Updated at 13:33,29-11-2021

Russian neo-Nazi and his associates freed

Belsat, BelaPAN

Maxim Martinkevich, who goes by the nickname "Tesak" ("Hatchet"), has been released from Minsk predetention centre.

The far-right extremist from Russia is suspected of committing the act of malicious hooliganism, but no formal charge has been brought against him yet. According to Pavel Traulka, spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Belarus, Mr Martinkevich is bound to to report at short notice. The suspect said he would have stayed in the territory of Belarus until the investigation was completed.

As Maxim Martinkevich stated, he came to Belarus to correct his vision. But just on the premises of Minsk clinic "Novoye zrenie" ("New vision") the Russian skinhead and his Belarusian-born fellow-thinkers got into a sharp fight against other Belarusians. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the end of it: as Tesak brought out his gas gun one of their opponents was wounded.

After the detention of Martinkevich and his associates, policemen seized two knives and the gas gun, which may fall under the definition of defensive tool. The experts are to define whether the knives are cold weapon and whether the gun was in operation.

According to the unofficial information, Tesak’s companion, Belarusian citizen Siarhei Karotkikh known as Malyuta, is also arrested for stabbing a man with a knife.

The 28-year-old Tesak, a former leader of outlawed extremist organisation "Format-18", is notorious for his racially themed speech. Martinkevich filmed videos encouraging racism and hatred of anti-fascists. Between 2007 and 2010, Mr Martinkevich served a three-year prison sentence in Russia on a charge of inciting ethnic violence.

Tesak is of Belarusian heritage and visits our country on regular basis.