Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Court Shortens Prison Term For Antigay Ultranationalist

A Russian court has shortened antigay ultranationalist Maksim Martsinkevich's prison term by more than two years.

Martsinkevich -- known as "Tesak" (Machete) -- was found guilty of extremism and sentenced to five years in prison in August.

The Moscow City Court shorted his sentence to two years and 10 months on November 11.

A leader of the neo-Nazi organization "Format 18," Martsinkevich founded a homophobic group, Occupy Pedophilia, whose aim was to "cure" homosexuals.

Russian authorities opened an investigation after several videos showing Martsinkevich and his followers humiliating and beating gays circulated on the Internet in 2013.

Cuban authorities arrested Martsinkevich for a visa violation in January and deported him to Russia.

In 2009-2012, Martsinkevich was jailed for "inciting ethnic hatred."

Kremlin critics have said the government used Martsinkevich's group to counter opposition protests.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.