Dmitry Dyomushkin has been found guilty of organizing a criminal organization after it was established that his group – the Slavic Union – was renamed and continued to operate despite a legal ban.
A district magistrate court in Moscow sentenced the nationalist to a fine that should be then be lifted due to the expiry of the statute of limitations. The court also ordered to lift the travel ban imposed on Dyomushkin for the time of the process.
The Slavic Union movement was created in 1999 but banned in 2010 after the Moscow City Court recognized the group as extremist. According to Russian law the ruling means the ban is effective in the whole of Russia.
Dyomushkin who headed the union from the moment of its foundation, together with a few allies, re-registered the union under the name “Slavic Power” and, according to law enforcers, continued to promote extreme nationalist ideas, recruit new members and organize street rallies. The activist pled not guilty to all the charges.
The Monday ruling was Dyomushkin's first conviction, but it was the third time he had been charged. Previously law enforcers have charged him twice with instigating mass riots in press interviews, but the charges were dropped in the course of the investigations, and in one case a court ordered the activist should receive compensation for illegal prosecution.
The groups like the Slavic Union promote the rights of ethnic Russians in the Russian Federation and also support the union with Belarusians and Ukrainians whom they consider a single ethnicity with Russians. The economic and political programs of the nationalists are vague, and the main demand is to give ethnic Russians a unique right of a state-forming nation, guaranteed by the constitution.
Apart from his activities in his own group, Dyomushkin is one of the co-founders of the “Russians” organization, uniting several legal nationalist movements. In 2012 they announced plans to register the “Party of Nationalists” as a political party with at least 20,000 members.Dyomushkin heads the founding committee of the party and oversees interaction with the Justice Ministry, but the registration procedure has not been yet finished.