Monday, March 02, 2015

A piece from the past: The skinhead terrorists

Ultra-nationalist demonstrators on the outskirts of Moscow marking National Unity Day, November 4 2010. The poster reads ‘Russians unite

By Charles Clover, Financial Times
December 2010

A corpse lies in a bathtub, illuminated by a single light bulb. The head listing awkwardly to one side is that of a young, scrawny man with close-cropped hair, clothed in a sleeveless undershirt and track-suit bottoms. The check-shirted torso of another man bustles over the body, covering and uncovering it in shadow and then light, his face masked with a bandana. He is wiping blood off a knife and whistling faintly. The tune is instantly recognisable to the Russian ear as a sappy, Soviet-era song about patriotism: “Where does the motherland begin? With the pictures in your first book of ABCs/With good and faithful comrades/Living in the neighbouring yard.”

The grotesque parody is not lost on the viewer as the whistling man grabs the corpse and begins whittling off its left ear. Then he starts sawing at the neck, beginning an hour-long process of dismemberment.

The video of this grisly scene is one of many pieces of evidence in the ongoing trial in Moscow of the remaining members of the now-defunct National Socialist Organisation (NSO), an ultra-nationalist skinhead gang. The corpse was that of Nikolai Melnik, a gang member who had run foul of the NSO gang code: “He didn’t belong fully to our group, didn’t share our ideas and goals and wanted to play us against each other,” according to the testimony of one of the alleged killers, Vladislav Tamamshev.

(More here.)

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