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Kremlin Calls Attack on Human Rights Event 'Hooliganism'

The Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called an attack on a human rights event by nationalist activists “hooliganism,” the TASS news agency reported Friday.

“It is hooliganism, it is a disgrace,” Peskov said. “Those, who hide behind the St. George ribbon, discredit it.” He stressed that it was “absolutely unacceptable,” Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS.

On Thursday, activists from the Pro-Kremlin People's Liberation Front nationalist movement (NOD) attacked the award ceremony for high-school students who had participated in a history contest, organized by the prominent human rights group Memorial.

The NOD activists gathered in front of the Dom Kino, where the Memorial ceremony was being held, shouting insults and spraying green disinfectant and ammonia at the event attendees as they tried to enter the building.

Among those attacked were the competition participants, organizers, foreign and Russian guests and acclaimed Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, the head of the competition's jury.

According to representatives of Memorial, when police arrived at the scene, they failed to take any action against the NOD activists.

Later on Thursday, Moscow police announced that one of the attackers had been detained, the Interfax news agency reported. He has been charged with petty hooliganism and may face up to 15 days in prison.

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