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Russian Activist Faces Trial On Charges Of Extremism

YEKATERINBURG -- An activist with Russia's banned National Bolshevik (Natsbol) party in Yekaterinburg will face trial soon, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Aleksei Nikiforov, 24, head of Natsbol's Yekaterinburg branch, faces charges of promoting extremism in connection with his work organizing mass demonstrations in Yekaterinburg and Zarechny.

Local officials have described the rallies as "attempts to destabilize the political and social stability of Russia."

A local court is expected to start hearing the case soon.

Yevgeny Ledegin, who is the coordinator of the Oborona movement in Yekaterinburg, told RFE/RL that Nikiforov's activities have nothing to do with extremism and the charges are politically motivated.

According to Ledegin, Nikiforov was exercising his right to express his political views freely and openly as guaranteed by the Russian Constitution.

Nikiforov could face up to two years in prison if convicted.