Skip to comments.150 Teens Greet Limonov With Cheers
Posted on 07/02/2003 1:18:54 PM PDT by RussianConservative
National Bolshevik Party leader and writer Eduard Limonov got a hero's welcome from a crowd of young supporters when he arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, a day after his early release from a Saratov prison.
Limonov, 60, was freed for good behavior after serving half of a four-year sentence on a weapons conviction. Prosecutors also accused him of terrorism, forming a private army and plotting to overthrow the government, but a Saratov court cleared him of those charges. Limonov has maintained his innocence.
About 150 teenagers, many wearing black jeans and black or camouflage T-shirts and jackets, greeted a broadly smiling Limonov with cheers as he stepped off the train at Paveletsky Station. The teens chanted "Limonov instead of Putin" and "Limonov is our Name," while some waved red National Bolshevik Party flags and others raised bottles of sparkling wine.
On hand also was Communist State Duma Deputy Vasily Shandybin, one of the politicians who supported an appeal by Limonov for an early release.
Arriving train passengers stopped and curiously watched the jubilant crowd. Several asked Limonov for his autograph.
The crowd quickly formed a circle around Limonov and led him to a car, which took him to the party's headquarters near the Frunzenskaya metro station. There, he told a packed room of party members that he was proud of their political efforts and grateful for their support during his absence.
His speech was interrupted several times by applause, and one young party activist presented him with flowers.
"I am with you, and I will give you all of my energy until the end of my days," Limonov said.
He said his biggest fear during his imprisonment was that the party would fall apart. But, he said, the party has gotten only stronger. "I survived just because of that," he said.
Reiterating remarks made Monday, Limonov said he is putting aside his writing to focus on building up the party. He said he does not plan to run for public office but hoped to see party members elected in December's State Duma elections.
"This is a very special day for all of us National Bolshevik Party members," said Sergei Ilyukhin, 18, who came from Bryansk to welcome Limonov in Moscow.
"We don't have any contacts in big politics, but the best times are still ahead, especially with the release of Eduard Veniaminovich, who only became stronger in prison," he said.
But I've missed his articles in The eXile.