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Belarusian Who Fought In Eastern Ukraine On Trial On Hate Charges

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Stanislau Hancharou

Stanislau Hancharou

VITSEBSK, Belarus -- A Belarusian man authorities say has openly espoused neo-Nazi ideas is on trial in Belarus along with five other defendants on charges including inciting ethnic hatred.

Stanilsau Hancharou was arrested in April on his arrival from Ukraine, where he fought in the far-right Azov Battalion against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donetsk region.

He and his co-defendants, men aged 18-22 whose names were not disclosed, were charged with inciting ethnic and racial hatred, theft, engaging minors in criminal activities, online pornography distribution, and hooliganism.

Their trial started on December 12 in Vitsebsk in northeastern Belarus.

Hancharou, 20, has posted videos on the Internet that officials say propagate neo-Nazism. One appears to show him coercing young antifascists to reject their viewpoints and perform a Nazi greeting.

He has tattoos of a coded neo-Nazi greeting -- "88," which stands for "Heil Hitler" -- and a symbol of a World War II-era military unit of the Waffen-SS.

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