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    MOSCOW IS CONCERNED ABOUT YOUTH EXTREMISM

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Senior Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) officials held a meeting on Tuesday, discussing measures against youth extremism, the ministry's press service told RIA Novosti.

    Russia is facing a threat from not merely juvenile crime, but from adverse outbursts of extremism, which affects, among others, children, the most vulnerable section of population, the acting Interior Minister, Police Colonel General Rashid Nurgaliyev, said at the meeting.

    The leaders of radical groups are well above 20 and all have substantial criminal records, noted General Nurgaliyev.

    "These are rightist radical, fascist groups whatever mottoes they may use as a cover. The fight against them must, therefore, involve all law enforcement agencies and be supported by broad sections of society," emphasized the general. "There is no such thing as excessive anti-terrorist measures today," he noted.

    The conferees studied the findings of investigation into the murders of a Tajik girl in St Petersburg and of a foreign student in Voronezh, Central Russia.

    There is no structure in the illegal "skinhead" movement, and it is not directed by a sole leader. However, when skinheads fall under the influence of a strong leader, they become easily manageable, said the acting minister. However serious the situation may be, it is not as shocking as it is depicted by the media, noted the general.

    Society demands that the police and the security service curb violence among teenagers, noted Mr Nurgaliyev. They are, therefore, reviving the methods to prevent juvenile crime, which were abandoned in the past decade, stepping up cooperation between law enforcement and other state bodies, said Mr Nurgaliyev.

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