home, the homes of five of his comrades, and two offices used by their movement. The search warrant issued for Beskhlebny’s apartment states that the FSB suspects him of plotting “an armed seizure of power” in Russia. During the search, federal agents confiscated his computer, mobile phone, Soviet passport (Beskhlebny never updated his documents), “RSFSR state seals and other important state documents,” reports Novaya Gazeta.

On July 11, a court in Omsk placed Beskhlebny under house arrest.

Earlier this summer, law enforcement in Tula, Kirov, and the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District opened extremism cases against members of the “Union of Slavic Forces of Russia,” which denies the USSR’s collapse. Last year, this group was outlawed as an extremist organization.

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