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Russia's pro-Kremlin youth group launches smear campaign against jailed opposition leader

Moscow JailMOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - The pro-Kremlin youth nationalist movement Stal (Steel) has launched a campaign against Russian jailed opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, mulling the rumors that the politician had been sexually abused.

Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned opposition leader, was arrested after an anti-Kremlin rally in Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square on New Year's Eve and sentenced to 15 days in jail for "disobeying police instructions."

Some 70 people, including opposition figures Konstantin Kosyakin and Eduard Limonov, were detained during the rally. Since then, people have been gathering outside the jailhouse in support of Nemtsov and other opposition activists.

On January 6, Russian blogosphere was bursting out of the reports that Nemtsov had allegedly been sexually abused in the detention centre.

Soon after the shady news appeared, Stal's activists handed to Nemtsov a book titled "Free yourself. How to overcome abuse and its consequences," the movement said on its website.

"If the abuse really took place, the victim definitely needs support," Stals's leader, Oleg Sokolov said. "We hope this act of violence will not be able to break Boris Nemtsov's personality and he will go at large as the more mature, strong and wise man."
In response to the unleashed campaign, Nemtsov, a staunch critic of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, called all the pro-Kremlin youth groups' members, including Nashi (Ours), Molodaya Gvardiya (Young Guard) and Stal, "Putin's roosters" referring to the prison slang word that means "passive homosexual."

"I guess, now nobody doubts that our power is heinous," Novaya Gazeta cited Nemtsov as saying. "I propose calling all the pro-Kremlin activists Kremlin roosters from now and then. It is short and sweet."

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