German police search home of Russia sympathisers suspected of illegal gun possession

The Cologne police have searched the flat where pro-Russian activists Elena Kolbasnikova and Max Schlund live as part of the investigation into potential violations of the weapon possession law, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reports.

The activists are suspected of illegally possessing a Kalashnikov assault rifle. One or several weapons have been seized, however, the police are now checking whether they are real. Senior public prosecutor Ulf Willuhn believes that the arms can be fake.

A blog close to the pair claimed that Schlund was seriously injured during the search, but the prosecutor declined to comment on it.

The police raid took place the next day after a pro-Russia car rally organised by Kolbasnikova and Schlund. The police insist that the search was not prompted by the event.

This is not the first time that the Russia sympathisers have their residence searched. The police last raided their home in March 2023 as part of the investigation into donations to the Russian army.

In June, Kolbasnikova was fined €900 for justifying crimes. The investigation was launched after she gave an interview for Bild Live and particularly said that she justified Russia’s actions in Ukraine as well as stated that Russia “is not an aggressor, it’s trying to end the war in Ukraine”.

In early January, Reuters published an investigation into pro-Russian activists residing in Germany. The article focused on Kolbasnikova and Schlund, who regularly organise various rallies and events in Germany in support of Russia.

In late January, Reuters discovered that the activists had donated €500 to the Russian army to purchase radios, earphones, and cellphones in violation of the sanctions imposed on Russia. According to German laws, perpetrators can face up to five years in prison.

Kolbasnikova was born in Ukraine but currently resides in Germany. She came to fame in the pro-Russian circles of Germany a few years ago when she was fired because of “Russophobia”. Journalists could not verify the authenticity of this claim.

Max Schlund is a pseudonym used by Rostislav Teslyuk, a former Russian air force officer. He left Russia back in 2012. However, the Russian real estate register showed that he bought a flat in Moscow in early 2022.

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