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World

Russia neo-Nazi vigilante 'Hatchet' found dead in jail

  • Tesak had three convictions for rousing ethnic hatred as well numerous other charges.
16 Sep 2020

MOSCOW: A notorious Russian neo-Nazi who carried out vigilante attacks on gay people, suspected paedophiles and drug dealers has been found dead in jail, investigators said on Wednesday.

Maxim Martsinkevich, nicknamed "Tesak", or hatchet, was serving a 10-year term for attacks on people he considered to be drug dealers.

He ran far-right youth groups and posed with swastikas.

He was best known for a vigilante campaign called "Occupy Paedophilia" that targeted gay men, luring them to meetings with teenage boys and then filming attacks on them that included dousing them with urine.

He also led a similar campaign against those suspected of drug dealing.

"The prisoner's body was found in the morning," the Investigative Committee for the Chelyabinsk region in the Urals, where he was incarcerated, said in a statement that confirmed details in media reports but did not name Martsinkevich directly.

"According to preliminary information, the man left a note before his death," investigators said, adding they were looking into the circumstances.

According to a channel in his name on the Telegram social media platform, the 36-year-old was due for release in May 2021.

His lawyer told RT channel that Martsinkevich had told him that he had been pressured by security agents to confess to other alleged crimes including murder and faced further investigations.

His death was caused by a razor, according to reports.

Tesak had three convictions for rousing ethnic hatred as well numerous other charges.

He was jailed in 2014 over extremist videos and then while in prison handed a 10-year term over his vigilante campaign against drug dealers.