14:23 GMT +321 February 2019
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    Criminal proceedings launched against far-right leader

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    MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Prosecutors in a northwest Russian region have launched criminal proceedings against Alexander Belov, the leader of a far-right anti-immigration organization, Belov said Thursday.

    "The Karelia Prosecutor's Office has launched criminal proceedings against me on article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code [on instigating race-hate]", the head of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration said.

    "Investigators will question me on Friday... The Prosecutor's Office has perceived criminal content in my speeches on national TV."

    RIA Novosti has not yet been able to reach law enforcement agencies for comments on the issue.

    On September 24, several hundred people took to the streets of St. Petersburg for a nationalist protest organized by Belov's Movement Against Illegal Immigration.

    The protest was part of a wave of demonstrations that had been triggered by a killing blamed on Chechens.

    Two Russians were killed in a restaurant brawl with Chechens in the northern town of Kondopoga, Karelia, in early September. This sparked racial mob violence in the community and a wave of nationalist demonstrations elsewhere in the country.

    The week before the St. Petersburg rally, Belov's organization staged a similar protest in central Moscow, urging the government to tighten control over workers and students from the Caucasus and ex-Soviet Central Asia.

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