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Bulletin 7:17 (2013)

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  • Andreas Umland
    THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 7, No. 17(205), 24 August 2013 Compilers: Fabian Burkhardt, Parikrama Gupta,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2013
      A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 7, No. 17(205), 24 August 2013
      Compilers: Fabian Burkhardt, Parikrama Gupta, Vildane Oezkan & Andreas Umland

      I NEWS: 16 - 31 July 2013

      [NOTE: When viewing an RNB issue in the Messages archive of the homepage and the end of the text is truncated, scroll to the end of the message and click "Expand Messages." Only then, the whole text of the - otherwise truncated - issue will appear. When quoting from an article found here, please, mention the RNB, as the source. Thank you!]

      I NEWS: 16 - 31 July 2013

      5 Detained in Anti-Homophobia Protest on Red Square
      The Moscow Times, Issue 5169, July 16, 2013

      Police detained five opposition activists on Red Square for organizing an unsanctioned demonstration against new anti-gay legislation, a news report said Monday.
      Administrative cases were opened against the activists, who could be fined as the demonstration was held without a permit from the Moscow authorities, Interfax reported.
      Photos published by Novaya Gazeta on Sunday show the activists lighting flares and holding a large rainbow-colored poster reading "Homophobia is the religion of the lowbrow" before policemen confiscated the poster and stopped the demonstration.
      The activists were later taken to the Kitai-Gorod police station and charged with public disorder for holding an unsanctioned rally.
      Last month, the State Duma approved a bill that banned so-called "homosexual propaganda," a term that lawmakers presumably use for gay rights demonstrations, by introducing fines of up to $16,000 for promoting homosexuality among minors.
      The bill became law late last month, after President Vladimir Putin signed it along with a bill banning homosexual couples from adopting children.
      Both bills prompted criticism from gay rights activists and members of the international community, with gay rights activists calling for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Olympics to protest the legislation.
      Nongovernmental organizations have also spoken out against the law.
      Human Rights Watch called on the International Olympic Committee to speak out against the bill, saying it was "incompatible with the Olympic Charter's promotion of 'human dignity,'" and a "blatant violation of Russia's international legal obligations to guarantee nondiscrimination," according to The Associated Press.


      Police Find Ostriches and Immigrants in Underground Factory
      The Moscow Times, Issue 5169, July 16, 2013

      Ria Novosti - Police have discovered an underground clothing factory in Moscow Region where dozens of immigrants from Vietnam were being held, together with a bear, ostriches and wild boars, the region's police department said Monday.
      The Vietnamese workers told the police that they worked in shifts and were forbidden from leaving the workshop premises. Sixty-seven people who did not have papers documenting their right to live and work in Russia were detained by the police.
      "The foreigners who have broken the law will be fined and deported from Russia," the police said in a statement.
      The police also found "cages containing wild animals: a bear, ostriches and wild boars," the statement said. The factory's residents told the police that the animals had been bought from a circus.
      All the items of clothing produced at the underground sweatshop had false famous brand names sewn into them, police said.
      "They were made from poor quality materials and sold at markets in Moscow and the Moscow Region as well as at large chain stores," the statement said.
      Police are considering whether to launch a criminal case into the organization of illegal immigration and the illegal use of a trademark. The fate of the animals will be decided after an inspection is carried out.
      Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has made tightening migration controls a focal point of his mayoral campaign ahead of the elections scheduled for Sept. 8.
      Last week, 2,500 migrants were detained in the capital in a three-day police operation. Eighty of them were deported, and 600 criminal offenses documented.
      Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have highlighted the risks of underregulated migration and drawn a link between migration and extremism. Sobyanin said last month that there were about 300,000 illegal migrants in Moscow and that most of the city's crimes were committed by "visitors."


      British same-sex couples can not adopt Russian children - MP
      Interfax-Religion, July 18, 2013

      Moscow - Russian children will not be adopted by British same-sex "families" because the law, recently passed in Russia, bans this, State Duma committee head on family, women, and children, Yelena Mizulina, said.
      "As to our children, we have already protected them, having passed the law recently, which has already come into effect," Mizulina told Interfax when commenting on the fact that same-sex "marriages" have been legalized in the UK.
      The Russian Family Code has been recently amended and it now bans same-sex couples and single people from countries where same-sex "marriages" are legal to adopt Russian orphans, Mizulina said.
      "So it is impossible for British same-sex "families" or single citizens to adopt our children," she said.
      As to the possibility of repeated adoption of children, who have already been adopted in the UK, Mizulina said she hoped this would not happen because the number of Russian children adopted to the UK is quite small. "I hope that this fate will be avoided," she said.
      A relevant law was passed timely in Russia, Mizulina said. She refused to give moral evaluation to the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in the UK. "As to the moral evaluation, I will refrain. This is their internal affair, their decision and their problem," she said.


      Some 300 Cossacks to help police Sochi Olympics
      The Moscow News, July 19, 2013

      Ria Novosti - About 300 Cossack volunteers will help enforce law and order during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, a regional official said Friday.
      Krasnodar Territory, where Sochi is located, was the first to set up official Cossack squads last September. About 1,300 Cossacks currently help law enforcement.
      The Cossacks, who originally hailed from the southern border areas of Russia and are known for their social conservatism, were used to ruthlessly quell popular rebellion in tsarist times and were repressed under the Soviets.
      They are currently regaining a semi-official role in Russian public life and sometimes carry out self-appointed vigilante police duties which are now becoming officially authorized in some places in Russia, including Moscow.
      Krasnodar Territory Deputy Governor Dzhambulat Khatuov said Cossack-police collaboration has been very effective, with Cossacks helping solve 283 crimes and detaining 68 suspects in the region in the first six months of this year.
      "That is an unprecedented experience in which many of our colleagues from other parts of Russia are showing interest," he said.
      Cossack squads patrol streets and public places in traditional uniforms together with police; they may check IDs and take suspects to police stations.


      Recognition of same-sex "marriages" leads humanity to end of world - Patriarch Kiril
      Interfax-Religion, July 22, 2013

      Moscow, July 22, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia regards the recognition of same-sex "marriages" in Western countries an omen of the end of the world.
      "Lately we have been facing enormous temptations when in a number of countries the choice of sin is approved and justified by law, and those who do as their conscience tells them and fight laws imposed by such minorities are subjected to reprisals. This is a very dangerous apocalyptical symptom and we must do our utmost for sin to be never approved by state laws throughout the expanses of Holy Rus because it would mean that the nation is entering the road of self-destruction," he said after a Sunday church service in Red Square.
      He said that today enormous efforts are being bent "to persuade all of us that the freedom of choice is the only value and that nobody has the right to encroach on it, even if a person chooses evil, even when a person chooses socially dangerous behavior, on condition that the provisions of civil law are not violated," he said.
      However, it is an open secret "how easily these provisions can be circumvented," the patriarch said.
      "We know that no law, even the most perfect one can eradicate crime, corruption, evil, lies or confrontation. Only a person who has made a free choice of goodness can do that," Patriarch Kirill believes.


      4 Dutch citizens suspected of gay propaganda crime in Russia
      The Moscow News, July 22, 2013

      RIA Novosti - Four Dutch citizens detained by police during a gay rights seminar outside the northern Russian city of Murmansk appeared in a local court Monday suspected of promoting homosexual relationships among minors, according to human rights activists and local media reports.
      Investigators and migration officials reportedly detained the four, who were making a film about gay rights in Russia, on Sunday afternoon at a campsite during an event for young rights activists. The four were then questioned for about eight hours, said Tatyana Kulbakina, a representative of human rights monitoring organization OGON.
      Those detained included Kris van der Veen, a gay rights activist and a Dutch city councilman.
      "Instead of sitting on the plane, we're still in Murmansk," Van der Veen wrote on Facebook on Monday afternoon. "It's about the documentary, homosexual propaganda. It's going alright, but it's not clear what to do next. There has been lots of support and help from activists and the consulate."
      There was no official statement from police or investigators about the case.
      The detentions are one of the first instances of the enforcement of controversial Russian legislation banning the promotion of "non-traditional relationships" toward minors. Individuals in violation of the law, which was signed by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, can be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000).
      After several delays to the start of court proceedings, the hearings for the four Dutch citizens were canceled Monday, and the judge returned the case materials for further investigation, according to Kulbakina, who was present at court. "It looks like it won't go to court," she said.
      The four Dutch citizens are free to leave the country, Kulbakina added, but the material they recorded in Russia for their film was confiscated by police, and they may try to get it back.
      "Leaving by car after a bizarre day in court. I believe there is no case," Van der Veer tweeted late Monday.
      The reason for the police raid on the event outside Murmansk on Sunday was not immediately clear, but the Russian LGBT Network, an NGO monitoring gay rights, and media reports suggested that the Dutch filmmakers had interviewed a minor about gay issues.
      The four Dutch citizens were also each fined 3,000 rubles ($100) by migration officials for violating the terms of their visas, Kulbakina said.


      Migration biggest threat to Russia's national security - poll
      The Moscow News, July 22, 2013

      RIA Novosti - One in three Russians thinks migration is the most serious threat to national security, and is more dangerous than terrorism and environmental disasters, according to a poll published Monday.
      Migration was cited as a "very real" threat by 35 percent of Russians polled by state-run VTsIOM, while almost every fourth Russian thinks low birth rates are similarly dangerous for their nation's future.
      Migration is seen as far less dangerous than eight years ago, however, when 58 percent of Russians cited it as the largest threat to the nation, the pollster said. "This is not a majority of the population, this is only one in three Russians," VTsIOM's Olga Kamenchuk told RIA Novosti.
      Russia's population has become increasingly diverse in the last decade, due to a combination of a fall in the ethnic Russian population and an influx of migrants, attracted by almost a decade of strong economic growth fueled by high oil prices. Most migrants come from the impoverished and overpopulated republics of ex-Soviet Central Asia. More than 11 million foreigners were living in Russia in June, migration authorities said.
      The influx of migrants has triggered ethnic tensions, xenophobia and hate crimes, with some Russians accusing migrants of stealing jobs, causing a drop in wages, forming ethnic gangs and failing to respect Russian traditions. Human rights groups and migrant community leaders say Russian employers, officials and police routinely abuse labor migrants by delaying or withholding their pay, extorting bribes and subjecting them to violence and abuse.
      Other top national security threats cited by the poll were "degradation of culture, science and education" (33 percent of those polled), environmental disasters or terrorist attacks (28 percent each) and exhaustion of oil and gas reserves (25 percent), the poll said.
      Some 23 percent of those polled said the "extinction" of the Russian population due to low birth rates is a security threat. The government itself has said reversing the fall in population is a national priority, and has introduced financial incentives for women to have more children.
      After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's population has shrunk by almost 7 million and now stands at 143 million, the government said. Although last year's fertility rate rose to 1.7 children per woman, it is still below the 2.1 rate needed for the population to remain stable, according to Health Ministry statistics.
      The VTsIOM poll was held in mid-June and covered 1,600 respondents throughout Russia. It had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.


      Cabinet Backs Ethnic Policy
      The Moscow Times, Issue 5173, July 22, 2013

      The Cabinet on Sunday adopted an 87-page plan for Russia's ethnic policy through 2025 aimed at reducing xenophobia, the government said on its website.
      The plan says its main aims are to consolidate people and strengthen their spiritual solidarity while at the same time assisting in the preservation and development of ethnic cultures, teaching patriotism to youth and creating conditions for social and cultural adaptation of migrants.
      The plan will implement a document called the 2013-15 Strategy of State National Politics that President Vladimir Putin signed in December.


      LGBT organization Coming Out suspends public activities
      Interfax-Religion, July 22, 2013

      St. Petersburg - A St. Petersburg prosecutor's office has demanded the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization Coming Out stop publishing literature, holding street rallies and public activities for indefinite period of time.
      Representatives of the prosecutor's office went to the Coming Out office with the demands that certain violations be rectified regardless of the fact that a court ruling that recognized the organization as a foreign agent has not yet come into effect, the Coming Out press office said in a statement on Monday.
      "We are still maintaining that we are not foreign agents. This term is discriminatory and definitely can not be applied to the organization defending rights of homosexual, bisexual and transgender citizens in our country," the statement said.
      The organization will cease its public activities in order to maintain the possibility of continuing to provide legal and psychological help, conduct social work and provide services to the LGBT community of St. Petersburg, the press office said.
      Interfax does not have a comment from the prosecutor's office.
      It has been reported that a justice of the peace ruled on July 19 that Coming Out was a foreign agent. The organization was fined 500,000 rubles. Its head Anna Anisimova was found guilty of violating the law on foreign agents as well.


      Russian Lawmaker 'Not Pleased' About UK Royal Birth
      RIA Novosti, July 23, 2013

      (RIA Novosti) - A Russian lawmaker known for his headline-grabbing outbursts has slammed the birth of a new member of the UK Royal Family, in comments made to journalists on Tuesday.
      "I don't care about the heir," Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who leads Russia's nationalist Liberal Democrat Party, told journalists, before accusing the British monarchy of doing a great deal to hurt Russia over the years.
      "That British monarchy … destroyed our state. Today our opposition activists are there, so that's why there's no joy," he said, adding that his family is waiting for a little arrival of its own - a grandson.
      Accusing Britain of being an enemy of Russia, Zhirinovsky said "that is why the birth of another British monarch, who will suck our blood somewhere in the mid-21st century, cannot bring us any kind of happiness."
      The British and Russian royal families were related at the time of the downfall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. King George V, an ancestor of the new baby, and Russia's Tsar Nicholas II were first cousins.
      Russia's official response was considerably warmer. A statement posted on the Kremlin website on Tuesday sent President Vladimir Putin's congratulations, and wished the baby, his mother the Duchess of Cambridge and the entire Royal Family good health.


      Human Rights First Condemns Russian Arrests of Dutch Gay Rights Advocates
      Human Rights First, July 23, 2013

      New York City - The arrest of four foreign tourists accused of propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations in the Russian city of Murmansk is a sign of things to come, says Human Rights First. The four Dutch citizens are believed to be working on a documentary about gay rights, for which they solicited children's opinions thereby triggering the law enforcement action. Upon their release, the Federal Migration Service issued a 3-year visa ban to the group, citing violations of the rules of their stay but rescinding the accusations of nontraditional sex propaganda.
      "This arrest sadly comes as no surprise. Russia recently issued a one-hundred year ban on pride parades and accused a gay rights group of undermining the country's 'sovereignty and territorial integrity'," said Human Rights First's Innokenty Grekov. "Yesterday's detention is the latest in a growing list of homophobic and dangerous actions by the Russian state. The unconstitutional assaults on the fundamental rights of gay Russians and the state-controlled media's antigay rhetoric make it dangerous to be gay-or to be suspected or 'accused' of being queer-in modern Russia."
      A federal bill banning the ill-defined "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" received near-unanimous support in the Russian State Duma and was signed into law by Vladimir Putin in June 2013. Prior to the federal legislation, in multiple regions of the Russian Federation, laws prohibiting so-called "propaganda of homosexuality to minors" have been adopted by parliamentarians, instituting discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and organizations. In addition to the discriminatory laws, the Russian government has continued to deny freedom of assembly and association to gay rights activists, banning gay pride parades and events in multiple cities and denying registration to groups seeking to confront homophobia and promote tolerance and nondiscrimination. In October 2010, the European Court of Human Rights issued a verdict affirming that the 164 bans on gay pride marches and events between 2006 and 2008 were in violation of the constitutionally protected right to freedom of assembly. In April 2011, the ECHR decision in Alekseyev v. Russia came into force after the Russian government lost its appeal in Strasbourg. In May 2012, a district court in Moscow issued a ruling banning gay pride parades in the city until May 2112.
      "Other odious and ill-defined laws show a glimpse of how the new antigay law will be abused by the Russian government. Local law enforcers have received a strong message from the federal lawmakers who have purposely used vague language to make the law expandable. The impetus to act and apply the legislation will undoubtedly lead to more erroneous arrests and prosecutions under this legislation," said Grekov. "But foreigners should not avoid Russia-now is the time to go there and to stand in solidarity with Russia's embattled gay communities. They need our voice, our help."
      "As this negative trend continues in Russia, the U.S. embassy-in collaboration with other foreign governments-should have a plan of action ready to be able to assist American citizens should they find themselves in similar circumstances," concludes Grekov. "Russia's Federal Migration Service means business when they selectively deport people."


      Presidents of Russia, Moldova and Serbia to celebrate historic date in Ukraine
      ITAR-TASS, 23 July 2013

      Presidents of Russia, Moldova and Serbia are expected to arrive in Kiev for the celebrations of the 1025th anniversary since the adoption of Eastern Orthodox Christianity by the medieval duchy of Kievan Rus, the Director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's information department, Yevgeny Perebeinos told a news briefing Tuesday.
      "We've received confirmations of participation of the Presidents of Russia, Moldova and Serbia in these festivities," he said. "The heads of nine national Orthodox Churches and delegations of another six Churches will also come."
      Along with it, "the possibility of participation of the heads of state of some other countries is still being considered," Perebeinos said.
      Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich said earlier the 1,025th anniversary since the adoption of Christianity by Kievan Rus, which will be marked in Ukraine July 27 and July 28, will become a feast of this country's European identity.
      Russian President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Putin plans will visit Kiev before the end of this month. "It's true that he is planning this visit," he said.
      Putin is expected to take part in the official and public functions that have been entered in the itinerary of the jubilee.


      Star Violinist To Protest Russia's Rights Record
      Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 23 July 2013

      Organizers say that star violinist Gidon Kremer has asked several of the greatest names in classical music to perform a concert with him in Berlin to draw attention to the human rights situation in Russia.
      The 66-year-old Latvian violinist is planning a concert titled "To Russia with Love" in Berlin on October 7.
      He has invited Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich, Israeli-Argentinian conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, and German cellist Nicholas Altstaedt to join him and his chamber orchestra, Kremerata Baltica.
      The concert is to be held at Berlin's Philharmonic Hall.
      "It's like it was in the Soviet Union, but...with different methods and not as draconian as in [Josef] Stalin's time," Kremer recently told the German daily "Die Welt" about the rights situation in Russia.


      International neo-Nazis respond to the Pavlo Lapshyn case
      Anton Shekhovtsov's Blog, 23 July 2013

      Here are some remarks from international neo-Nazis commenting on the earlier report saying that two Ukrainian men had been arrested for mosque bombings (only one has been charged):
      This story just further proves how us Brits have had our bollocks cut.... Immigrants attacking mosques for us
      Tani (England)
      [...] a bomb in a Mosque. What is wrong with that? I LOVE these Easterners! I wish they had put TEN bombs there if it really was them!
      Hopefully they can get extradited to Ukraine and Ukraine will let them go
      frozenpie77 (Atlanta)
      Brits are so brainwashed that they need Ukrainians to stick up for them.
      Prayers for the Ukrainians.
      Odins Ravens
      These are brave men and in a sane society would have been given medals for their bravery, for their attempt to repel the Mohammedan conquest of Europe.
      volkssturm (New York)
      I say let the Poles and the Ukrainians have the crown jewels in the tower. Let them turn the Undergrund map into Cyrillic. Turn Canterbury into an Orthodox church if they are willing to kick the mohammadans and the rapist terrorists out!
      So the English now need Eastern Europeans to step in for them? My God...
      Big respect to the two guys who did it, European braves.
      germanicgod (USA)
      Only white men would put it all on the line for another white country. I would die fighting for the freedom of ANY white country, regardless if I have any connection to it. Respect to these men. They have more honour than ANY negro or Arab scum. It is quite a shame that many English nationalists have fallen in the Zionist trap.
      Cyan Sky
      I'm not sure how to comment on this one.
      Immigrants defending the UK from Islam!
      At least the immigrants are White, but they're not English nonetheless.
      Again what a crazy story!
      cardinal beaton
      [...] the key is RACE,not nationality.The race-mixers,in their confused conception of multi-racialism,do not seem to realise that immigration from Eastern Europe is a boon for Racial Nationalists.I look forward to the day that we have an all white Britain and an all white,revitalised Europe.These people can proudly play their part.
      Glad to see a European helping out another European country.
      Northumbrian (Bradford)
      There was a EDL (not that they are pro-white but it hasnt been proved these lot are properly Nationalist rather than just anti-Muslim) demonstration a few weeks ago about Lee Rigby's death, and most attendants were White British. Two Ukrainians doing this doesnt prove they are going to save us, TBH.


      Russian LGBT Teens Publicly Bullied and Tortured by Neo Nazis on Video. Local Law Enforcement Condones Homophobia.
      By Larry Poltavtsev
      Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, 24 July 2013

      ***Please SIGN & SHARE the petition to ban Russian homophobic lawmakers to enter US and freeze their assets in US banks: http://goo.gl/EQLth2 ***
      President Putin's crusade against LGBT community in Russia took a new turn.
      Infamous Russian ultranationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich, known under the nickname "Cleaver" (or "Tesak" in Russian) spearheaded a country wide campaign against LGBT teens using a popular social network VK.com to lure unsuspected victims through personal ads. Mr. Martsinkevich's numerous and enthusiastic followers started two projects: "Occupy Pedophilyaj" and "Occupy Gerontilyaj". Allegedly they are trying to identify and report pedophiles using these "movements". In reality, over 500 online groups have been created inside VK.com social network in order to organize illegal militant groups in every Russian city. Oddly enough their idea of fighting pedophiles targets exclusively male teenagers who respond to the same-sex personal ads and show up for a date. Captured victims are bullied and often tortured while being recorded on video. These self-proclaimed "crime fighters" perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them. Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized. So far Russian police took no action against these "movements" even though Russian criminal code was clearly violated and despite numerous complaints from parents, victims and LGBT activists. Social network VK.com intermittently shuts down selected groups and profiles only to allow them to be re-open on the next day. Currently, the founder of VK.com, Pavel Durov, resides in the US and so far has not released any comments.
      This graphic and violent video shows an underage victim in Moscow, Russia. He was bullied, tortured and sprayed with urine in the broad day light ...
      Here is the video with ENGLISH SUBTITLES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3XEiSiKy-Q
      So far only very few Russian media resources reported about these atrocities:
      1. http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/07/05/kamenskuralsky/
      2. http://www.mk.ru/social/article/2013/07/03/879017-quotokkupaypedofilyayquot-izdevaetsya-v-sotssetyah-nad-malenkimi-detmi.html
      These criminals have to be stopped!


      Renowned activist recommends Snowden to adopt Orthodoxy
      Interfax-Religion, July 24, 2013

      Moscow, July 24, Interfax - Russian religious activists believe that former CIA employee Edward Snowden should adopt Orthodoxy.
      "I wish Snowden adopted the holy Orthodoxy and thus show that rights and freedoms the USA claim to stand for is a myth," head of the Association of Orthodox Experts Kirill Frolov said at an Interfax press conference.
      Head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens Valentin Lebedev said that "only Christian attitude to human rights is true and fundamental." According to him, human dignity proclaimed in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 is not observed in case with the runaway American.
      "The USA, a declared center of democracy and its keeper, appear to be like a Soviet KGB serviceman of the 30-40s. What human dignity are we speaking about?" he wonders.
      Earlier, advocate Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax that Snowden did not answer the question about his confession. "It's an intimate question," the advocate quoted the American as saying.


      Pussy Riot's Alyokhina takes part in latest parole hearing via video conference
      RAPSI, July 24, 2013

      Despite her belief that she would be entitled to participate in-person in her latest bid for release on parole, Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was required to participate via video conference from a pretrial detention center, RAPSI reports live from the courtroom.
      Alyokhina had wanted to attend the hearing, which is being presided over by a panel of three judges, but was unable to for reasons that remain unclear. The hearing was thus carried out via video conference.
      Alyokhina herself - speaking from a pretrial center that she was transported to from her penal colony - raised the issue at the start of the hearing. Seeking the presiding judges' recusal, Alyokhina interpreted the decision as one reflecting bias.
      The judges retreated to consider Alyokhina's request, but opted not to recuse themselves.
      Alyokhina's efforts were in fact an appeal of an earlier ruling. In April, her request for parole was denied by Mordovia's Zubovo-Polyansky Court, a decision upheld the following month by the Perm Region's Bereznikovsky Court.
      Stanislav Volegov, a spokesman for the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Perm Territory, earlier told RIA Novosti that Alyokhina would attend the Perm Court hearing of her appeal against the rejection of her request for parole.
      On July 12, attorney Irina Khrunova told RAPSI that Alyokhina had been moved from the prison in Berezniki to a remand center in Solikamsk, the third largest city in Perm Territory. Then she was expected to be transferred to another prison in Nizhny Novgorod, the lawyer said.
      "I can say one thing, Alyokhina will attend the parole hearing in Perm," Volegov said.
      In February 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a punk rock prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.
      In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Alyokhina and two other Pussy Riot members - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - to two years in a prison settlement on charges of hooliganism.
      In October 2012, the Moscow City Court suspended Samutsevich's sentence and released her immediately based on her new attorneys' argument that she had been seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar.
      The sentences of Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were upheld.
      In April 2013, the Zubova Polyana District Court in Mordovia rejected Tolokonnikova's request for parole. Alyokhina's request for parole was rejected by the Berezniki court on May 23.
      Alyokhina staged a hunger strike which lasted 11 days to protest against the fact the she was not allowed to attend the hearing into her parole request.


      Russian court leaves Pussy Riot singer behind bars
      Amnesty International, 24 July 2013

      A Russian appeal court decision to refuse parole to Maria Alekhina, one of the Pussy Riot punk group singers jailed for singing a protest song in an Orthodox cathedral is a further travesty of justice, Amnesty International said today.
      "This decision is a further confirmation that the Russian authorities are uncompromising in their suppression of freedom of expression," said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director.
      Today the Perm Regional Court upheld a previous decision to refuse to grant parole to 24-year-old Alekhina. She together with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich, three of the members of the all-female group Pussy Riot, were charged with "hooliganism on grounds of religious hatred" after they sang a protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral in February 2012. All three were subsequently sentenced to two years imprisonment in a penal colony but later Ekaterina Samutsevich was given a suspended sentence on appeal.
      "Maria Alekhina and the other two punk singers shouldn't have been arrested in the first place. They were deprived of their freedom solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs and Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience .The Russian authorities must release Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova immediately and unconditionally and the sentences against them and Ekaterina Samutsevich should be overturned," said Denis Krivosheev.
      "Today's court decision is meant to intimidate further free speech. It may be presented as principled but it reveals a trend of bullying critics in spite of the country's obligations to defend and promote human rights."
      In January 2013, Maria Alekhina applied for an early release so she could take care of her six-year-old son. Her application was rejected on the grounds that this had already been taken into account when passing her initial sentence last year.
      On the eve of the appeal hearing, more than 100 internationally renowned musicians called for the immediate release of Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
      Angelique Kidjo, one of the signatories, said today: "It's deeply shocking that Masha, a young mother, remains behind bars for a peaceful expression of her beliefs. Together with fellow musicians, artists, Amnesty members and thousands of people from all over the world, we will continue to demand a release from this outrageously unjust imprisonment. Free Pussy Riot!"
      In just two days since the letter was issued, over 15,000 people from across the globe have signed a petition calling on the Prosecutor General to ensure immediate and unconditional release of Maria and Nadezhda and the number of the signatories continues to grow.
      The parole appeal of fellow imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will be heard on 26 July by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mordovia where she is serving her sentence.


      Putin to discuss interests of Christian Orthodox communities in different countries
      Interfax-Religion, July 24, 2013

      Moscow, July 24, Interfax - President Vladimir Putin on July 25 will meet Patriarch Kirill and representatives of local Orthodox Churches who arrived in Moscow for the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
      The Kremlin press service reported on Wednesday that the format of the meeting is very unique.
      "For the first time the Grand Kremlin Palace will bring together the heads and senior clergymen of all 15 existing Christian Orthodox Churches uniting over 227 million believers - the Church of Jerusalem, Church of Antioch, Church of Ellada, Church of Cyprus, Church of Alexandria, the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Albanian Orthodox Church, the Polish Orthodox Church, the Church of Constantinople, the Orthodox Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia and also the Orthodox Church in America," the press release says.
      The conversation is expected to focus not only on issues of creed but also on pressing international matters affecting the interests of Christian Orthodox communities in different countries of the world.


      Stolichnaya slams Russia over gay rights
      The Moscow News, July 26, 2013

      Maria Young for RIA Novosti - Stolichnaya, one of the most popular vodkas in the United States, came out swinging at the Russian government Thursday with a message of support for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community worldwide.
      "Stolichnaya Premium Vodka stands strong & proud with the global LGBT community against the actions and beliefs of the Russian government," the company said on its Facebook page.
      President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial law last month banning the promotion of "non-traditional relationships" toward minors, a move critics says is part of a broader crackdown on Russia's gay community.
      Four Dutch tourists shooting a film about gay rights in Russia were arrested earlier this month outside the northern city of Murmansk, the first foreigners to be detained under the new law.
      Stoli said its message was in response to recent calls in the United States by gay and lesbian groups for a boycott of Russian products, including Stolichnaya and other vodkas. Gay rights groups including RUSA LGBT, made up of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Russian-Americans in New York, are claiming an early victory in what may be a lengthy battle.
      "I think it was great. It was definitely unexpected because the Stoli ties with Russia are strong," said Nina Long, co-president of RUSA LGBT, in an interview with RIA Novosti.
      "If the news traveled to Russia that Stoli was so vocal in their support, with such a strong statement, that would be an example that you don't have to take the stand of the Russian government. You can say, 'No, I don't think so. I am for equality and that can be the policy of my company,'" she added.
      US author and gay rights activist Dan Savage called for a boycott of Stoli and other Russian products in a blog this week, and RUSA LGBT followed up with a social media campaign.
      In addition to the Facebook posting, Val Mendeleev, Stolichnaya's chief executive office, issued an open letter to the LGBT community on Thursday, in which he said the "recent dreadful actions taken by the Russian Government limiting the rights of the LGBT community and the passionate reaction of the community" had prompted the letter.
      Mendeleev said Stoli was "upset and angry," and "has always been, and continues to be a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community."
      He listed a number of programs and campaigns Stoli has launched in support of the LGBT community, and appeared to be backing away from the company's long-established connection to Russia.
      "The Russian government has no ownership interest or control over the Stoli brand that is privately owned by SPI Group, headquartered in Luxembourg in the heart of Western Europe," he wrote, adding, "Stoli's production process involves both Russia and Latvia. Stoli is made from Russian ingredients (wheat, rye and raw alcohol) blended with pure artesian well water at our historic distillery and bottling facility in Riga, Latvia."
      Stolichnaya has long been listed among the top-selling vodkas in the United States.
      "This is real vodka, Russian vodka, vodka that burns all the way down and lights a fire in your chest. This is the vodka supplied to the Kremlin and rationed to Soviet soldiers as they held back the Nazis at Stalingrad," said Ask Men magazine in a poll listing top US vodkas.
      "Stoli is a Russian vodka," wrote Savage. "Do not drink Russian vodka. Do not buy Russian vodka. Ask your bartender at your favorite bar-gay or otherwise-to dump Stoli and dump Russian vodka," he added.


      International Olympic Committee Says Russian Anti-LGBT Laws Won't Be Enforced At Olympics
      By Chris Geidner, Buzzfeed, July 26, 2013

      WASHINGTON - The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that Russian officials told the committee that anti-LGBT legislation recently passed in Russia "will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games." The announcement from the body responsible for selecting the Russian city of Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics came at the end of a week of heavy criticism of Russia's anti-LGBT "propaganda" law and other anti-LGBT laws there - a week that included calls for boycotts of the Olympics and growing calls for American boycotts of Russian products. The news, initially reported by Russian media outlet, R-Sport, was later confirmed by USA Today and given the following statement from the IOC: "The IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games. "This legislation has just been passed into law and it remains to be seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the Games in Sochi. As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media. "The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle." The Human Rights Campaign quickly dismissed the statement, however, with president Chad Griffin saying, "Mere verbal assurances from the Russian government that foreigners will be exempt from their repressive laws are not enough. The IOC must obtain ironclad written assurance from President Putin." Going even further, Griffin added, "But more importantly, they should be advocating for the safety of all LGBT people in Russia, not simply those visiting for the Olympics. Rescinding this heinous law must be our collective goal." The law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, allows for fines and even for the temporary jailing of foreigners for "[p]romotion of non-traditional sexual relations." Although the law claims a focus on protecting minors, the breadth of the law - and early attempts at enforcement of it - includes virtually all pro-LGBT activity in the country.


      Russian Orthodox Church Synod proposes to mark Rus Christianization anniversaries as state holiday
      Interfax-Religion, July 27, 2013

      Kiev, July 27, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church Synod has called on the authorities of Kievan Rus countries to mark anniversaries of Kievan Rus' Christianization as state holidays or even make them days off.
      "Bearing in mind the exclusive importance of Kievan Rus' Christianization for the history of countries within the area of canonical responsibility of the Russian Orthodox Church, to appeal to the administrations of the countries, which have not made this decision, for making anniversaries of Kievan Rus' Christianization state holidays and, wherever that is possible, days off," says a resolution of the Synod, which convened in Kiev on Saturday.
      The Holy Synod rejoiced at the settlement of a series of splits and internal discords in the past 25 years and expressed its grief for those who had taken "the destructive path of arbitrary separation from the Mother Church, especially within the boundaries of Ukraine."


      Book defaming Crimean Tatars published with local authority funding
      Interfax, 29 July 2013

      A book has just been published in the Crimea, partly with funding from the Kirov District budget, which accuses the Crimean Tatars of collaboration with the Nazis and effectively justifies the 1944 Deportation.
      This lie, first generated by Stalin in order to justify the Deportation of the entire Crimean Tatar People, is pulled out with monotonous regularity despite having been refuted even by the Soviet regime itself. A Decree issued on 5 September 1967 by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR stated that: "After the liberation of the Crimea from Fascist occupation in 1944, accusations of active collaboration of a section of the Tatars resident in the Crimea with the German usurpers were groundlessly levelled at the whole Tatar population of the Crimea. These indiscriminate accusations in respect of all the citizens of Tatar nationality who lived in the Crimea must be withdrawn, the more so since a new generation of people has entered on its working and political life". (The text in English can be found in full here)
      Interfax Ukraine reports that the First Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov and members of the Crimean Tatar community including relatives of Crimean Tatar partisans who fought in the Second World War are planning to ask the Prosecutor's Office to give a legal assessment of the actions both of the authors of the anthology, and the public officials who made its publication possible. They are convinced that the book, entitled "Remembrance Book of the Eastern Crimea: "They asked us to remember" is aimed at inciting inter-ethnic enmity and hatred.
      Refat Chubarov notes that among those outraged by the book are relatives of the Soviet intelligence agent Alime Abdenannova who was captured by the Nazis and shot. She received Soviet awards, yet the authors of the book Vladimir Shirshov and Maria Shirshova claim that she became an agent of the German security service.
      Refat Chubarov points out that more than a quarter of the print run (1200 copies) of the book was funded by the district council, as well as some village councils in the district who were asked by the district council for help in financing publication.
      A presentation of the book had been planned for 25 July in the Kirov District Administration however this was cancelled following protest from Crimean Tatars.


      Russian Duma Deputies Seek Defamation Charges Against Activist
      RFE RL, 29 July 2013

      Russia's state Investigative Committee has launched a libel probe following a complaint by two Russian lawmakers about insults leveled against "a representative of power."
      The committee didn't mention the names of the lawmakers, but Russian media reported earlier that two State Duma deputies from the ruling United Russia party had asked prosecutors to file criminal charges against a gay-rights activist for insulting public officials.
      According to reports, the request came from Deputy Yelena Mizulina -- head of the Committee on Women, Children, and Families and a leading sponsor of Russia's recently adopted law banning the "propaganda" of homosexuality to minors -- and Deputy Olga Batalina.
      In a report on July 29 in the daily "Izvestia," they say activist Nikolai Alekseyev insulted them in a series of Twitter comments.
      If charges are filed and Alekseyev is convicted, he could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to 40,000 rubles ($1,200).
      Mizulina told "Izvestia" that she was not offended by Alekseyev's Twitter posts, but felt obligated to "defend the interests of all deputies."


      London LGBT Rights Protest outside Russian Embassy (10 August 2013)
      Rights in Russia, 31 Jul 2013

      When: Saturday, August 10, 2013 1:00pm until 4:00pm
      Where: outside Russian Embassy in London
      It's time to protest. The recent disgusting images of the state sanctioned violence against LGBT people in Russia has made us all a little bit more than annoyed.
      The laws that have been passed recently in Russia against the promotion of Gay lifestyle is allowing wide-scale bullying and violence towards GLBT people in a way that we have not seen in our lifetime. This sort of bullying has to stop.
      With calls for boycotts of Russian products coming at us thick and fast, and the call to Boycott the winter Olympics in Sochi next year, we need to put our feet onto the pavement and stand by our resolve to do something towards ending this ludicrous situation.
      We want to organise a march on the Russian Embassy in Notting Hill and let the Russian law makes know that the people of the UK do not accept state sanctioned discrimination and abuse of human rights or violence towards our GLBT family.
      This is just the beginning of this, suggestions on what we do and how we do it are welcome.
      Please put some time aside next saturday and bring a banner, a flag your voice and a good serving of fabulousness.
      Scott will be liaising with the Met Police and I will be liaising with Stonewall. If anyone has any other suggestions about how we can maximise our voice, drop me a message.
      This will only work if we get a big group. Please forward to everyone so we can get a good crowd along. Please post comments on the notice board and get everyone to join, and everyone to march.


      Russia attacks US attempts to broaden Magnitsky List
      RT, July 31, 2013

      A top Russian diplomat has condemned attempts by the US to enlarge the so called Magnitsky List, and warned of immediate repercussions if the US decides to impose any new sanctions.
      "Our attitude to the Magnitsky List itself and to its broadening is definitely negative," said the Foreign Ministry's plenipotentiary for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov.
      The Russian official said the United States has the right to decide who they let into their country and who they bar, but deliberately making it a political issue was wrong.
      In late 2012, the United States introduced the so-called Magnitsky Act - a law imposing sanctions on a number of Russian state officials and civil servants allegedly involved in the imprisonment of Sergey Magnitsky - an auditor who worked for a British investment fund and who died in prison while under investigation over tax fraud.
      Russia has attacked the Act as an attempt to influence justice in a sovereign country and replied by adopting a similar Guantanamo List - a set of sanctions against foreign officials suspected of violating Human Rights or the rights of Russian citizens who were detained and tried abroad.
      Dolgov said Russia would reply to the Magnitsky List again if the US seeks to introduce new sanctions. In particular he warned that this might happen if the United States chooses to punish Russia for its insufficient efforts in fighting human trafficking, as it was suggested after the release of the latest annual report of the problem.
      In mid-June this year the US State Department published its annual slavery report in which it condemned China, Russia and Uzbekistan for alleged failure to stem human trafficking and slavery within their borders.
      "This would not be our choice, we would prefer to avoid this," Dolgov added.
      The latest suggestions to put new names onto the so called Magnitsky List have come from a public petition on the White House web-site. The authors claimed that two Russian politicians - Lower House MP Yelena Mizulina and Vitaly Milonov of St Petersburg city legislature - were responsible for several recent Russian bills that target LGBT people.
      Mizulina has accused Russian gay rights activists and especially their leader Nikolai Alekseyev of waging a campaign of slander and disinformation aimed at hurting Russian national interests.



      Russian Citizenship: Borders, Numbers and Intentions
      By Andrey Shlyakhter
      Russian History Blog, July 13, 2013

      Two weeks ago, the U.S. Senate passed the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013." The bill's opening provisions call for doubling the size of the Border Patrol to about 40,000 agents, completing 700 miles of fencing along the southern border, and expanding the use of radar and drone surveillance. If approved by the House of Representatives, this effort, estimated to cost between 40 and 50 billion dollars, would constitute arguably the most ambitious peacetime border buildup in history. Those unfamiliar with the politics of U.S. immigration reform may be forgiven for wondering that the proposed legislation is aimed not to secure the country from infiltration by al-Qaeda terrorists, but to turn the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants into U.S. citizens. It thus seems a particularly auspicious time to consider Eric Lohr's exploration of the historical relationship between another major state's efforts to manage its physical borders, its "citizenship boundary," and the presence of foreigners on its territory, and I am grateful to Josh and Eric for giving me the opportunity to engage with these dimensions of Russian Citizenship.
      One of Lohr's original arguments, however, is about the relative insignificance of the physical border as a demarcating line between the tsars' subjects and foreigners for most of Russian history: in contrast to countries such as Australia, Britain, Japan and the United States, "where water boundaries facilitated a close association between the physical and citizenship boundaries," the "physical boundary around the [Russian] empire was not central to the subjecthood boundary." While access to U.S. citizenship was "controlled more by Ellis Island gatekeepers than by naturalization laws and regulations," in Russia "the site of actual control was less along its thousands of kilometers of external border than in the form of documents issued in bureaucratic offices, and inducements, sanctions, and other measures that gave certain groups incentives to migrate or change their citizenship status." In short, "[u]ntil the 1920s, the lengthy borders of the state were hardly relevant to controlling movement." (1, 26-27, 177).
      This is a bold claim, and Lohr marshals some compelling evidence to support it. The figures on illegal emigration offer perhaps the starkest illustration of the porosity of the Empire's borders: "[b]y the turn of the century, Russian officials estimated that somewhere between half and 90 percent of all emigrants left illegally," eschewing the expensive and time-consuming process of acquiring a zagranpasport. (94-95, 239n50) Moreover, "millions of small traders, nomads, and migrant workers were entering and leaving the Russian Empire without documented checks every year." At least as far as its borders were concerned, the answer to the "perennial question" about "the paradox of the Russian state" - "[w]as it weak or strong?" - seems plain enough. (177)
      However, Lohr's contention about the irrelevance of Imperial border controls remains problematic. For one, they enjoyed considerably more manpower than Lohr allows ("[b]y 1827, the border guard troop strength reached 3,200, a number which grew steadily throughout the century, reaching 12,100 by 1898.") (25) In fact, the number of border guards had already surpassed the latter figure by the Great Reforms; by 1893, a force of over 37,000 men patrolled the empire's European, Transcaucasian, and Central Asian borders (supplemented in the latter two regions by local auxiliaries and Cossack detachments), while variously-numbered Cossack units kept watch on the Siberian and Far Eastern frontiers.[1] Soviet border guard officers and customs officials did not exaggerate when they complained - well into the second half of the 1920s - that substantial stretches of the border remained more weakly patrolled than they had been before the Revolution.
      A more accurate diagnosis would be that the permeability of the Russian Empire's borders to human traffic reflected institutional priorities rather than state capacity. From its inception under Peter the Great until its dismantling by the Bolsheviks in 1919, the Imperial border guard's stated primary objective was economic: to protect domestic industry and treasury receipts from the threat that contraband posed to both. Indeed, in 1893 the force was placed under the direct command of Finance Minister Sergei Witte - that "powerful advocate of integration in the global economy and an open door to foreign labor, investment, and talent" (115) - who was also an avowed protectionist. Despite feeling admittedly awkward "playing the role of a military commander," Witte involved himself closely in the organization and running of the troops that would help enforce his protectionist vision.[2] Intercepting would-be migrants headed in either direction was simply not a priority. The border guard's actual military command understood this well, and its reports took care to emphasize the results of its struggle against economic contraband above all. This ordering of priorities was not lost on the enlisted men, who were rewarded with a percentage of the value of the contraband goods they captured.
      Turning to the Soviet period, Lohr observes that "[b]y the late 1920s, the state had developed unprecedented capacity to control its borders and population movements across them." (133) The Soviet Union "created one of the most effective border systems in terms of holding its people in that any country had ever constructed." (151) "[M]aking great strides toward overcoming the traditionally huge gap between policy intentions and actual practices" (133) at the border, the Soviet state was finally able to achieve what its Imperial predecessor never could. In a sense, the Soviet border authorities' task was more straightforward, as the "old formula of 'attract and hold' had been reduced to 'hold.'" (179) At the same time, the "barbed wire, policed and cleansed border zones, enlistment of vigilantes and informants from border populations, extreme distrust of foreigners, and prophylactic operations against populations with ties abroad all point to a state with remarkably little confidence in its ability to keep its people from leaving." (178)
      There is no question that the Soviet preoccupation with border controls - evolving though it did between fiscal, economic planning, protectionist, security, propaganda, and ideological concerns - was unprecedented in human history. There is also no question that, primarily out of security and propagandistic considerations, Soviet authorities were more worried about emigration than were their Imperial predecessors. However, the link between the extensive measures taken to secure the Soviet border and concerns about preventing emigration was generally much less direct than one might expect. While would-be emigrants faced increasingly daunting obstacles, and successful escapees' accounts are replete with harrowing stories of near brushes with the border guards, the secret Politburo and STO (Council of Labor and Defense) deliberations about securing the border and the attendant correspondence with the OGPU reveal little concern about emigration as such.
      Instead, decisions to reinforce the border guard in the 1930s were motivated by explicit security considerations: suppressing Ukrainian peasant rebellions in the wake of collectivization and preempting Polish intervention; safeguarding a growing number of border-area military installations; and, from the murder of Leningrad party organization chairman Sergei Kirov in December 1934 through the purges of 1936-38, an increasingly aggressive prophylactic effort to seal the border from a mix of real and imagined foreign/fascist/Trotskyite and sundry spies and saboteurs and prevent them from linking up with their domestic coconspirators. Indeed, the only mention of emigration that I have found in connection with a decision to bolster the border guard was in a March 1930 petition from Iagoda to the STO requesting reinforcements in an ultimately futile attempt to prevent the massive flight of Central Asian nomads with their livestock (fleeing famine, over 200,000 Kazakhs crossed over into Xinjiang alone). To be sure, the myriad Soviet border security measures implemented over the course of the decade made emigration increasingly difficult if not impossible; but "holding its people in" was not their raison d'être.
      With respect to foreigners in the USSR, Lohr finds that 1926 marked a watershed in the institutionalization of Soviet xenophobia; that year, in "a general campaign against foreigners," the NKVD sought to "uncover the true citizenship status of all people living on the territory of the RSFSR and to re-register all foreigners in the country." In the process, "thousands of individuals who appealed to keep their foreign citizenship were forced to relinquish it … It became much more difficult for foreigners to remain in the country." (154, 165). Lohr argues that this administrative 'tightening of the screws' was engendered by the Kremlin leadership's growing conviction - first prompted by Pilsudski's seizure of power in Poland in May 1926 and magnified by a series of foreign policy crises the following spring and summer - that the Soviet Union's capitalist neighbors were preparing for military intervention. The connection between foreign threat and stepped-up surveillance of foreigners seems straightforward enough, although one wonders whether the NKVD's registration drive may have had something to do with the All-Union Population Census (carried out in December 1926), which also sought out detailed data on foreigners in the country. More problematically, 1926 actually witnessed the sharpest increase in the number of foreign citizens legally entering the Soviet Union during the decade:
      Foreign Citizens at OGPU Border Crossings, 1924-1928
      Year Entered Left Balance
      1924 25,763 32,201 -6,438
      1925 40,488 36,751 +3,737
      1926 57,143 41,178 +15,965
      1927 61,814 55,924 +5,890
      1928 69,283 74,615 -5,332
      5-yr TOTAL 254,491 240,669 +13,822
      Sources: S. Korsunovskii, "Migratsiia naseleniia cherez granitsy SSSR v 1927 godu," Statisticheskoe obozrenie № 11 (1928), 94; idem, "Migratsiia naseleniia cherez granitsy SSSR v 1928 g.," Statisticheskoe obozrenie № 10 (1929), 106.
      Indeed, 1926 also saw the peak net balance recorded, attributable almost entirely to Chinese migrants, 23,962 of whom legally entered the USSR that year, while only 8,059 left.[3] How did this influx proceed in the face of the NKVD's "general campaign against foreigners"? (Alternatively, did it have anything to do with motivating that campaign?) While most Chinese migrants, like their prerevolutionary predecessors, never naturalized, their example suggests that the Soviet authorities' attitude towards allowing foreigners into the country had more in common with the Imperial administration's patchwork, "separate deals" approach that Lohr so masterfully untangles in the book's earlier chapters than he allows for the Soviet period. Clearly, further research is needed to flesh out the contradictory <br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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