“Inspiring fans with nationalist ideology.” Center “E” breeds nazis like sheep for slaughter
Provokers masterfully manipulate the public mood causing various social processes with far-reaching consequences. Some of them are forgotten, while others – described in history books. The majority of these people were unprincipled and talented, and their goal was to change the society.
There are very few creators in this category of people. The majority of provokers have a totally different personality. Take, for instance, SS-man Karl Ernst who has set the Reichstag on fire or domestic ‘heroes' E. Azef and G. Gapon sending people to their doom and still referred to in the Russian language as betrayers and instigators.
Some provokers are not so prominent – but they still can create a structured system and cause devastating consequences to the society.
In the past, the provokers had normally adhered to some ideals – but their modern followers care only about their career growth and money.
They will stop at nothing to get a new rank or supreme position.
The CrimeRussia obtained materials able to lift the curtain over one of the most mysterious topics of our modern reality. Using the Kursk region as an example, we are going to explain a shocking recent phenomenon – the mass institution of criminal cases for extremism broadly discussed in the media.
So, who is responsible for the massive repressions under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement of hatred or enmity, as well as abasement of human dignity)? Why had the President to personally interfere to stop this mayhem? How was this flame – that has nearly become a wildfire – fueled? We are publishing an exclusive interview with a retired high-ranked law enforcement officer that provides answers to these and many other questions.
– Why are you meeting with us? What is your goal?
– It is hard to say. Revenge? No. Wounded pride? No. Although emotions definitely exist. Perhaps, to ‘repay debts’ and ‘clean up’ after myself – i.e. show the people giving interviews that this game can be played for both sides. They had demonized normal people – so, their victims may tell the truth about them as well. The real truth supported by facts. Just a counterstrike. Let’s begin with Dymov and his ‘anti-extremist’ games.
– Who is Dymov?
– He is a retired police colonel and former officer of the Administration for Combating Organized Crime – ex-Head of Department “T” of the Administration for Combating Organized Crime of the Administration for the Kursk Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation who has later become the Head of Department “E” of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region. He had reputation of a person able to make a mountain out of a molehill and creator of a ‘controlled extremism’ system in the region making it possible to solve cases and lock up as many people as required – concurrently, avoiding severe incidents, like the Kondopoga massacre, market skirmishes, and inter-ethnic clashes so inconvenient for the reporting purposes. Over time, officers from other regions adopted his ideas. But here's the tricky bit.
Dmitry Dymov, Head of Department “E” of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region
– What? What you have described is not compromising information. It rather seems to be a skilled prophylactics. You said that they had avoided explosions of public anger. So, what is the trick?
– It is obvious. The devil is in the detail, right? There was no severe extremism in the Kursk region up to a certain time. There were no grounds for it. Let me tell you about the extremists and radicals that used to be there. I will explain what threats had they posed and describe how small semi-hooligan gangs of skinheads were transformed into controllable and useful puppets. The souls of the youth were disfigured. They crippled the minds of the young men via leaders controlled by Center "E", inspired boys' minds with various ideas, and issued plenty of guilty verdicts... To get new ranks, bonuses, and good rating. And, of course, to keep their posts. Is this of interest for you?
Dymov’s mansion in Kursk
– Yes, of course!
– In the early 2000s, there was a group of some 15 skinheads in Kursk and a local cell of the Russian National Unity consisting of some 20 persons loyal to A. Barkashov. Nothing else. The National Bolshevik Party and other marginal movements were not present in our region. No Islamist radicals. The ‘boneheads’ were based near the fountain at “Drama Theatre” bus stop. Supporters of the of the Russian National Unity had weekly meetings near the circus on A. Nevskogo street. Both of them mostly had idle talks about the ‘occupation’ of our country, ‘scumbags’ in the circles of power, and the need to do something... Members of the Russian National Unity were afraid of any serious actions. However, skinheads had caused some trouble...
Fountain near the Drama Theatre – the gathering place of skinheads in the 1990s – early 2000s
– Did they create an armed underground?
– No, thank God. They were even afraid to touch natives of Central Asia or the Caucasus. No comparison with Moscow-based White Wolves or United Brigades 88. Those guys had really worked out, practiced boxing, trained in shooting... Of course, they are stupid. But Kursk was free of them. Our skinheads had attacked natives of Africa near student dormitories of the Medical Institute – the people studying at their own expense and bringing large amounts of currency to Russia every year. But the moral morons drunk with beer did not understand that. As a result, a few black people were beaten, a couple of knife wounds were inflicted to international students – and the gang was quickly busted by the police. In the course of the special operation, skinheads nicknamed Nils, Elisei, Ryba, Zolotoy, Tszinya, Antik, Yashcher, etc. were arrested. The fountain near the drama theatre was purged from members of informal organizations and domestic nazis. Some of their ‘masterminds’ were conditionally convicted under Article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (hooliganism). Judge Oleg Feoktistov did not find extremism in their actions and reclassified the charges from Article 282 to Article 213. And this was the end of the nazis.
Location near the circus – the gathering place of adepts of the Russian National Unity in the 1990s – early 2000s
– Was this really the end?
– Yes. The conditional sentences were sufficient for the convicted persons, while others have calmed down. Some of them even joined law enforcement structures. For instance, A. (Konovalov I believe) serves in the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate. A. Denisov works in the Federal Penitentiary service as a correctional officer. Some of them decided to become football fans. But they were quiet and separated. It was impossible for the police to implement plans on the capture and conviction of radicals. These guys were fighting each other and wrecking nerves of SWAT troopers at football games. So, after one of the conferences, police lieutenant colonel Dymov suggested to create controlled fan communities using the operative reserves of the Kursk Administration for Combating Organized Crime. His idea was simple: finding ‘right people' and ordering them to infiltrate fan groups. Then the ‘agents' had to become leaders of these groups and inspire football fans with the nationalist ideology.
– But it is well-known that many football fan communities are, in fact, disguised skinheads – especially ultras of Spartak, Zenit, Lokomotiv, and CSKA. They joined the fan groups after the clampdown on nationalists.
– That is not quite the case. You see the tip of the iceberg and refer to Moscow and St. Petersburg football clubs that attract nationalists. But I speak about regions! Again: there were virtually no nazis among the youth prior to the beginning of their purposive ‘breeding for slaughter’. It started after the informal approval of the above-mentioned ‘plan’. Weird things sometimes happened in the Kursk Administration for Combating Organized Crime...
– How was this plan implemented?
– I have some documents on hand. Look. To concentrate and unite petty radicals and football hooligans together, a group dubbed Iron Crew was created. They quickly became, with the connivance of the police, leaders of ‘hardcore’ ultras by driving away or absorbing other small groups. In fact, they became the ‘monopolists’ in this sphere. The informal leaders of this group had prohibited their underlings from beating foreigners and organized fights with other fan organizations to blow off the steam.
– The ‘cave’ nationalism combined with aggression...
– Is very bad. Of course. If this were the case, I wouldn’t talk with you now. But everything was much worse. Following instructions of their supervisors in the Administration for Combating Organized Crime, leaders of Iron Crew had prohibited attacks against representatives of non-Slavic ethnic groups and instigated their adepts to wage the ‘battle’ on the Internet and make xenophobic graffiti. This was convenient for the ‘extremist fighters’ who had easily identified the ‘Internet radicals’. Initially, the young men did not use TOR or VPNs – and it was simple to frame up and solve cases against them to show good reporting parameters. Authors of the graffiti were quickly identified, too – because the operatives knew who is about to paint on what fence and when.
– How can you prove this?
– By the dates. I don’t recommend you to try – but if you write an extremist slogan in a lobby, or beat an unknown person in a secluded area, or even stub him with a knife, it would be very difficult to identify and locate you in the absence of leads. There is no motive. No one can turn you in. Your telephone was left at home. This is a ‘cold case’. All departments of the police and Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) are full of such ‘dead-ends’ involving fights and knife attacks. But the ‘extremists’ were captured immediately.
– For instance?
– For instance, in February 2010, a group of young skinheads painted graffiti calling to kill migrants on Semenovskaya and Sadovaya streets. In early March, they have been identified, a criminal case was quickly instituted, and in May 2010, the indictment was transferred to the court. Young man Yaroslav Pozhidaev – turned in by his ‘own kin’ – was convicted. Then the supervisors decided that graffiti on walls were not the best option. Therefore, ‘Dymov & Co.’ instructed the pseudo-nazis under their control to focus their underlings on videos posted on social networks. This is how Denis Utkin, Pavel Burkusha, Vladimir Smorodskovsky, Aleksander Samofalov, Mikhail Khozikov, Aleksei Dolzhenko, Ivan Basevich, etc. were convicted under part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code (incitement of hatred or enmity, as well as abasement of human dignity). All of them had ties with Iron Crew. All of them were arrested shortly after posting videos on VKontakte or Odnoklassniki. Less than in a week after the publication, operatives had knocked the doors of ‘alleged nazis’. It is necessary to note that the VKontakte page entitled “Skinheads of Kursk” was neither blocked nor under investigation. This was not necessary – the police had enough ‘pocket nazis’ to prosecute.
– Does this apply to all radical groups in Russia?
– No, only to ‘domestic’ ones consisting of students, members of informal organizations, anarchists, and other people rejected by the society. They are quietly ‘concentrated’ and used. These ‘sofa warriors’ convicted for extremism would never go beyond words and reposts. They won’t beat anybody because they are cowards and talkers. They are not conductors of the nationalist ideology. These people just ‘mess around’ looking for a group to compensate their inferiority complexes. But the police arrest and prosecute them. This is outrageous. And for what? For a checkmark in the statistics report!
– Do you mean that there is no need to control neo-nazis?
– Of course, they must be controlled – but not through provocation. Especially if the provokers are such people as Dmitry Dymov. Just imagine the year of 2015: the trial of yet another ‘nazi' Ivan Verikhov is ongoing. Concurrently, Dmitry Dymov travels abroad using a fake passport in the name of other person issued by himself as a ‘cover-up' document. Isn't that great? And he also gives interviews criticizing his colleagues.
– This is ‘intraspecific competition’, sorry for the cynicism. Can we get back to the topic?
– Sure. Over time, Iron Crew project died down... It stopped producing the required effect. So, Dmitry Dymov started looking for a new ‘field' and found. it. He addressed Aleksander Markovchin, Chairman of the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the Kursk Regional Administration, asking to assist in the ‘recruiting'. The subsequent events are worth heavy media coverage. Markovchin quickly agreed to this offer (no doubt – such a great potential ‘cover'!) and suggested to make the leader of local nazis... an officer of the Kursk Regional Administration – Vyacheslav Yur'evich Kharitonov, masters of sports of the Russian Federation in hand-to-hand combat. In 2013–2014, Markovchin offered him to take charge of Legion-46 fan group that had split from Iron Crew in 2006. Kharitonov is a former skinhead, committed nazi, and participant of numerous fights and incidents. I was shocked to read his dossier. How a person with such a past could become a civil servant? Here is an excerpt from operative materials gathered by officers of the Kursk Criminal Investigation Department independently from Center "E". Of course, it is written in the bureaucratic language.
Some 10 informal, so-called ‘semi-football’, fan groups operate in the Kursk region. One of those is Legion-46. Normally, its members commit football hooliganism-related offenses before or after football games and in places of mass gathering of fans.
It is known that one of the leaders of this group is Vyacheslav Yur’evich Kharitonov, Leading Expert of the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the Kursk Regional Administration. The fan movement led by Kharitonov organizes and conducts provocative offenses accompanied by skirmishes with persons considering themselves football fans; it also organizes and conducts pre-arranged mass brawls with representatives of other regions. It is necessary to emphasize that V.Yu. Kharitonov actively involves minors into pre-arranged mass brawls. Mostly, he involves persons from problem families and young men registered in the police for unlawful acts.
On January 3, 2016, in celebration of the 10th jubilee of Legion-46, V.Yu. Kharitonov has organized at 18:00–22:00 a concert of ‘semi-football’ rap band “Argentina” from St. Petersburg, whose members are fans of FC Zenit, in Nashe Mesto (Our Place) Bar located at 6A Pavlova street, Kursk. Kharitonov had arrangements with representatives of fan groups from Voronezh and Orel to have a pre-arranged mass fight after the concert – but he had to abandon this plan at the last moment. (The CrimeRussia became aware that this happened because of an information leak – neither Kharitonov nor his ‘neophytes’ wanted to fight with the police SWAT.)
Nashe Mesto (Our Place) Bar
Representatives of the above-mentioned groups from Voronezh and Orel have organized, out of revenge, a trip of more than 80 persons to Kursk to attack Kursk football fans who were present at the concert in order to provoke mass public disturbances in the Central Administrative District of the city, including damaging and destruction of public assets.
On January 3, 2016, police officers have carried out prophylactic actions in the City of Kursk; in the course of this operation, 67 citizens were checked in Nashe Mesto Bar located at 6A Pavlova street, Kursk; 14 of them, including 6 minors, were escorted to the Police Station № 1 of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region.
In addition, 30 members of fan movements from Orel, Voronezh, and Zheleznogorsk, Kursk region, who had arrived by personal vehicles, were escorted to the Police Department for the Zheleznodorozhny District of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region for investigation. There were 3 minors among these people; they have been placed to the Junior Temporary Detention Center of the MIA Administration for the Kursk Region.
– So, as you can see, this mayhem was prevented because the information about the fans’ plans had leaked not only to Center “E”. But what happened later...
On April 10, 2016, at some 18:40, after the end of a football game between FC Avangard from Kursk and FC Tambov from Tambov, a mass brawl between fan groups from Kursk and Voronezh occurred near Perekal’skogo street, Kursk, and V.Yu. Kharitonov was directly involved in it.
– Can you imagine this? A large city. Small groups of troubled youth. A mass brawl in plain view of the public. And an official is leading the fight! It is possible to do lots of things having an indulgence from the ‘extremist fighters’. The main point is to bring more and more new victims on the altar of the penitentiary system. Like a goat leading sheep for slaughter... In fact, the year of 2016 was pretty eventful for ‘new Azef’ and his supervisors. They had to expand their sphere of influence. The document describes this as follows:
In 2016, V.Yu. Kharitonov has created the second group consisting of young members of Legion-46, named it “Reserve”, and appointed Dmitry Mikhailovich Batin, his colleague in the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the Kursk Regional Administration, its informal leader...
– Does that mean that the state controls and funds all these mass brawls, mayhems, and the cult of nazism and informal subcultures in Kursk? The person in charge of this is not an undercover police of FSB (Federal Security Service – The CrimeRussia) agent – but a governmental official. How can this be possible?
– As you can see, it is possible. I already said that this project was launched by Dymov; now it is maintained by his ‘disciples’. In fact, this is a ‘larva’ of some kind of Right Sector. Currently, it involves young men whose intelligence is below the average and enthusiastic fans. But what can prevent them from transforming into something more powerful if the state weakens? They have combat experience and a ‘fuhrer’. No weapons? This issue can be easily solved in turbulent times. And what is next?
– These deceived guys may come to Dymov’s home. How do you think?
– Of course! Socialists-Revolutionaries had visited homes of gendarmes – who were not happy with that at all. It is not surprising that the history makes another spiral turn. We are lucky that the nationalistic youth are so blind. If they were a little bit smarter, they could calculate 2+2. On the other hand, it is unacceptable that such ferocious ideas of the mob are supported at the official level. Instead of the social engagement of the troubled youth, working with them, and providing conditions for their rehabilitation, aggressive thugs relying on violence are raised. Concurrently, we have children following the thieves’ code – so-called “A.U.E. (Unity of Convicts and Young Bandits – The CrimeRussia) subculture”. When these two waves of rejected, deceived, and disadvantages people finally collide, it will be really scary! Too bad, new generations do not learn the lessons of the past. This may come to a bad end.
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