MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) – A Ukrainian nationalist leader who allegedly called for the help of a Chechen warlord via the social network VKontakte is now being sought in Russia on charges of extremism, Russian investigators said Monday.
Dmitry Yarosh, who heads the right-wing group Pravy Sektor, purportedly wrote on Saturday that reputed Chechen warlord Doku Umarov should help fight against Russian occupation of Ukraine.
“Russia is not as strong as it seems. You now have a unique chance to win,” the blog post said, adding that Ukrainians and natives of Russia’s North Caucasus shared “spilled blood.”
Umarov, the self-proclaimed head of a secessionist Islamic radical group in the North Caucasus, has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in Russia and, most recently, threatened to attack the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Pravy Sektor, whose VKontakte page has been blocked by Russia’s communications watchdog since Sunday, has denied the authenticity of the appeal to Umarov.
The group’s spokesman, Artyom Skoropadsky, blamed an unknown hacker for posting the call to arms, according to comments aired by Radio Svoboda, the Russian-language service of US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Russian troops were reportedly deployed over the weekend to crisis-stricken Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which has a majority ethnic Russian population and hosts a major Russian naval base.