WATCH: More than 100 alleged 'Ukrainian Nazi' supporters arrested in Russia
More than 100 alleged supporters of a Ukrainian neo-Nazi youth ‘murder cult,’ thought to be planning to carry out attacks, were detained in an operation spanning across Russia, the country’s security service has said.
In a notice published on Monday, the FSB said “investigative measures and actions were carried out in relation to 106 supporters of the … MKU ... identified in 37 regions,” while working alongside Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
According to the statement, two detainees were suspected of preparing arms attacks on educational institutions. Meanwhile, three people said to be responsible for administering the organization’s internet channels were also identified, having allegedly propagandized extremist ideology and called for violent actions on the instruction of the organization’s founder, Yegor Krasnov.
In the Penza region, situated southeast of Moscow, and the Komi Republic located in northwestern Russia, the FSB said it had stopped two extremist groups affiliated with the MKU. Officials found smooth-bore and rifled civilian hunting weapons, ammunition, pneumatic guns, pistols and assault rifles, as well as tear gas canisters, during raids of their homes.
The MKU’s activities, known as the Maniac’s Cult of Murder, are aimed at inciting ethnic hatred and preparing to carry out extremism-related crimes.
Earlier this month, the FSB announced it had thwarted “intelligence and sabotage activities on the territory of three Russian regions” by Ukrainian agents. Two men, a father and son, confessed that they had been recruited by a member of the country’s security service, who set them the task of finding information about sensitive sites in Russia in exchange for a $10,000 reward. The FSB also said it had detained an officer from Ukrainian Military Intelligence “sent to our country with the intent of committing a terrorist act.”
A spokesman for the Security Service of Ukraine, Artem Dekhtyarenko, denounced the statement, claiming that the arrests were fake and that they “should be considered exclusively through the prism of hybrid war, in which information propaganda and the spread of fakes play an important role.”