New Political Party In Russia Campaigns Against Jews. "They must return what they have looted in Russia and publicly repent to the Russian people for the crimes that Jewish terrorists and extremists have committed," says leader
New Political Party Campaigns Against Jews
By Nabi Abdullaev
Staff Writer A group of nationalist politicians, military officials and
Cossack leaders have formed a new party that calls for a better deal for
ethnic Russians and explicitly blames Jews for stealing the country's
General Igor Rodionov, who served as defense minister under former
President Boris Yeltsin, was elected to head the new party.
The People's Patriotic Party of Russia was created at a meeting of 187
delegates from 70 regions held Saturday in the Moscow region town of
Delegates included 12 Duma deputies, World War II veterans, army officers
and representatives of the Cossack communities in southern Russia.
Leaders of the new party, which plans to contest seats at the State Duma
elections in 2003, said they will fight for "an independent Russia" free
of the "foreign experience thrust upon us by the West."
Rodionov, a State Duma deputy from the Communist faction, told the
gathering that the People's Patriotic Party "considers the liberal
democrats who are in power now our enemies," Interfax reported.
"Liberalism has been and remains the most destructive force in Russia," he
was quoted by the Gazeta newspaper as saying.
Rodionov singled out Jews for criticism, saying that they occupy key
positions and control the majority of industrial enterprises and media.
"They must return what they have looted in Russia and publicly repent to
the Russian people for the crimes that Jewish terrorists and extremists
have committed," Gazeta quoted him as saying.
Rodionov could not be reached, but one of his aides referred calls about
the new party to Vladimir Miloserdov, the head of its executive committee.
Miloserdov, who is the head of an ultra-nationalist organization called
the Russian Party, was equally blunt. He named several former Communist
and Soviet leaders such as Lev Trotsky and Yakov Sverdlov as Jews "who
committed grave crimes against humanity in the 20th century."
"And add Yegor Gaidar to these criminals," he said in a telephone
interview Wednesday, referring to the head of the team of liberal
economists who spearheaded economic reforms in Russia in the early 1990s.
"He stole the savings of our older people and doomed them to the life of
"Look on the list of Russia's richest people and you will see no ethnic
Russians among them," Miloserdov said.
Under federal law, inciting ethnic hatred constitutes grounds for denying
a party's registration and can lead to the authors of the party's
political program being prosecuted. But Miloserdov said he was not worried
that his party would be denied registration by the Justice Ministry.
"We don't blame Jews, we blame Zionists. Zionism is a sorrow of the Jewish
people," he said.
He said the party expects to be registered with the Justice Ministry in
Miloserdov said that eight leftist Duma deputies were elected to the
party's presidium Saturday along with an envoy of former Krasnodar
Governor Nikolai Kondratenko. Kondratenko, who set up a nationalist
movement in southern Russia called Fatherland, is notorious for his
The leaders of the People's Patriotic Party see the country's future in a
proportional redistribution of power and social benefits among the ethnic
groups living in Russia.
"In a bid to secure peace, social accord and justice in Russia, we propose
to form state structures on a proportional basis from representatives of
Russia's indigenous ethnic groups," Miloserdov said. "The same must apply
to higher education: Today we have some ethnic groups where everybody has
higher education, while other nationalities have only 20 educated people
out of 1,000."
Although the party calls for the restoration of socialism and the
renationalization of property, it has distanced itself from the Communist
"We don't intend to take on the role or electorate of the Communist
Party," Rodionov told the Rosbalt news agency earlier this week. "Although
we are much more radical than the Communist Party, we plan to fight for
power by parliamentary ways."
Miloserdov said that the main difference between the two parties is that
"the ideology of Communists is internationalism, and ours is patriotism
with ethnic orientation."
Communist Party leaders were skeptical about the future of the new party.
"Their political prospects are miserable," Sergei Reshulsky, one of the
most outspoken Communists in the Duma, said Wednesday. "They [the party's
activists] don't understand the universal principles of creating parties.
"Well, they want to try, let them try," he said. "People will laugh at
them after all."
Reshulsky could not say whether Rodionov, as a Communist Party member,
would be punished for violating party discipline.
Political analysts also believe that the new nationalist party will
quickly become marginal.
"Nationalism proliferates when the state apparatus is very weak and when
society goes through disturbances -- and this is not the case in
[President Vladimir] Putin's Russia today," said Yury Korgunyuk, a
political expert from the INDEM Foundation. "And if the state authorities
decide to employ nationalists for their own interests, they would choose
more charismatic people than Rodionov and Miloserdov."
Vladimir Pribylovsky, a political expert from the Moscow-based Panorama
think tank, said that any new opposition party in Russia is doomed because
the country's political ground is almost totally dominated by Putin.
"Today, the whole patriotic electorate flocks after Putin, and he will
have to sink four Kursk submarines and five Mir space stations to have his
rating among the patriots reduced," Pribylovsky said. "And even if Putin
spares some room for nationalists, there are many who are more popular
than Rodionov to occupy it."
Pribylovsky also downplayed the significance of the party's anti-Semitic
"Very few people in Russia follow anti-Semitism, making their decisions in
favor of certain politicians," he said. "Thus, Russian politicians
understand that anti-Semitism is a good hobby but a bad policy -- in this
sense, anti-Caucasian fever is a more profitable brand of xenophobia.
"Rodionov has not understood it, and it clearly indicates that he will
never become a politician on a federal scale."
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