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Brother of 'Primorye Partisan' Seeks Asylum in Netherlands

The brother of an alleged member of a guerrilla group from the country's Far East has become the latest Russian to seek political refuge in western Europe.

Alexei Sladkikh fled to the Netherlands in December and filed an asylum request earlier this month, he told Gazeta.ru in an interview published Wednesday.

Sladkikh's younger brother Alexander shot himself during a police siege in June 2010. The siege, in the town of Ussuriisk, ended months of violence during which the group, dubbed "Russian Rambos" by national media, allegedly killed two police officers and wounded six others.

The self-proclaimed "Primorye Partisans" became Internet heroes after publishing a martyrdom-style video that declared an armed struggle against "corrupt beasts" in the police. Six suspected members of the group are currently on trial in the regional capital, Vladivostok.

Sladkikh, who has been in a Dutch refugee camp for the past two weeks, said that he could not find a job because local businesses feared reprisals when hiring him. "When they found out my relationship and family name, they told me, 'Sorry, but we can't take you,'" he was quoted as saying.

The 27-year-old denied allegations that the partisans were ultranationalist skinheads. He argued that they had shaved their heads not as a political statement but as "antics."

The Dutch asylum system made headlines earlier this January, when Alexander Dolmatov, an opposition activist with the Other Russia movement, killed himself in an extradition cell after his application had been denied.

Friends and supporters have accused Dutch authorities of complicity in the death, with Other Russia leader Eduard Limonov claiming that Dolmatov, a former engineer in a major rocket factory, had been pressured by Western intelligence agents.

The Dutch government has launched an investigation into the case.

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