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Russia has nearly 10,000 extremists, most are students - official

YEKATERINBURG. April 29 (Interfax) - There are more than 200 extremist organizations in Russia, with almost 10,000 members. These are the data cited by Russia's deputy prosecutor general Viktor Grin.

These groups consist mainly of young men aged between 16 and 25, all of them students at higher-education institutions and vocational schools, he said at an anti-extremism conference in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday.

The Army of the People's Will, the National-Socialist Society, the Movement against Illegal Immigration, the Slavic Union of Northern Brotherhood are the most influential of these groups, the Prosecutor General's Office says.

One of the factors facilitating the spread of extremist views are the emissaries from various foreign religious organizations which openly operate in Russia, the Prosecutor General's Office says. "As practice has shown, our education system is the most vulnerable element in our flawed legislation," Grin said.

For a long time, the Tatarstan government invited teachers from Turkey to teach at a local religious school. They were trying to instill on their students the supremacy of all things Turkish while downplaying Russia's role. "These teachers did not speak Russian, so lessons were taught either in Turkish or in English. Turkish teachers were deported after prosecutors had to intervene," said the deputy prosecutor.