THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
Vol. 4, No. 15(96), 22 April 2010
Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland
I NEWS: 1 - 15 April 2010
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
III PRIMARY SOURCES
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I NEWS: 1 - 15 April 2010
Medvedev calls on media to be careful about terminology used in reporting on terrorist attacks
Interfax-Religion, April 2, 2010
Moscow, April 2, Interfax - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on the mass media to pay attention to terminology when reporting on terrorist attacks.
During a meeting between the president and the leaders of the State Duma factions in the Kremlin on Friday, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said he believes journalists are not using the word "shahid" correctly.
Medvedev said, in response, "I have been to the Caucasus, and our colleagues there are offended by this terminology, saying it's unacceptable for universal reasons and the ideas of Islam."
Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said: "Our people don't know the Muslim world. A shahid is a hero in Islam." Zhirinovsky said that terrorists who carry out explosions in the metro cannot be called that word.
"We need to pay attention to that, this terminology is indeed wrong," Medvedev said.
March 2010. Monthly Summary
SOVA Center, April 2, 2010
In March, 2010, at least 15 people, including 3 fatalities, became victims of racist and neo-Nazi attacks. (In March, 2009, 3 people were dead and at least 30 injured.)
Incidents of violence were recorded in Moscow (2 dead, 6 injured), St. Petersburg (2 injured), Volgograd (no less than 3 injured), Yaroslavl (1 dead), and Murmansk (1 injured).
In all, from the beginning of the year, hate attacks have taken place in 20 of Russian regions. As before, three of them are keeping the lead, namely, Moscow (6 dead, 18 injured), St. Petersburg (16 injured), and Nizhny Novgorod (1 dead, 6 injured).
In March, 2010, at least 5 guilty verdicts (in Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, and Ulyanovsk) were issued for violent hate crimes. 26 people were convicted; 3 of them received suspended sentences. In all from the beginning of the year, at least 7 guilty verdicts have been issued for such crimes; 39 people were convicted; 12 of them received suspended sentences without any supplementary sanctions.
Only one sentence was passed in March, 2010, for xenophobic propaganda. A graffitist was convicted in Amur Oblast under article 280.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was enlarged on March 1, 15, and 29. It grew from 493 to 574 items. The majority of the banned materials belong to Jehovah's Witnesses against which the campaign of persecution is in progress.
After a long pause (since August, 2009), the Federal List of Extremist Organizations was updated. Two more items were included, namely, the Jehovah's Witnesses community of Taganrog and the City Public Patriotic Organization `Russian National Unity' (Russkoe natsional'noe edinstvo) of Ryazan. Thus, the list contains 11 organizations at the moment.
We should also note that activity of Dmitry Dyomushkin's Slavic Union (Slavyansky soyuz) was suspended by the prosecutor's office which brought an action against the organization alleging it to be extremist.
Another significant sentence passed in the end of March is the ban of Adolf Hitler's `Mein Kampf'. We cannot rate this decision as positive for all Hitler's works are a priori banned in Russia by the Federal Law on Combating Extremist Activity. So there is no need in extra court decisions overfilling the Federal List of Extremist Materials extremely long and ineffective as it is.
93% of Russians will celebrate Easter, each fifth to attend Divine Service
Interfax-Religion, April 4, 2010
Moscow, April 4, Interfax - Overwhelming majority of Russians are going to celebrate the main Christian feast - the Bright Resurrection of Christ on April 4, polls conducted all over Russia prove.
Russians will cook traditional Easter cakes, paint eggs, make Easter curd pudding(about 80%), and on Sunday they are going to visit cemeteries (40%) and pray at the Divine Liturgy (20%), sociologists from the Romir told Interfax.
According to information from the Levada Center, only 7% of Russians said that they will not celebrate Easter at all.
Moscow's Luzhkov insists on Stalin images in festive decorations
RIA Novosti, April 7, 2010
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said still intends to decorate the capital with Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's portraits during the celebrations of victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two despite a clear signal from Kremlin, Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday.
"When they say the Moscow mayor wants to decorate the entire city with Stalin's portraits - this is a lie. In fact, from the 2,000 different types of decoration, only ten will depict Stalin and other marshals of [WWII] Victory. Two thousand [others] and ten [of Stalin]. This is how it will be," the paper quoted Luzhkov as saying.
The mayor's plans to set up billboards commemorating Stalin's role in WWII in the run-up to this year's 65th Victory Day Parade on May 9 were announced in February and provoked strong controversy in Russian society.
Human rights activists protested against the decision, saying they would stage demonstrations if the posters were put up.
In a clear bid to ease tensions over Stalin's images, a source in the organizing committee of the celebrations, led by President Dmitry Medvedev, has said there would be no such decorations in Moscow on Victory Day, marked as one of the biggest national holidays. Luzhkov's latest statement will surely provoke new heated debates.
Defending his decision, Luzhkov said though he was not a Stalin apologist, the billboards reflected "objective history."
Stalin has not been present in Moscow's Victory Day decorations since the Soviet era, but his name still provokes strong arguments in Russia.
Between the 1930s and 1950s millions of people were executed on false charges of espionage, sabotage and anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in labor camps.
According to official statistics, 52 million people were convicted on political charges during Stalin's regime and 6 million were expelled from cities without proper trials.
However, many people believe it was Stalin's leadership that pulled the Soviet Union through its darkest hour and freed Europe from the tyranny of Nazism.
RF Gives Clear Assessment To Totalitarian Regime Misdeeds
Itar-Tass, April 7, 2010
KATYN, Smolensk region, April 7 (Itar-Tass) - Russia gave a clear assessment to the misdeeds of the totalitarian regime, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
Visiting the Katyn memorial jointly with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk on Wednesday, Putin said, "A clear assessment was given to the misdeeds of the totalitarian regime in Russia and it will not be changed."
"This crime cannot be justified and our country gave a clear political, legal and moral assessment to the misdeeds of the totalitarian regime," the Russian prime minister said. "This assessment cannot be revised," he added.
Putin stressed: "As no other countries Russia and Poland had to survive all tragedies of the 20th century and pay the exorbitant price for the two world wars, fratricidal conflicts, cruelty and inhumanity of totalitarianism." "Our people withstood the hardships of the civil war and forcible collectivisation. I also want to mention the sites of mass executions of Soviet citizens, the Butovo firing range near Moscow, the Sekir Hill on Solovki, the firing ditches near Magadan and Vorkuta, and nameless graves in Norilsk and the Belomor Canal," he said.
"Repressions smashed down people irrespective nationalities, confession and religion. Such classes as Cossacks and the clergy, ordinary peasants, professors and officers, teachers and workers fell victims of repressions. The logic was one - to stir fear, to inspire malign desires, to pit people against people and make them be dependent on nod," Putin pointed out.
Putin also described the attempts to blame the Russian people for the executions in Katyn as lies. "We can't change it, but we can preserve, restore the truth and historic justice," he stressed.
Putin said Russian and Polish historians, representatives of the public and of the clergy have assumed this hard, painstaking work. "Over decades cynical lies were used to cover up the truth about the Katyn executions but it is a lie too to blame these crimes on the Russian people," Putin said.
Putin says Katyn massacre may have been Stalin's revenge for Red Army deaths
RIA-Novosti, April 7, 2010
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said that the 1940 Katyn massacre, in which the Soviet authorities secretly killed thousands of Polish officers in a Russian forest, was then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's revenge for the deaths of Red Army soldiers in Polish captivity 20 years earlier.
Putin's remarks, which he made in the town of Smolensk in western Russia on 7 April, were reported by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
"I am ashamed that I was not aware that Stalin personally led the military operation in the Soviet-Polish war, the Soviet-Polish conflict, of 1920 (as received; the conflict was between Poland and Russia; the Soviet Union was established in 1922). I was not even aware of that. Then, as is known, the Red Army suffered a defeat. Quite a few Red Army soldiers were taken prisoner. According to the latest information, 32,000 died in Polish captivity from starvation and disease..."
"I suppose - I repeat that this is my personal opinion - that Stalin felt directly responsible for this tragedy and then carried out this execution out of revenge," Putin said at a joint news conference with the visiting Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, following the official ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
Putin added that the Soviet leadership of the day, specifically NKVD police chief Lavrentiy Beriya, was responsible for the massacre, RIA Novosti said in a later report. Apparently in answer to the question of who was to blame for the massacre, Putin was reported as saying:
"They are the leaders of the then security service and the NKVD, Beriya, the political leadership. But do you think I can name the actual perpetrators? We have handed this over to the Polish side - I have already spoken about that - one million sheets of documentation. Four million (pages) have been released. I think that specialists, historians, should and can evaluate each of them. I do not think that there are even any unknown names remaining."
Corporate-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported Putin as saying at the news conference that Russia had nothing to hide about Katyn.
"In our case, there is nothing that would hide the truth about what happened and how it happened. The only thing that requires additional examination is issues of a purely humanitarian nature. That is in order not to deceive (Russian: postavit v lozhnoye polozheniye) the relatives, the descendants of people in one way or another linked to that tragedy," Putin said, as reported by Interfax. According to a separate Interfax report, he also said that the ceremonies in Smolensk should put an end to "speculation" over the Katyn massacre.
"I very much hope that today's events will not allow anyone to engage in speculation and will create the opportunity for fruitful, genuinely mutually beneficial, honest and promising cooperation," Putin said.
Remembering Katyn, 70 years later
BBC News, April 7, 2010
The Polish prime minister has attended a ceremony in Russia marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre of Poles by Soviet forces. It is an unprecedented step, and one which could herald a new era in strained relations between Poland and Russia, says the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw.
The families of the victims of the Katyn massacre have endured decades of lies, discrimination and frustration.
For 50 years, the Soviet Union blamed the murder of more than 20,000 Polish officers on the Nazis, who uncovered one of the mass graves in the forest of Katyn, near the city of Smolensk, in 1943.
It was only in 1990 that Mikhail Gorbachev admitted Soviet responsibility.
Jolanta Klimowicz-Osmanczyk was nine when her father, Olgierd, was captured.
During the war, the family received no news of his whereabouts and afterwards the newly-installed communist government forbade any discussion of the issue.
"I lost my father, a person whom I loved very much, deeply. I am feeling even now, and maybe even deeper, the lack of a father in the whole of my life," Mrs Klimowicz-Osmanczyk told the BBC.
"You know, the most painful thing was that it was impossible to search and to talk about the case because it was absolutely out of the question.
"You know, the problem just didn't exist," she added.
Even Poland's wartime allies, Britain and the US, had not questioned the official Soviet version for fear of angering the USSR, which had become an ally in the fight against Germany.
Back in September 1939, however, at the outbreak of war, Stalin's intentions were very different - the invasion and annexation of eastern Poland, following a secret deal with Germany to carve up the country.
Approximately 230,000 Polish soldiers were taken prisoner after the Soviet invasion.
In October, Moscow decided to place and interrogate politically active and patriotic prisoners in camps run by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.
The prisoners were led to believe they would be released but the interrogations were really a way to determine who would die.
Among them were generals, college professors, teachers, diplomats, civil servants, engineers, writers and artists, politicians; members of the Polish elite.
Many had taken part in Poland's military defeat of the Red Army in 1920, a campaign Stalin took part in.
In March 1940, the central committee of the Communist party accepted a proposal to kill those prisoners it classified as enemies of the state.
"Current POWs are trying to continue their counter revolutionary and anti-Soviet activities. All are awaiting their freedom to actively participate in a fight against the Soviet government," the central committee's top secret resolution of 5 March reads.
Stalin then gave the order to murder the prisoners.
They were shot in the back of the head, their bodies dumped in mass graves in Katyn and at other sites.
The names of 21,857 Polish citizens are listed among the victims on Soviet documents.
No-one is sure why Stalin ordered the killing of the prisoners rather than sending them to the Gulag.
One theory is that Stalin wanted to cripple the military of its western neighbour should Poland manage to re-emerge as a state after the war.
Despite the Soviet admission in 1990, the issue has acted like an open sore on Polish-Russian relations since then.
Sense of hurt
Moscow has refused to open its archives to Warsaw and Russian commentators still sometimes peddle the lie about German responsibility.
Until now, Russia has not commemorated the massacre, so Vladimir Putin's invitation to his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, to jointly mark this year's 70th anniversary is significant.
"In Polish-Russian relations, definitely, it is unprecedented," former Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld told the BBC.
Mr Rotfeld co-chairs the Polish-Russian commission on difficult issues and he has been involved in paving the way for the diplomatic breakthrough.
"The process was initiated by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Both of them did not have enough courage to invite the Polish president or the Polish prime minister to come to Katyn and I have to say that what Vladimir Putin has done, it is a kind of signal that something is changing," Mr Rotfeld said.
That change first appeared in a letter Mr Putin addressed to Poles ahead of his appearance at ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in Gdansk last September.
In it Mr Putin acknowledged Poles' sense of hurt over Katyn, adding the two countries should jointly remember the crime.
This year's unprecedented joint ceremony may be a step towards healing the wound caused by Katyn.
Russia and Poland remember Katyn
BBC News, April 7, 2010
The Russian and Polish prime ministers have together marked the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish troops, in an unprecedented move.
Russia's Vladimir Putin had invited Poland's Donald Tusk to the ceremony commemorating the massacre.
The Soviet secret police was responsible, but for half a century the Soviet Union blamed it on the Nazis.
Both leaders spoke of reconciliation at Wednesday's ceremony, though their statements appeared qualified.
"A lie was told for decades, but we cannot blame the Russian people for it," said Mr Putin, who stopped short of apologising for the killings.
"Inhuman totalitarianism" had been to blame for the "martyred death of both Soviet citizens and Polish officers," he said, in comments reported by AFP news agency.
'Word of truth'
Mr Tusk said the two countries "still had a way to go on the road to reconciliation".
"A word of truth can mobilise two peoples looking for the road to reconciliation," he said.
"Are we capable of transforming a lie into reconciliation? We must believe we can."
The April 1940 killings were carried out by the NKVD Soviet secret police on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
They shot members of the Polish elite - officers, politicians and artists - in the back of the head and dumped their bodies in mass graves.
It was only in 1990 that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev admitted the USSR was responsible.
The issue has acted like an open sore on Polish-Russian relations, the BBC's Adam Easton reports from the Polish capital, Warsaw.
Russia has refused to open its archives to Warsaw and Russian commentators sometimes still peddle the lie about German guilt, he says.
But the joint ceremony is seen as representing a recent improvement in relations.
"However hard it may be, we must try to ... come to terms with a common historical truth and realise that we cannot go on living in the past alone," said Mr Putin.
The killings took place at various sites, but the western Russian forest of Katyn has become their chief symbol.
Russia builds museum park complex in Holy Land
Interfax-Religion, April 8, 2010
Jericho, April 8, Interfax Russia starts building museum park complex in Jericho land lot which was earlier returned to the Russian government by authorities of the Palestinian National Authority.
"Russian museum in Jericho proves that Russia returns to the Holy Land after a long period of absence and contributes into cultural and spiritual life of people living there and numerous tourists from all over the world who come to visit these places," head of the Presidential Property Management Department of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kozhin said on Thursday at the festival ceremony of laying the foundation stone to future building of the complex with PNA participating.
Kozhin believes this project will give more dynamics to Jericho's further development as the future museum will display a fig-tree, which is a living witness to the life of Christ, and other historical, scientific and cultural values located in the territory of the complex, and thus attract greater interest of many pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.
In 1995, the PNA head Yasser Arafat adopted a degree to transfer a land lot as a property to Russia. In 2008, in connection with changes in Palestinian legislation, the lot was reregistered to the Russian government, but it fulfils all land requirements acting in Palestine.
SELF-DESCRIBED `PATRIOT' ATTACKS ALEXEYEVA, 82
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 13, April 9, 2010
On March 31, a man as yet unidentified by name hit with a stick the frail doyenne of Russia's human rights community Lyudmila Alexeyeva, 82. According to Reuters, the attacker shouted at Alexeyeva, "You're still alive? Bitch!" before her colleagues wrestled him to the ground. The incident took place at a Moscow metro station where she laid flowers at one of the two sites of a suicide attack that had reportedly claimed 40 lives two days earlier. She suffered a light concussion but has since recovered at her home. She was accompanied by Boris Nemtsov, Oleg Orlov, and other human rights activists who stopped the attacker and handed him over to police. News reports identified the attacker as a 2007 graduate of the Slavic Orthodoxy Academy. He was heard repeating several times that he is a "Russian patriot" and a "religious person."
Video footage captured the incident. The following day Moscow police refused to say whether the man they detained would face charges for striking the director of the Moscow Helsinki Group, "The Moscow Times" reported. Police officers told the news media that the attacker was drunkan excuse dismissed by Alexeyeva and her colleagues.
As reported in this newsletter, on March 23 at a Moscow conference organized by the European Union, Alexeyeva was one of the human rights activists who described their work as increasingly life-threatening and went as far as appealing for Western protection. "Our people are being killed and injured and none of us knows who will be next," Alexeyeva told the conference. She said the most effective outside help was to give visas and political asylum to those whose safety was at risk. "We very much ask for such a mechanism to be set up," she said. Alexeyeva recalled last year's killings of a number of activists, including lawyer Stanislav Markelov, "Novaya Gazeta" journalist Anastasia Baburova, and Ingush opposition leader Maksharip Aushev.
A MAN WHO HATES CHRISTIANS TO BE TRIED FOR BOMBING A CHURCH
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 13, April 9, 2010
A man, 28, who dislikes Christians will soon go on trial on charges of bombing a Russian Orthodox church in Vladimir, a city 200 kilometers east of Moscow, "The Moscow Times" quoted prosecutors on April 7. No one was injured when in December the homemade bomb exploded in the church, situated on the grounds of Vladimir State University. The church was slightly damaged. Vladimir native Sergei Khlupin has been charged with tossing the bomb into a church window because of his "ideological, ethnic, and religious hatred and hostility to social groups of Jewish nationality and Orthodox Christians," the Investigative Committee said in a statement carried by Interfax.
In August, Khlupin also threatened to plant a bomb in a Vladimir concert hall where gay pop singer Boris Moiseyev was scheduled to perform, investigators said.
Khlupin has been charged with hooliganism, the illegal production of explosives and inciting hatred. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
RULING PARTY DRAFTS BILL TO CRIMINALIZE APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF NAZI CRIMES
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 13, April 9, 2010
United Russia lawmakers, including State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, have drafted a bill imposing penalties for approving or denying Nazi-era crimes, the party said in a statement on March 30, as reported by "The Moscow Times." The bill, ready for submission to the Duma, envisages fines and prison time for the "approval or denial of Nazi crimes as established by the Nuremberg tribunal" after World War II, the statement said. Fines would range from 300,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($10,200 to $17,000) or up to five years of imprisonment.
Patriarch Kirill becomes honorary professor of Missile Forces Academy
Interfax-Religion, April 9, 2010
Moscow, April 9, Interfax Scientific Council of the Strategic Missile Forces Academy granted Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia a title of honorary professor.
The ceremony of handing over the certificate took place in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, Kommersant daily writes on its website on Friday.
According to the Academy head Lieutenant General Vladimir Zakharov, the Patriarch was given the title of honorary professor "for his work on reviving the institute of chaplains and spiritual bases of military education."
The Academy has been closely cooperating with the Russian Church since 1990s. In 1996, branch of Orthodox culture was opened there for cadets to get additional education.
Leading Moscow judge gunned down
BBC News, April 12, 2010
A leading Russian federal judge has been shot dead as he was leaving his apartment building in central Moscow, court officials have said.
Eduard Chuvashov was leaving for work on Monday morning when he was shot by an unknown gunman who fled the scene.
He had presided over several cases involving nationalist organisations and had received death threats.
In February, he sentenced nine members of a neo-Nazi skinhead group called the White Wolves to up to 23 years in jail.
The group was behind a series of racist murders.
He also worked on cases involving Russian officials accused of corruption and embezzlement.
"An unidentified person shot Mr Chuvashov in the entrance to an apartment block and then fled," a police source was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying, adding that investigators were at the scene.
There were reports that CCTV cameras recorded the shooting, by a man who appeared to be in his 20s.
The judge is reported to have died instantly after being hit in the head and chest.
Just last week Mr Chuvashov had convicted the teenage leader of the most notorious skinhead gang in Russia for the murder of three more immigrants, says the BBC's Richard Galpin in Moscow.
The teenager was already serving a long sentence for killing 20 people.
There are reports that despite receiving death threats, Mr Chuvashov had refused to have bodyguards.
Orthodox missionaries start working with Moscow Chinese
Interfax-Religion, April 13, 2010
Moscow, April 13, Interfax - Prophet Daniel Orthodox missionary movement carried out a guided tour to the Holy Trinity - St. Sergius Laura for Chinese living in Moscow.
"We believe the Lord has brought foreign guests to our city not only to work or to study here, but to learn more about Orthodoxy," the movement leader, renowned theologian Yury Maximov told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
"Thus, we searched for possible ways to carry out missionary work among foreigners living in Russia and finally we decided that they can get acquainted with Orthodoxy in trips to our monasteries with guided tours in their native language," the interviewee of the agency further said.
The initiative was once approved by the movement's founder Fr. Daniel Sysoyev who was shot dead by unidentified criminals in St. Thomas Church in south Moscow late on November 19, 2009.
"We were preparing it for almost a year. It's a great pleasure that the initiative was welcomed by Chinese. Though we first thought to attract a small group of six people, we finally have got a group of fourteen Chinese students," Maximov noted.
According to Maximov, Chinese students showed such a "deep and lively interest in Orthodox shrines that we hope many of them will continue studying Orthodoxy in frames of Chinese Orthodox lectures, which will be soon organized by Prophet Daniel missionary movement."
Medvedev confesses his life changed after he was baptized
Interfax-Religion, April 13, 2010
Moscow, April 13, Interfax Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says his life has changed after he adopted Orthodoxy.
"I believe it's (baptism IF) good for me, because afterwards my life changed. You don't really talk aloud about something like that because the religious feelings should be somewhere deep inside of you. If someone is displaying it, it's not really honest. It's more PR for yourself," head of the Russian state told ABC American TV Channel.
Answering why he walked into the church, Medvedev said, "I did feel that I needed it. I wanted to do it."
According to him, people go to church, "because they feel a need, except if they're sightseeing."
"So at 23 I felt I needed it," the President said.
Russian Pres Says No Revival Of Stalinism In Russian Society
Itar-Tass, April 14, 2010
WASHINGTON, April 14 (Itar-Tass) - There is no revival of Stalinism in Russian society, President Dmitry Medvedev said here Tuesday as he visited the Washington studios of the Russia Today TV channel.
"One can hear the voices claiming that Stalinism is witnessing renaissance in Russia but I think that's an overexaggeration," he said in an interview with the channel's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonian.
"There's no change in the way society assesses that period of history, and that's why such claims are but overstatements," Medvedev said.
"People of a different type are holding the helm of power in Russia today and the current values and notions about the state differ largely."
Medvedev is certain that Stalin's own and his closest associates' activity will always remain a subject of disputes because "personalities of this type will always cause a variety of reactions."
"To a far bigger degree, this is a question of personal perceptions," Medvedev said. "Signs and notions may change of course but this doesn't mean that what has been black will become white and vice versa."
He mentioned the events in Katyn, among other things.
"If you speak about Stalin and the the closest associates around him, they committed a crime against their own nation and, in a certain sense, against history," Medvedev said.
He also recalled the latest tragic events related to Katyn -- the crash of a jet carrying Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, his spouse Maria, and about 90 other top government officials and members of the Seim, the national parliament, near Russia's western city of Smolensk last summer.
"In a certain sence, it's a trial test for the country and for society, as well as for the entire system of international relations," he said.
Medvedev used this opportunity once again to express his whole-hearted condolences to the whole Polish nation in connection with the tragety that took away 96 human lives.
Neo-Nazis Suspected in Killing of Moscow Judge
UCSJ, April 14, 2010
Federal judge Eduard Chuvashov was shot dead in Moscow on April 12 in his apartment building, according to an April 13, 2010 report by the Regnum news agency. Judge Chuvashov presided over the trial of Russia's deadliest neo-Nazi gangs, sentencing several defendants to life in prison on charges of dozens of murders. As a result, neo-Nazis posted constant death threats against him on their web sites. Police are searching for a suspect in the slaying of the 47 year old judge.
In recent years, as police in Russia have cracked down on neo-Nazis with increasing frequency, some have become radicalized and have bombed police stations and targeted law enforcement officers for violent retaliation.
Finnish prosecutor demands punishment for a pastor who has criticized an anti-Russian organization
Interfax-Religion, April 14, 2010
Helsinki, April 14, Interfax - Prosecutor of Mikkeli, a Finnish city, Ari Liikanen demanded to punish Juha Molari, Lutheran pastor, for "behavior unbecoming to a priest".
"Unbecoming behavior involved Molari's criticism expressed in his speeches and blog aimed at the anti-Russian organization Pro Karelia which demands to review the postwar borders and return the territory of Karelia to Finland," told the Chairman of the Antifascist Committee of Finland, associate professor of Helsinki University Johan Backman to Interfax on Wednesday.
According to him, Juha Molari also vigorously opposed the public show of an "openly anti-Russian film Soviet Stori organized by Pro Karelia."
Backman emphasized that the "activity of Pro Karelia contradicts the official position of Finland, and Molari had a full right to criticize it."
Despite this, Mikkeli's prosecutor demanded to issue a written warning to the priest.
Last week, it was reported the Finnish police has instituted criminal proceedings upon application of Juha Molari against Mikael Sturshe, sponsor and administrator of Kavkaz-Center, a website of Chechen militants.
Russian democracy should correspond to Russian traditions, universal values Medvedev
RIA Novosti, April 15, 2010
MOSOCW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian democracy should correspond to Russian traditions, without going against universal values, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian national daily Izvestia on Wednesday.
"We should really have a modern democracy. A democracy, which corresponds to Russian traditions, but does not create exclusive values that do not conform to universal values," Medvedev told Izvestia's correspondent Melor Sturua, described by the New York Times as "the most perceptive of the former Soviet pundits."
Medvedev emphasized Russia "should have a modern economic system - efficient, strong and based on high technologies."
"We should develop a modern political system taking into account Russian traditions. This is rather difficult. Everything is quite understandable in economics, I believe. Economics is not an ideological issue. If the economy is efficient, it's efficient everywhere," Russian President said.
Medvedev left Russia on Monday on a five-day visit to North and South America to attend two international summits and discuss bilateral ties with Argentina.
Medvedev is to travel to Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday to participate in a BRIC summit, bringing together leaders from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
Expert opinion of Moscow bureau for human rights concerning the complex training course "Fundamentals of religious cultures and secular ethics"
MBHR, April 2010
From April 1 of this year in 19 regions of Russia the experiment started on introduction of a new subject in the schools "Spiritual-moral training" (SMT). Within this subject the training course is suggested for studying in 4th and 5th forms consisting of six principal "Content modules":
Fundamentals of Orthodox culture
1. Fundamentals of Islamic culture
2. Fundamentals of Buddhist culture
3. Fundamentals of Judaic culture
4. Fundamentals of world religious cultures
5. Fundamentals of secular ethics.
Separate tutorial is devoted to each of these modules published by "Education" publishing house, with mass edition and being colorfully illustrated. Tutorials "Book for teacher" and "Book for parents" explaining the meaning of the suggested course in historical and content concern, stand by themselves.
Initiators of introduction of the new course assure us that it is of a culturological character. But attentive review of the four first tutorials shows that this is far from being the culturology. Not any "religious culture" but one of four specific religions is introduced for teaching at school. The tutorials are of distinct missionary character, and their apologists do not want to acknowledge this. Let's recollect the RF Constitution: "Russian Federation is the secular state. No religion can be established as a state or compulsory one" (chapter 1, clause 14). Meanwhile SMT is introduced as a "compulsory (!) optional course".
Each of the tutorials provides its definition of culture and religion but it is nowhere determined what is "religious culture". Any culture is implanted in the religion. This is acknowledged by everyone except anonymous authors of "Fundamentals of secular ethics". So it would be better to speak not about "religious culture" but about cultural tradition being peculiar to any religion and specific country.
The tutorials devoted to description of fundamentals of Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism provide a lot of useful and interesting information. Its studying would be quite appropriate in the schools under churches, mosques, datsans and synagogues (like this happens in fact). But teaching of fundamentals of one of four religions in a secular school introducing division of children into separate groups basing upon religious indication would not promote strengthening of inter-religious and interethnic unity.
The optimal variant of familiarization of children with various religious doctrines would be the studying of fundamentals of world religions by them. The best and most objective tutorial among the suggested ones "Fundamentals of world religious cultures" - corresponds to this. It introduces the history of conception of the world religions, their basic principles, their sacred books and cultural traditions. This would no doubt enable the training of tolerance of children and broadening of their cultural horizon. As for "Fundamentals of secular ethics", this tutorial being full of errors of facts and obvious absurdities (interpretation of shame, preference of "rational egoism" to altruism, assertion that "moral norms (rules) are not written down anywhere" etc) is just inadmissible for studying as it is now.
The "Book for teachers" also contains much useful information about the world religions, religion and society, religious situation in Russia. This is mostly reference material of good quality. Glossaries added to various sections are especially informative. But the book also contains gross errors: statement that "religion is an ideology" (p. 24), assertion (in the spirit of Soviet atheism) that specificity of religion is that it mystifies the earthly roots of private, historically changeable interests (p. 25) or accusation formulated in the same atheistic spirit: "Some religions use the rituals for consolidation of religious ideas in the consciousness and strengthening of belief in omnipotent forces" (p. 28). And what religions treat the rituals in a different way? Apparently the author considers the ritual practice of all the religions criminal. At page 17 academician Pavlov is named a "committed believer". Meanwhile Pavlov called himself openly a nonbeliever. But under the Soviet power he protected the right of believers to confess the Christianity. Other "blunders" should be also noted. Assertion that Protestant ethics "proved to be useless
in due course" (p. 16) being insulting for one of Christian confessions. Archaically traditional (though with reservations) contraposition of science and religion (p. 18). Unfortunately one can give many examples of this kind. Should such primitive ideas not corresponding to the reality be imposed on the teachers?
The experiment on introduction of "spiritual-moral training" i.e. studying of one of religions into the school program covers 4th and 5th forms yet and is intended for two years. And what will happen later? The Russian academy of education plans to extend it upon all the schoolchildren from 1st to 11th forms. These plans should be treated with caution not just because the corresponding teaching personnel lacks in our schools but also because the experimenters interfere in private life of people without their consent to this. Most likely this would not at all lead to the results intended by some religious enthusiasts.
Fascism: a known enemy or a new threat?
By A. Magun
Institute for Global Research and Social Movements, April 2010
International conference `Fascism: a known enemy or a new threat?' was held in Moscow 9-10 February organized by the working group `Chto delat?' (What is to be done?) and the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSM) supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
The conference was aimed at the reflection over modern close to fascism phenomena in Russia and in the rest of the world as well as over the usage and definition of the term `fascism'.
The rise of neofascist, nationalistic and religious fundamentalists' tendencies is indeed more and more frequently mentioned lately. More frequent acts of violence toward migrants, youth militarized movements, radical right drift of the part of the intellectual environment (popularity of the conservative and fascist ideologists, irrationalism, aestheticization of violence, popularity of conspirology and mysticism) all these facts are the evidence of such tendencies.
Meanwhile, Russian official power plays ambiguous propagandistic games indirectly stimulating nationalistic and imperial rhetoric. At the same time it tries to represent itself as the only defender from the fascist threat, thus, legitimizing its authoritarian course and claiming as `fascist' any form of protest and disobedience (similar processes occur also in international political context when the notion of fascism is applied to Milosevic and Ben Laden). Political populism of the opposition and ambiguous position of the power both lead to the devaluation and dissolution of the terms `fascism' and `antifascism'.
Although, the situation in other world countries is not always as critical as Russian one, but it's also characterized there by the rise of radical right movements' popularity. Such global political trend is undoubtedly connected with the crisis of the left ideology and with the advance of neoliberalism as well as with the intensification of politico-economic inequality between the centre and periphery (with ideological and moral hegemony of the `centre' the West).
Thus, it is very important in such situation to define the essence of the term `fascism' in order to evade its usage as a label and clearly to realize the essence of such phenomena as aestheticized authoritarianism and ethnical violence that we have to face.
The conference was held with the participation of sociologists, politologists and philosophers from Russia, Germany, Austria and India:
Wolfgang Wipperman (Germany), Alexander Galkin (Russia, Moscow), Sarozh Giri (India), German Dvorak (Austria), Boris Kagarlitsky (Russia, Moscow), Christina Kaindl (Germany), Illia Kukulin (Russia, Moscow), Artiom Magun (Russia, St. Petersburg), Vladimir Malakhov (Russia, Moscow), Mihail Neizhmakov (Russia Moscow), Anna Ochkina (Russia, Penza), Alexei Penzin (Russia, Moscow), Pavel Studnikov (Russia, Moscow), Oxana Timofeyeva (Russia, Moscow), Andreas Umland (Germany), Igor Chubarov (Russia, Moscow), Keti Chukhrov (Russia, Moscow).
The participants tried to answer the following questions:
- Do we face a new fascism or a phenomenon of another kind?
- What are the roots of modern fascism?
- What are the reasons of popularity of the radical right ideology in Russia and other countries?
- What kind of the left strategy is possible in the struggle against fascism?
As to the issue concerning the rightfulness of calling modern right movements `fascist', the majority of participants agreed that modern right-wing movements are close to fascism as to the indirect historical continuity as well as by analogy, despite the fact that modern situation is quite different from that of 20-30-s. Hot discussion began rather on the next question: whether modern radical rights are fascists in the strict sense of the notion (W. Wipperman, A. Umland) or just only `fascizoid' (V.Malakhov). Wipperman proposed in his report a triple scheme where classic fascism is only one element of three. The scheme includes also `fundamentalism' and `bonapartism'. According to his opinion the last two forms of regimes can drift toward fascism as it happens in case of Iran. A.Umland guided by theory of fascism as a palingenetic nationalism (R. Griffin) defined many Russian parties and ideologies (including LDPR) as fascist. Such evaluations provoked hot debates. V. Malakhov and B. Kagarlitsky pointed at relatively liberal civic society in Iran. Then A.Umland paid attention to the fact that parties like LDPR, unlike fascist ones, do not rely upon social mobilization while being rather virtual projects of polittechnology. I. Chubarov appealed for maximum generalization of the term `fascism' relying, however, on another point of view. He considers fascism as any authoritarian sadistic violence, though Nazism, with its aesthetic paraphernalia and monstrous crimes against Jews, has set a kind of screen, thus, making an illusion of being a unique historical phenomenon essentially connected with anti-Semitism. A.Magun in his speeches (supported by A. Chubarov and V. Malakhov) pointed at structural character of `fascism' that is not an essential quality of any movement or regime but is being formed `between' hegemon stigmatizing a movement as `fascist' and this movement that could in response, `to spite' form its program as a reflected denial of hegemonous ideology (mostly liberalism). In the process of subsequent discussion some clashes occurred confirming the importance of the problem. A.Umland claimed not only about belonging of the large direction in modern philosophy (e.g. Frankfurt school) to the fascist forerunners but also used to stress that Russian colleagues (if they have no access to the modern proper literature) should conduct empiric researches. A.Magun and I.Chubarov noticed in their turn that such arrogant position is typical for some liberal ideologists and it just constitute fascism from the hegemon's side as well as potentially from the side of the subordinated subject that is stigmatized by hegemon.
The most part of reports was devoted to the explanation of the modern popularity of fascist or fascizoid movements in Russia and in the world as well.
In the report of Christine Kaindl the rise of the radical right parties in Europe was interpreted as a lower wing of neoliberalism that gained popularity as a result of the prosperity state bankruptcy and as a result of the left parties' inability to reorganize appropriately their programs as well. According to the Kaindl's theory, new fascism is generated out of the `gap of representation' as a result of the lefts' inability to articulate interests (not views) of their traditional electorate.
Boris Kagarlitsky supported the speaker and turned the attention on the inability of the modern lefts to work with social lower classes as well as on the lefts' inadequate ethnical policy (he characterized it as a `ultraliberalism' in ethnical issue plus social demands). Alexei Penzin paid attention at the role of aesthetics and creative art in modern post-fordist society based on `non-material labor'. According to his opinion, aestheticization of labor, while the labor remains non-free and alienated, can make modern workers a ready material for fascist `aestheticization of politics'.
Some other reasons, more general for capitalism, were proposed by A.Magun. In his report based on the theory of Reich and some interviews with the rights in Russia, he pointed at contradiction between value collectivism inherited from the USSR and individualism of market economy. Radical rights `resolve' this contradiction in the form of collective egotism that is nationalism.
As to the issue concerning the strategy of the struggle against fascism, most participants agreed that the only prospective strategy is the creation of mass, liberation left movement with clear slogans. In addition to the social and liberal slogans there should be also democratic slogans as well as slogans of the real (founded in labor and consumption) international solidarity.
I. Kukulin noticed that in aesthetic sphere an adequate answer to the radical right literature (popular in Russia) would be the art of writing that practically destroys identitary sense forms. He noticed some modern Russian writers as a pattern.
There were also some reports indirectly devoted to the abovementioned issues.
Some interesting reports (S.Giri, M.Neizhmakov, G.Dvorak) presented phenomenology of radical right movements over the world. Neizhmakov and Dvorak pointed that radical right movements in Europe and CIS are closely connected (despite their nationalism that one would think prevent from such cooperation). S.Giri told about a very peculiar Indian fascism that is as a matter of fact an institute of civic society formed by a symbiosis of the elites and the protest of lower classes.
Other reports (K.Chukhrov, O.Timofeyeva) had a philosophical character trying to define the notion of `fascism' proceeding from philosophical tradition. K.Chukhrov tried to find the essence of fascism in the appropriation of transgression while O.Timofeyeva derived it from the human domination over animals.
P.Studnikov gave a historical reference about the notion of `totalitarism' stating that this term could be `saved' by the addition of the factor of regime popularity in the masses. A.Umland and A.Magun both agreed that the report ignores an important discussion on this issue in modern political thought.
The conference as a whole was vivid and intensive. It allowed to make clear definition of the roots of fascism and to reveal fundamental disagreements in this issue.
Further development of the issue should touch upon tactics of antifascist struggle.
The reports will be soon published in the magazine `Left Policy' and newspaper `Chto Delat'. The spreading of considered, emancipatory oriented conception of fascism would be our slight contribution into the struggle against it.
Conclusion of Moscow bureau for human rights concerning the bill "Clause 354.1 of the CC of RF Rehabilitation of Nazism"
MBHR, April 2010
The bill prepared by a group of deputies of the RF State Duma and envisaging the penalty in amount of up to 300 thousand rubles or imprisonment up to three years "for approval of crimes of Nazism or for denial of crimes of Nazism against the world and mankind established by the verdict of Nurnberg tribunal" is especially up-to-date on the eve of celebration of 65th anniversary of the Great Victory and is capable to become a barrier for dissemination of ideas of racism and neo-Nazism in RF. It is well-known that it's these very ideas that are used for provocation of mass attacks, murders of representatives of ethnic minorities and even native population, and terrorist acts against peaceful civilians and employees of law-enforcement bodies. It is not a secret either that these misanthropic ideas are reflected in marginal mass media and in book produce. The deputies realize this threat and follow the route of legislative norms of some European countries.
At the same time, the fact itself of initiating of such official documents resumes the most various discussions concerning essentially the results of the World War II, numerous terminological and ideological disputes characteristic for both public opinion in Russia and global reconsideration of history of the 20th century in general, and this is raised to the state level.
1. The main question appearing immediately after familiarization with the bill text is: where did the notion "fascism" itself disappear to from the legal circulation? It is well-known that the leaders of fascist Italy and some other allies of Nazi Germany did not call themselves Nazis but this did not prevent Hitler from considering Mussolini his "ideological father" and actively using fascists in his criminal actions. It is generally known that the USSR and anti-Hitler coalition countries defeated the fascist "axis" in 1945, and that the actions of all the members of this axis were criminal though it were first of all leaders of the German Nazis who were tried in Nurnberg in 1946.
2. The term "misinterpretation" chosen for description of corpus delicti punished by the new CC clause is also lame. The misinterpretation may be deliberate or unintentional, essential or secondary. This issue is obviously not well thought-out by the authors.
3. The question also appears what text of the verdict of Nurnberg tribunal is official and subject to protection from "misinterpretation". It is known that coordinated trial materials were published in the USSR only in 1954 and are far from being the complete really existing materials of trial over Nazis. Some experts assert that we dispose 7 volumes of text in Russian though more than 40 volumes are available in English, German and French. It's impossible to protect the text that was not introduced into broad scientific and public circulation, by the CC.
4. For example, how is it supposed to interpret the exact publication of extracts from the speeches of lawyers and the accused themselves? Quoting of these speeches can be also announced the propaganda of Nazism or something of this kind. There are also some questions where there is no consent any more at present between anti-Hitler coalition countries that arranged the Nurnberg trial. The position of leaders of the USSR of that time fixed in the verdict does not always coincide either with the point of view of the authorities of today's Russian Federation. The classical example here is the execution of Polish officers in Katyn. Stalin and his assistants who passed this crime for doing of Nazis tried to include Katyn materials into the charge of Nurnberg trial.
5. Should not it be acknowledged that some "misinterpretations" of absolute triumph of idea of the World trial over fascism were a part of a compromise nature of the Verdict itself, and this caused some shortcomings of the verdict of Nurnberg tribunal, obvious shortcomings noted immediately in special opinion of the Soviet judge? It is known that the Soviet representative expressed his disagreement with acquittal of Schacht, Papen and Fritzsche, with application of lenient punishment to Hess, with refusal of tribunal to acknowledge the German high command, General Staff as well as imperial government the criminal organizations ("Nurnberg trial
". Vol. 7. P. 516-541).
6. It is important to consider the international experience of counteraction to fascism by legislative measures accumulated during decades in some democratic countries. Thus, clause 3 of item "e" of the Constitutional law of Austria about prohibition of NSDAP with amendments in edition of 1992 looks as follows: "Persons who appeal in public, instigate or try to persuade for the actions prohibited according to item 1 or 3, especially with intention of glorification or laudation of NSDAP objectives, its institutions or activities are subject, if this deals with no more grave criminally liable deeds, to imprisonment for the term from five to ten years. In case of special danger of personality of the executor or of participation in the crime, this is punished by imprisonment of up to 20 years". At the same time the punishment for dissemination of such ideas using publications, pictures, and mass media is also envisaged. Besides, the clause 3 item "g" states the following: "One who acts in the spirit of national-socialism otherwise than is noted in 3 "a" 3 "f" is punished, if the deed is not subject to stricter punishment, by imprisonment for the term from one to ten years. In case of special danger of the executor or of participation in the crime, this is punished by imprisonment of up to twenty years".
And according to item 3 "g", the persons are also subject to punishment that deny in public, grossly underestimate, praise or try to justify the crimes of national-socialists against humanity in publications, on the radio or another mass media.
The Western legislator used much more distinct, definite formulas than the term "misinterpretation" being obviously insufficient in the Russian bill and enabling inadmissibly broad interpretation.
These tasks are solved in similar way in legislation of Germany:
Clause 131 of the Criminal code of Federative Republic of Germany:
"Representation of violence, incitement of racial hatred.
1. The following is liable to punishment: attempts of publications inciting racial hatred or representing monstrous or other inhuman evil deeds against people, as drawings expressing laudation or underestimation of such evil deeds, or represent evil deeds and inhuman past in the form being insulting for human dignity. The persons who do the following with these publications:
b) exhibit in public, hang out, demonstrate or make otherwise accessible,
c) suggest, provide or make accessible for persons that did not reach 18 years old or
d) fabricate, send, supply, store, suggest, notify, advertize, import onto the territory subject to this law or with the purpose of using such materials or things fabricated from them or helping the others to use them with the purposes noted in items a) c),
are liable to punishment by imprisonment of up to 1 year or money penalty.
2. In similar way the persons disseminating the information described in paragraph 1 are liable to punishment.
3. Provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 are invalid if the dissemination of information serves the interpretation of historical events.
This important issue is also specially fixed in clause 86 of the CC of FRG:
Dissemination of propagandist materials of anti-constitutional organizations.
1. The one who, on the territory subject to this law, disseminates or fabricates for dissemination on this territory, stores or imports onto this territory the propagandist materials of
а) a party announced anti-constitutional by the Federal constitutional court, or party or association towards which it is ascertained indisputably that they become an ersatz-organization of such party,
b) an association that was indisputably prohibited as it stands against constitutional system or against the system or idea of mutual understanding of people, or towards which it was indisputably ascertained that it is an ersatz-organization of such prohibited association,
c) a government, association, institution outside the effect of this law that act in the interests of parties and associations noted in items a) and b), or
d) propagandist means (materials) intended by their content for continuation of execution of aspirations of the former national-socialist organization
- is liable to punishment by imprisonment of up to 3 years or money penalty".
2. The publications the content of which is directed against the free democratic system or idea of mutual understanding of people are considered to be propagandist materials in understanding of paragraph 1.
3. Paragraph 1 is not valid if propagandist materials or actions serve the purpose of education of citizens, art or science, researches or teaching, familiarization with events of the past or with history, or are undertaken with similar purposes.
It should be acknowledged that, when stipulating the use of materials in scientific, educational sphere, the Western legislator envisaged special protection from too broad interpretation during application of criminal repressive measures. This issue should be taken into account by Russian legislators.
The special problem is the enforcement of the new CC clause about inadmissibility of rehabilitation of Nazism. It is good if, among hundred Russian law-enforcers, public prosecutors, and judges, a single one can be found who can explain distinctly what are Nurnberg trial and Holocaust, what is the essence of Nazi ideology. Big preparatory, explanatory work would be required where it is impossible to do without specialists-historians, and representatives of the civil society. But there are also many people among the Russian scientists who are infected with ideas of intolerance, denial of the Holocaust. And what is the guarantee that the law-enforcers would not address to these very scientists?
It is quite obvious that this bill would not be efficient at the beginning and would be often applied with serious distortions.
Taking the above-stated into account, it is supposed to continue the work over the bill text with inclusion of representatives of scientific and human rights public and also the European experts into the working team.
Bandera is not a hero but he is not a criminal either?
MBHR Statement, April 2010
The decision of Donetsk district administrative court about acknowledgement of decree of the former president Yushchenko on awarding Stepan Bandera with the title of the hero of Ukraine illegal is a step in right direction. But this step was made shyly, basing upon purely bureaucratic trick it appears that "persons who died before 1991 can't be the citizens of Ukraine". Bandera can't claim to the hero status due to his Polish citizenship (it is well-known that Western Ukraine was divided between Poland, Slovakia and Romania before 1939).
There is an impression that Ukrainian justice is afraid to call a spade a spade. The problem is not in citizenship of Bandera and not in his death from the hands of an agent of Soviet special services in 1959. The problem is what he did in Ukraine during 1940s. For the sake of building of an independent Ukrainian state, he killed the Jews, Russians, and Poles everybody he considered to be the accomplices of a "Yid-commune". If the young Ukrainian state intends to build its sovereignty on such a basis ("zasada" ambush - in Ukrainian) then it risks to get into one of the most dangerous "ambushes" of the 20th century ambush of the state xenophobia, violence, ethnic swagger.
But why was not Yushchenko stopped or at least condemned by the Western countries? Why even the ambassador of the state of Israel in Moscow said something inarticulate about preservation of good relations with Kiev in response to direct question about Bandera? Why was it only Russian, Israeli, Polish public that "exploded"?
Ethnic-democratic way as it is understood by contemporary East-European politicians consists of many elements. Unfortunately these include also flinging mud at contemporary Russia and at everything that is connected with Russia, its culture and history on the territory of their states. This is an aggressive rejection of any other socialist contents ideologies, defamation of all the historical persons connected with these ideologies, especially "ultraleftists-aliens" that often "prove to be" Jews of Russians. This "ethnic-democratic" course is pursued more or less consistently in Poland, Hungary, Baltic countries, and Georgia. Byelorussian opposition also promises to follow the way of "ethnic democracy" in case it comes to power.
Politically the ethnic democratism puts the young independent states at once on the way of confrontation with Russia. It leads to frictions with ethnic minorities, enables the split in the society i.e. also the sliding down into authoritarian form of government (only a "strong leader" can lead the split society). Economically the ethnic democratism creates an absolutely useless, farfetched alternative for East-European countries "either Russia or Europe" while Russia is a necessary part of Europe, its important economic, cultural and political constituent.
Culturally ethnic democratism leads to backwoods, provinciality of education and the whole spiritual sphere of young independent states. Paradoxically the formula "ours is better" is directed right against the segment of Russian culture (books in Russian, textbooks, Russian theatres) but not against the cheap and pervasive influx of global mass culture. Becoming isolated from Russia and cursing its cultural heritage, the "ethnic democrats" eliminate one of alternatives for this mass culture.
Turkey worries Muslims at risk following Moscow bombings
By: Mahir Zeynalov
Today's Zaman, April 4, 2010
As Russia mourns its terror victims following Monday's bombing of the Moscow metro, conspiracy theories swiftly blamed Chechen Muslim separatists, and Muslims living in Russia in general, of orchestrating the reckless attacks.
Turkish and American experts, however, are increasingly alarmed about the growing amount of danger on the fault lines between Muslims and Russians.
Two female suicide bombers killed 39 people and injured 63 on packed Moscow metro trains on Monday. Suspected suicide bombers killed at least 12 people in Russia's North Caucasus on Wednesday, two days after the deadly attacks in Moscow that authorities linked to insurgents
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