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Russia Probes Shuttered Rights Group Memorial for ’Nazi Rehabilitation’ – Reports

Memorial Society supporters gather outside the Moscow City Court. Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

Russian investigators have launched a criminal probe of the dismantled Memorial civil rights group into “rehabilitation of Nazism,” the RBC news website reported Saturday.

Russia’s veterans group filed the complaint on the eve of the Supreme Court's December order to close Memorial, which raises awareness of Soviet-era repressions, over its refusal to label itself a “foreign agent” in its published materials.

The veterans group had asked authorities to investigate Memorial for “denying, concealing and falsifying the crimes of Nazi accomplices by memorializing them as victims of political repression,” according to a January statement on Memorial’s website.

It claims that 19 victims of Soviet repression in Memorial’s database of more than 3 million names were Nazi collaborators.

Memorial said in its January statement that prosecutors had used the veterans group’s “unfounded accusations” in court the next day to argue for its closure.

“The prosecutor and the self-styled ‘experts’ are not looking for the truth but for kompromat,” Memorial said.

Memorial head Yan Rachinsky told RBC that police had summoned him for questioning late last week.

“We’ll coordinate the time of my visit at the start of the week,” Rachinsky said.

“Rehabilitation of Nazism” is punishable with imprisonment of up to five years under Russian law.

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