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Bulletin 2:18 (2008)

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  • andreumland
    THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 2, No. 18(23), 2008 Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland I NEWS: 15
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2008
      THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
      A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 2, No. 18(23), 2008
      Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland

      I NEWS: 15 MAY – 1 JUNE 2008
      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
      III PRIMARY SOURCES
      IV ANNOTATIONS OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS

      [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
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      ===========================


      I NEWS: 15 MAY – 1 JUNE 2008

      Krasnoyarsk Vandals of Jewish Cemetery Put on Trial
      FSU Monitor, May 15, 2008

      Three residents of Krasnoyarsk, Russia were put on trial on charges of
      having vandalized a Jewish cemetery, according to a May 13, 2008
      report by the Jewish.ru web site. The three defendants face the rarely
      applied charge of "damaging tombstones motivated by ethnic
      hatred"--most cemetery vandals are charged simply with "hooliganism."
      The three suspects allegedly vandalized the cemetery on the night of
      October 7, 2007 after getting drunk. One of the defendants may face
      confinement in a psychiatric institution in addition to the criminal
      charges he faces.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051508Russia.shtml
      --------

      Suspended Sentence in Hate Crime Case
      FSU Monitor, May 15, 2008

      A resident of the Penza region of Russia was given a one year
      suspended sentence after being found guilty of a hate crime, according
      to a May 15, 2008 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center.
      Aleksandr Atyakshev, age 36, attacked an Armenian man in his home
      village last November. A group of youths who participated in the
      attack avoided criminal charges all together because they are under-aged.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051508Russ2.shtml
      ------------

      Einreiseverbot für Ukrainischen Abgeordneten zu TV- Show in Russland -
      Medien
      RIA Novosti, May 15, 2008

      KIEW, 15. Mai (RIA Novosti). Dem Abgeordneten der präsidententreuen
      Fraktion "Unsere Ukraine - Selbstverteidigung des Volkes" Wladislaw
      Kaskiw ist am Donnerstag die Einreise nach Russland verweigert worden.
      Das berichtet das Internetportal „Ukrainskaja Prawda".
      Gegenwärtig wartet der Parlamentarier auf dem Flughafen Scheremetjewo
      auf das Eintreffen des ukrainischen Konsuls.
      Kaskiw hätte an der Sendung „K barjeru!" (An die Barrieren) des
      Fernsehsenders NTW teilnehmen sollen, teilte der Chef der Unabhängigen
      Mediengewerkschaft der Ukraine, Roman Skrypin, mit.
      Ihm zufolge begründete die russische Seite das Einreiseverbot damit,
      dass Kaskiw eine Person sei, die die Sicherheit Russlands gefährde.
      Kaskiw hätte in der Sendung mit dem Chef der Liberaldemokratischen
      Partei Russlands, Wladimir Schirinowski, ein Rededuell führen sollen.
      Der ukrainische Sicherheitsdienst hat dem Moskauer Oberbürgermeister
      Juri Luschkow am 12. Mai die Einreise in die Ukraine verboten. Dieser
      Beschluss wurde mit der Äußerung Luschkows begründet, die Stadt
      Sewastopol gehöre nicht zur Ukraine.
      Im vergangenen Jahr war dem Chef der Internationalen Eurasischen
      Bewegung, Alexander Dugin, die Einreise in die Ukraine verweigert
      worden. In der Folge wurde dem Berater des ukrainischen Präsidenten,
      Nikolai Schulinski, die Einreise nach Russland verboten. Später hoben
      Kiew und Moskau diese Einreiseverbote auf.

      http://de.rian.ru/postsowjetischen/20080515/107451307.html
      ----------

      CHERKIZOV MARKET BOMBERS GET LIFE SENTENCES
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 20, May 16, 2008

      The Moscow City Court handed down unusually stiff sentences to six
      far-right college students for their responsibility for the August
      2006 bombing of the Cherkizov market, the deadliest attack on members
      of ethnic minorities in Russia. According to a May 15 report by Radio
      Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the six received life in prison. Two
      additional defendants were sentenced to 20 and 13 years respectively,
      the latter for the murder of Armenian student Vigen Abramyanets.
      Earlier, a jury found the defendants guilty of terrorism, 14 murders
      (four of them children) and the attempted murder of the 61 people who
      were injured in the blast, along with responsibility for seven other
      explosions around the city. The defendants were members of the Spas
      club, which one of them headed—a combat skills club that trained an
      estimated 2,000 youths in Moscow.
      "Vremya Novostey" reported that the defendants, upon hearing that they
      will spend the rest of their young lives in prison, waved symbols of
      the neo-Nazi group Slavic Union ("SS" in Russian) and "with a show of
      bravura" chatted with their supporters "of which there were many in
      the courtroom."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051608BM.shtml
      -----------

      SIX NEO-NAZIS SENTENCED IN MOSCOW
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 20, May 16, 2008

      Six neo-Nazis were sentenced to widely varying prison terms in
      connection with a series of attacks, including a murder, incitement of
      ethnic hatred, robbery, hooliganism, and membership in an extremist
      organization, according to a May 15 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. The defendants received one 12 year
      sentence, two four year sentences, one five year sentence, and two
      suspended sentences. The court found them guilty of attacking a
      Chinese man on the Moscow metro in September 2006 while shouting
      racist slogans and stabbing a Krygyz victim to death the next month.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051608BM.shtml
      ------------

      VANDALS OF KRASNOYARSK JEWISH CEMETERY FACE CHARGES OF ETHNIC HATRED
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 20, May 16, 2008

      Three residents of Krasnoyarsk were put on trial on charges of having
      vandalized a Jewish cemetery, according to a May 13 report by the
      Jewish.ru web site. While in the past most cemetery vandals were
      charged simply with "hooliganism," the three defendants in Krasnoyarsk
      face the rarely applied charge of "damaging tombstones motivated by
      ethnic hatred." The three suspects allegedly vandalized the cemetery
      on the night of October 7, 2007 after getting drunk. One of the
      defendants may face confinement in a psychiatric institution in
      addition to the criminal charges he faces.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051608BM.shtml
      -----------

      WEB SITE CHARGED WITH ETHNIC HATRED
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 20, May 16, 2008

      The Investigations Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's Office has
      opened a criminal case over the publication of extremist materials on
      the Internet site Ufa Gubernskaya (www.ufabug.com), Interfax reported
      on May 14. The case was opened over the publication of excerpts from a
      book by Airat Dilmukhametov, a former leader of the unregistered
      Bashkir National Front. The prosecutors found the publication to
      contain "expressions calling for illegal extremist actions aimed at
      fanning hatred or feud based on ethnic origin and religious
      affiliation." The web site is accused of making public calls for
      extremism and fanning ethnic, racial, or religious discord, the
      Bashkortostan Prosecutor's Office reported.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051608BM.shtml
      ------------

      Russland: Schirinowski plädiert für parlamentarische Republik
      RIA Novosti, May 17, 2008

      MOSKAU, 17. Mai (RIA Novosti). Russland muss sich in Richtung
      Parlamentsrepublik bewegen, erklärte Parteichef Schirinowski am
      Samstag auf dem Parteitag der Liberaldemokraten.
      Am heutigen Samstag findet in Moskau der 21. Parteitag der
      Liberaldemokratischen Partei Russlands (LDPR) statt. Die
      Parteitagsdelegierten nehmen Korrekturen am Parteistatut vor und
      diskutieren über Änderungen an der Verfassung Russlands.
      In seinem Diskussionsbeitrag sagte Wladimir Schirinowski: "Der
      Übergang von einer Präsidialrepublik zu einer parlamentarischen
      Republik könnte ein Schritt in eine Richtung sein, die unsere
      Gesellschaft menschlicher und sicherer macht." Ihm zufolge hängt das
      Schicksal des ganzen Landes bei einer Präsidialrepublik von einem
      einzigen Menschen ab, während "bei einer parlamentarischen (Republik)
      alles anders ist".
      Der Chef der Liberaldemokraten schlug Russland vor, sich in seinem
      innenpolitischen Leben nach den Erfahrungen nordeuropäischer,
      vorwiegend der skandinavischen Staaten als Vorbild zu richten -
      Norwegens, Schwedens, Finnlands und Dänemarks. Nach seinen Worten sind
      für Russland die Erfahrungen der südeuropäischen Länder nicht
      geeignet, weil "das ganze Südeuropa faschistische Regimes durchgemacht
      hat".
      Schirinowski sprach in seiner üblichen expressiven Manier und schnitt
      auch viele andere Themen an: Zarenregime, Bolschewiki, Fußball,
      Demographie und russische Entlehnungen aus anderen Sprachen.
      Der nächste Parteitag der LDPR findet im Dezember 2009 statt, teilte
      Schirinowski mit.

      http://de.rian.ru/russia/20080517/107638988.html
      -------

      Haft für Rechtsextreme
      Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 17, 2008 No.114, Page 9

      Moskau - Vier russische Rechtsextremisten sind in Moskau zu
      lebenslanger Haft verurteilt worden. Das Gericht befand die Männer am
      Donnerstag für schuldig, im August 2006 einen Bombenanschlag auf einen
      Markt im Osten der russischen Hauptstadt verübt zu haben, bei dem 14
      Menschen starben. Es handelte sich um den ersten gezielt gegen
      Ausländer gerichteten Anschlag in Russland. Seitdem haben Übergriffe
      auf Menschen aus Asien, Afrika oder dem Kaukasus deutlich zugenommen. AFP
      -----------

      Crackdown on Antisemitic Incitement in Two Cities
      FSU Monitor, May 19, 2008

      Prosecutors in two Russian cities have recently taken steps against
      antisemitic incitement. In the first case, prosecutors in Novosibirsk
      have succeeded in shutting down the newspaper "Otchizna" for violating
      laws against the incitement of ethnic hatred, in this case against
      Jews, according to a May 16, 2008 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. Meanwhile in the Astrakhan region, four
      members of the bizarre antisemitic cult "Towards God's Kingdom" are on
      trial for forming an extremist group and inciting ethnic hatred,
      according to a May 15, 2008 posting on the web site "Kavkazsky Uzel."
      Prosecutors argue that the defendants, who include a doctor, an
      engineer, and a teacher at the Moscow Aviation Institute, were members
      of the cult since 2002 and as such engaged in antisemitic agitation,
      including public statements aimed at demonizing Jews.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051908Russia.shtml
      -----------

      Attack on Jewish Community in Bashkortostan
      FSU Monitor, May 19, 2008

      Drunken youths banged metal pipes on the door of a Jewish community
      center in Salavat, Russia (Republic of Bashkortostan) in an attempt to
      break in during a religious service, according to a May 19, 2008
      report by the AEN news agency. "Four youths asked in a very rude way
      if we were Jews" and then attempted to force entry into the building,
      a local community leader was quoted as saying. "It was terrible. Those
      guys were drunk and could have done anything," he added. The attack
      scared the congregation, especially the children, but police did
      arrive in time to detain the youths. It is not clear what charges they
      face.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051908Russ2.shtml
      ------------

      Russian Mufti's Idea Of Building Muslim, Ethnic Urban Areas Dangerous
      – Expert
      Interfax, May 19, 2008

      MOSCOW. May 19 (Interfax) - Russian political scientist Sergei Markov
      has denounced Co-Chairman of the Council of Muftis Nafigulla Ashirov's
      proposal to build separate residential areas for Muslims and victims
      of racial attacks, describing it as dangerous and inappropriate.
      "It is a dangerous proposal. Ghettoes are something the world
      resents. Ashirov is proposing the artificial creation of ghettos,"
      Markov said in an interview with the Interfax-Religion portal on Monday.
      The emergence of enclaves similar to the ones proposed by the Russian
      mufti, "led to unrest in Paris," he said.
      "This proposals must not only be disregarded by eth authorities, but
      it must even be categorically rejected as dangerous and simply
      inappropriate. Everything possible must be done to avoid the emergence
      of any ethnic or religious urban residential clusters in Russian
      cities," Markov said.
      Residential compounds of this kind, if formed, will "be detonators of
      ethnic and religious conflicts," he said. Moreover, they will slow
      ethnic minorities' integration and "alienate these people further from
      society," Markov said.
      "Then again, the problem of Neo-Nazis is overly exaggerated in
      Russia. Neo-Nazis do exist in this country, but they are a lot less
      numerous than in Germany or France," said Markov.
      ----------

      Anti-Missionary Bill in Penza, Russia Parliament
      FSU Monitor, May 22, 2008

      A bill in the parliament of the Penza region in Russia envisions
      increasing government control over proselytizing in the region.
      According to a May 20, 2008 report by the Interfax news agency,
      missionaries would need documents declaring their missionary status
      issued by officially registered religious organizations. Missionary
      activity can take place only in religious buildings owned by the
      missionary's confession, inside residential buildings only with the
      consent of other residents, or at outdoor events that have been
      approved by local government agencies. Only people who have
      voluntarily agreed to be present at missionary events can be
      proselytized, and children need to have written permission from their
      parents in order to attend. Missionaries from outside the region have
      to present to the local authorities documents proving their membership
      in a registered religious organization, passport information,
      information about the purpose of the visit and the amount of time the
      missionary will be present in the region, a copy of an invitation
      issued by a locally registered religious organization (if such an
      invitation has been issued), and a schedule of planned activities
      while in the region. Foreign citizens who arrive in the region with
      tourist or other kinds of visas other than a missionary visa are not
      allowed to proselytize. Violations of these regulations could lead to
      a fine.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052208Russia.shtml
      -----------

      Moscow Investigators Charge Neo-Nazi Gang With Over 30 Attacks
      FSU Monitor, May 22, 2008

      Moscow prosecutors have charged nine neo-Nazis with 32 attacks on
      ethnic minorities, including 19 murders and 13 attempted murders,
      according to a May 16, 2008 report by the ITAR-TASS news agency. The
      suspects, who include one young woman, are a mix of college students
      and minors. They allegedly committed their crimes between August 2006
      and April 2007, usually late at night. The gang would pick a solitary
      ethnic minority as a victim, beat and stab him, then flee the scene.
      Prosecutors allege that the attacks were all motivated by ethnic
      hatred, an assertion bolstered by extremist literature found in the
      suspects' possession and the ethnicity of their victims, who included
      Chinese, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, and Azerbaijanis. All face hate
      crimes murder (Article 105) charges and ethnic incitement (Article
      282) charges; their case will soon be sent to the Moscow City Court.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052208Russ2.shtml
      ----------

      Raid on Kurgan Neo-Nazi's Home Yields Arsenal of Explosives
      FSU Monitor, May 22, 2008

      A police raid on the home of the former head of the Kurgan branch of
      the neo-Nazi group Russian National Unity (RNU) yielded an arsenal of
      explosives, according to a May 13, 2008 report in the local newspaper
      Kurgan i Kurgantsy. FSB officers detained the man, whose name the
      article did not reveal, on March 18 with two Molotov cocktails in his
      possession. A search of his home uncovered extremist literature,
      homemade knives, and bomb-making materials. He faces illegal weapons
      charges and if convicted could receive up to four years in prison.
      What the suspect intended to do with the explosives he had in his
      possession at the time of his detention was not explained in the article.
      During the mid to late 1990s, the RNU was Russia's leading neo-Nazi
      group, but it split into several components and most of its regional
      branches disappeared. Kurgan seems to be an exception, since RNU
      activists continue to distribute literature near the Russia movie
      theater once a week, according to the article.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052208Russ3.shtml
      ----------

      Racist Attack in Kaliningrad
      FSU Monitor, May 23, 2008

      Two men attacked a black lawyer who works for the Kaliningrad regional
      legislature, according to a May 21, 2008 article in the national daily
      Komsomolskaya Pravda. Aleksandr Burger-Gasanov was attacked on the
      evening of May 9 (Victory Day) near his home. The victim noticed two
      men approaching him, but the attack happened too fast for him to
      react. He lost two liters of blood as a result of the ferocity of the
      attack, which was accompanied by racist abuse, including the "N word"
      which has migrated from English to the lexicon of the Russian
      far-right. In what may be a coincidence, a few days before the attack,
      the far-right rock band "Korroziya Metalla" played in Kaliningrad and
      allegedly performed a song calling on its listeners to kill black
      people. Police are investigating the attack as an incident of
      "hooliganism." Last year, the victim's younger brother was stabbed,
      and police eventually closed that investigation, arguing that there
      "was no crime" committed.
      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052308Russia.shtml
      -----------

      Moscow Region Court Sentences Neo-Nazis
      FSU Monitor, May 23, 2008

      Eight neo-Nazis were sentenced by a Moscow region court after being
      found guilty of a November 19, 2006 attack on a Kyrgyz man, according
      to a May 23, 2008 report by the Jewish.ru web site. Three of the
      defendants got 5-6 year sentences, while the rest received suspended
      sentences after being found guilty of assault motivated by ethnic
      hatred. The defendants attacked their victim on a suburban commuter
      train while yelling the far-right slogan "Russia for Russians!"

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052308Russ2.shtml
      -----------

      NEO-NAZI GANG CHARGED WITH 32 ATTACKS ON MEMBERS OF ETHNIC MINORITIES
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 21, May 23, 2008

      Moscow prosecutors have charged nine neo-Nazis with 32 attacks on
      ethnic minorities, including 19 murders and 13 attempted murders,
      according to a May 16 report by the state-owned Itar-Tass news agency.
      The suspects, who include one young woman, are a mix of college
      students and minors, stand accused of having committed their crimes
      between August 2006 and April 2007, usually late at night. They would
      pick one solitary member of an ethnic minority as a victim, beat and
      stab him, then flee.
      Significantly, prosecutors charge that ethnic hatred motivated all the
      attacks, an assertion bolstered by extremist literature found in the
      suspects' possession. All of them face hate crimes murder (Article 105
      of the Criminal Code) charges and ethnic incitement (Article 282)
      charges. The victims included Chinese, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, and
      Azerbaijanis.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052308BM.shtml
      -----------

      Indiana Jones and the Propaganda Machine
      www.russiatoday.ru, May 23, 2008

      St. Petersburg communists have condemned the latest Indiana Jones
      movie as crude anti-Soviet propaganda and called for it to be removed
      from Russian cinemas. In an open letter to Harrison Ford, who plays
      the film's archaeologist hero, they told him `You insult the Soviet
      and Russian people, everyone who remembers the difficult 1950s!'
      `Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' is set in 1957,
      and pits the intrepid adventurer against an evil KGB agent, played by
      Cate Blanchett, as they hunt for a Peruvian crystal skull thought to
      have mystical powers. Indiana Jones battles murderous Soviet
      double-agents who try to beat him to the treasure.
      In the letter, the St. Petersburg branch of the Communist Party
      reminded Ford that "in 1957 the USSR was not sending terrorists to
      America but sending the Sputnik satellite into space!" They denounced
      the actor for portraying Soviet officers as brutal and sinister,
      telling him, "You are slapping the victorious Soviet soldier in the face."
      Cate Blanchett, who stars alongside Ford as a KGB spy, is spared the
      Party's censure for her political role, but they decide to take a
      swipe at her acting ability. "As for Blanchett, she is such a badly
      trained actor that we wouldn't even let her play an extra. But you,
      Ford, should know better," the letter said.
      Vladimir Mukhin, a member of the party, said he will ask the Culture
      Ministry to ban the film for its "anti-Soviet propaganda."
      The film, the fourth in the hugely successful Indiana Jones series,
      went on release in Russian cinemas on Thursday. It is being shown on
      808 screens, the widest ever release for a foreign movie.
      -----------

      Hate crimes charges dropped in Russia
      JTA, May 26, 2008

      Prosecutors in a Russian town near Moscow dropped hate crimes charges
      against youths who attacked a Jewish school.
      Police in Bryansk last December arrested one college student and
      three teenagers in connection with five separate attacks on a Jewish
      school during late October and throughout November.
      The youths, who are members of a neo-Nazi gang, shattered all but one
      of the windows of the Ohr Avner Jewish school and also shouted
      anti-Semitic threats to students of the school.
      Though investigators said the attacks were motivated by ethnic
      hatred, prosecutors ruled May 21 that the youths will only face
      charges of vandalism and hooliganism in a local court.

      http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/108754.html
      ----------

      Duma Seeks Support for War Veteran
      The Moscow Times, May 26, 2008, Issue 3909

      26 May 2008The Associated PressThe State Duma called on international
      parliaments Friday to press for Estonia to stop the genocide trial of
      a World War II veteran.
      The trial of Arnold Meri, which began this week but was then
      adjourned, is the latest incident troubling relations between Moscow
      and Tallinn.
      The Duma passed a resolution condemning the trial of Meri, who is
      charged with taking part in the deportation of 251 people to Siberia.
      According to Estonian security police files, 43 of the 251 deportees died.
      Although the crimes Meri is accused of committing did not begin until
      four years after the war's end, the resolution called the trial "a
      clear political order with the goal of reviewing the results of the
      World War II."
      Reacting swiftly, Estonia's Foreign Ministry said the "rhetoric" used
      by the Duma "contains nothing new" and was aimed at influencing the
      outcome of the trial. "Estonia is ... a constitutional state, where
      the handling of court cases is not influenced by politics. The
      statement by the Russian Duma is an attempt to make the [Meri] trial a
      political process and influence the work of the Estonian court," the
      ministry said.
      Meri, 88, is a cousin of former Estonian Prime Minister Lennart Meri,
      who was deported to Siberia with his family in June 1941 but managed
      to return to Estonia. Soviet forces occupied Latvia, Lithuania and
      Estonia in June 1940 but were driven out by the Germans a year later.
      The Baltics were reincorporated into the Soviet Union in 1944.

      http://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/1010/42/367700.htm o.
      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/05/26/017.html
      -----------

      AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2008
      The state of the world's human rights—excerpt from section on Russia
      Amnesty International, May 27, 2008

      Russian Federation
      Racism
      Violent racist attacks occurred with alarming regularity, mostly
      concentrated in big cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhnii
      Novgorod, where the majority of foreigners and ethnic minorities
      lived. While exact figures for numbers of attacks and racist incidents
      were hard to verify, the non-governmental SOVA Information and
      Analytical Centre reported that at least 61 people were killed and
      at least 369 were injured in racially motivated attacks, an increase
      on 2006. Anti-Semitic attacks and desecration of Jewish cemeteries
      were also reported. The real level of such violence remained hidden
      due to chronic under-reporting.
      Despite increased efforts by authorities to recognize the issue of
      racism, and some indications that legal provisions against racially
      motivated crimes were being used more effectively, there were few
      convictions for racist attacks and victims stated that their attempts
      to report racist attacks to the police were futile.

      www.amnesty.org
      -----------

      Mehr Opfer von Rechtsradikalen als 2007 insgesamt
      rUFO, May 27, 2008

      Mehr Opfer von Rechtsradikalen als 2007 insgesamt
      Moskau. Nicht einmal die Hälfte des Jahres 2008 ist um, und schon ist
      die Zahl rechtsradikaler Opfer höher als im Vorjahr insgesamt. Bis
      Mitte Mai wurden landesweit 72 Menschen getötet und mindestens 137
      verletzt.
      Laut Alexander Brod, Direktor des Moskauer Büros für Menschenrechte,
      starben 2007 über 50 Menschen bei rassistisch motivierten Überfällen,
      nicht weniger als 200 trugen Verletzungen davon. Die traurige
      Führungsrolle haben Moskau und das Moskauer Gebiet inne (35 Tote,
      mindestens 80 Verletzte), gefolgt von St. Petersburg (16/19) und dem
      Gebiet Swerdlowsk (3/4).
      Am meisten gefährdet sind aktuell Usbeken (12 Tote, zehn Verletzte),
      Kirgisen (9/5), Tadschiken (6/23) und Aserbaidschaner (6/7). Bei
      fremdenfeindlichen Übergriffen kamen aber auch fünf Russen ums Leben,
      28 wurden verletzt, so Brod.
      Die Menschenrechtler schätzen das rechtsradikale Potential in
      Russland auf etwa 70.000 Personen. Die „Zielgruppen" der Gewalt sind
      meist Kaukasier und Mittelasiaten, aber auch Anhänger von linken
      Jugendgruppen und Vertreter sexueller Minderheiten.

      http://www.aktuell.ru/russland/news/mehr_opfer_von_rechtsradikalen_als_2007_insgesamt_21365.html
      ------------

      Amnesty International concerned over xenophobia boost in Russia
      PanARMENIAN.Net, May 28, 2008

      /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Amnesty International is concerned over xenophobia
      increase in Russia, says the Organization's annual report.
      "The Russian authorities were increasingly intolerant of dissent or
      criticism, branding it `unpatriotic'. A crackdown on civil and
      political rights was evident throughout the year and in particular
      during the run-up to the State Duma (parliament) elections in
      December. Given the strict state control of TV and other media,
      demonstrations were the flashpoint during the year for political
      protests, with police detaining demonstrators, journalists, and human
      rights activists, some of whom were beaten. Activists and political
      opponents of the government were also subjected to administrative
      detention," the report says.
      "The number of racist attacks that came to the attention of the media
      rose; at least 61 people were killed across the country. Although
      authorities recognized the problem and there was an increase in the
      number of prosecutions for racially motivated crimes, these measures
      failed to stem the tide of violence."
      Serious concerns were expressed as regards the situation in the North
      Caucasus.
      "There were fewer reported cases of disappearances in the Chechen
      Republic than in previous years; however, serious human rights
      violations were frequent and individuals were reluctant to report
      abuses, fearing reprisals. Ingushetia saw an increase in serious
      violations, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial
      executions," it says.
      "Violent racist attacks occurred with alarming regularity, mostly
      concentrated in big cities such as Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhnii
      Novgorod, where the majority of foreigners and ethnic minorities
      lived. While exact figures for numbers of attacks and racist incidents
      were hard to verify, the non-governmental SOVA Information and
      Analytical Centre reported that at least 61 people were killed and
      at least 369 were injured in racially motivated attacks, an increase
      on 2006. Anti-Semitic attacks and desecration of Jewish cemeteries
      were also reported. The real level of such violence remained hidden
      due to chronic under-reporting," says the report available on Amnesty
      International's website.

      http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=26166
      -------------

      Bryansk Prosecutors Drop Hate Crimes Charges Against Attackers of
      Jewish School
      FSU Monitor, May 28, 2008

      Prosecutors in Bryansk, Russia have dropped hate crimes charges
      against a group of youths who attacked a Jewish school on multiple
      occasions, according to a May 21, 2008 report by the local news web
      site Gorod 24. The four youths, only one of whom is legally an adult,
      attacked the Or Avner Jewish school five times. Armed with wooden
      clubs, the accused allegedly shattered the school's windows while,
      according to earlier media reports, screaming antisemitic threats at
      the students within. Although investigators established that the
      attacks were motivated by ethnic hatred, the youths only face charges
      of vandalism and "hooliganism" rather than more serious hate crimes or
      extremism charges. Their case has been forwarded to a local court.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052808Russia.shtml
      ---------

      Neo-Nazis Kill Uzbek Couple in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, May 28, 2008

      A May 7 murder of an Uzbek couple in Moscow was the work of neo-Nazis,
      the May 22, 2008 edition of the national daily Moskovsky Komsomolets
      reported. Matlyuba Axkhemtova, age 42, and her husband Ukhtam Rofeev,
      age 47, were found dead on Konstantinov Street. Both were manual
      laborers who met after work to walk home together. Their killers--ages
      17 and 19--stabbed them to death. Police detained them shortly
      afterwards and are investigating their links to other murders of
      migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus. UCSJ learned of the
      murders two weeks ago, but as a matter of policy does not report every
      attack on minorities unless there is reasonably certainty that those
      attacks are hate crimes.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052808Russ2.shtml
      -------------

      Dagestani Editor Sentenced for Antisemitic Article
      FSU Monitor, May 28, 2008

      The editor of an independent newspaper in the predominately Muslim
      republic of Dagestan was found guilty of inciting ethnic hatred,
      according to a May 26, 2008 report by the Sova Information-Analytical
      Center. Nabigula Dzhavatkhanov, editor of Mnenie Naroda received a
      suspended sentence of one and a half years for his article "An Answer
      to the Zionists." An expert commission found that the article incites
      "hatred towards the Jewish ethnos" and "humiliates the dignity... of
      citizens of Jewish nationality." The court also found that the article
      "contained elements of extremism."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/052808Russ3.shtml
      ----------

      Russian historian is concerned with a large-scale "slanderous
      campaign" against Nicholas II
      Interfax, May 29, 2008

      Moscow, May 28, Interfax - Well-known historian and author of four
      books about Nicholas II Pyotr Multatuli is concerned that some
      domestic and foreign circles discredit last Russian emperor's name,
      Interfax-Religion has reported.
      "Discrediting image of Nicholas II is still a part of propagandistic
      war led against Russia by some forces in the West. That's why the West
      with the assistance of some homebred playwrights go on replicating
      tons of slanderous trash pretending to be a new "biography" of
      Nicholas II," he stated at a conference in Moscow.
      Multatuli regrets that "Russia also expands the slanderous campaign
      against the name of Nicholas II."
      "Though today there are historians, politicians, publicists and
      public figures who tell the truth about personality of the last
      Russian emperor, public opinion is still stuffed with deceitful myths
      about him," the historian stated.
      According to him, "certain forces in this country consciously back
      up" these myths.
      "These forces don't want Russian people to know the truth about their
      history as it is impossible to manipulate the nation that knows its
      history. That's why the entire industry of lie is established in
      cinematography, television and literature to defame, to blacken and to
      pervert Russian history," he stated.
      Multatuli, a great grandson of cook Ivan Kharitonov executed in the
      Ipatyev house together with the tsar family, urged "to realize that
      discrediting the tsar's name is discrediting the name of Russia and
      legalization of the crime committed to Russia in the 20th century."
      He noted that Nicholas II showed an example of "a moral politician."
      According to him, the tsar considered politics from the positions of
      morality and "wanted his subordinates to be equally responsible for
      the destiny of their Motherland."
      "Nicholas II cherished the enormous nation of the Russian Empire. The
      best prove is that Russia's population had grown by 50 million people
      under his rule," the historian noted.
      He also pointed out to the fidelity of tsar passion-bearer to
      Orthodoxy while "Orthodox identity evaded Russian governing elite and
      was substituted by various surrogates, freakish mixes of mystiques,
      occultism, masonry, socialism and God-seeking."
      According to him, it was under Nicholas II rule that the Chinese
      Eastern Railways and the South Manchuria railways were built, worked
      out were plans of the whole country's electrification, a petrol pipe
      from Baku to the Persian Gulf and project of the Belomor-Baltic
      channel. Drafted were major plants in the Urals and the Far East and
      the Baikal-Amur railroad trunk line.
      "Bolsheviks realized these great plans afterwards and passed them for
      their own," the historian said.
      -----------

      Medwedew setzt sich für CSD ein
      Queer.de, May 30, 2008

      Der russische Präsident Dmitri Medwedew hat die Stadt Moskau
      aufgefordert, den für Sonntag geplanten CSD zuzulassen.
      Das erklärten die CSD-Organisatoren in einer Pressemitteilung.
      Allerdings hätten sie bislang noch keine Genehmigung erhalten. In den
      letzten beiden Jahren hat der Moskauer Bürgermeister Juri Luschkow die
      Demonstration verboten. Auch dieses Jahr hat Luschkow, der den CSD
      zuvor als "satanisch" bezeichnet hatte, die Veranstaltung untersagt
      (queer.de berichtete). Medwedews Vorgänger Wladimir Putin hatte
      Homosexuelle im vergangenen Jahr für den Rückgang der Geburtenrate
      verantwortlich gemacht (queer.de berichtete).
      "Wir hoffen immer noch auf einen Kompromiss", erklärte
      CSD-Organisator Nikolai Alekseew. "Der CSD wird dem Gesetz
      entsprechend durchgeführt werden. In der russischen Verfassung ist das
      Recht auf friedliche Demonstrationen garantiert. Ein Verbot würde
      sowohl gegen russische Gesetze verstoßen als auch gegen Europäische
      Menschenrechtskonvention."
      Derzeit ist eine Klage der CSD-Organisatoren gegen das
      Demonstrationsverbot der letzten beiden Jahre im
      Menschenrechtsgerichtshof in Straßburg anhängig.
      Beim diesjährigen CSD wird dem 15. Jahrestag der Entkriminalisierung
      von Homosexualität gedacht. Während der Sowjetzeit wurden viele
      Schwule und Lesben bis in die 80er Jahre in Krankenhäuser eingewiesen,
      um sie von ihrer Homosexualität zu "heilen". Viele von ihnen landeten
      in Arbeitslagern in Sibirien. (dk)

      http://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=8830
      --------------

      Rechte Nationalisten provozieren Gewalt bei Homosexuellen-Demo
      Der Spiegel, June 1, 2008

      Erneut Randale während einer Schwulen-Demo in Moskau: Die Polizei hat
      die Kundgebung mit einem Großaufgebot aufgelöst, nachdem es zu
      Handgreiflichkeiten mit rechten Nationalisten gekommen war.
      Moskau - Insgesamt 13 Personen nahm die Polizei fest, die meisten
      davon waren Sympathisanten der rechten Szene. Die Versammlung der
      Homosexuellen im Zentrum Moskaus hatten die Behörden nicht erlaubt.
      Bereits in der Vergangenheit waren ähnliche Kundgebungen nicht
      genehmigt worden.
      Während der Auflösung der Protestversammlung kam es zu
      Handgreiflichkeiten von Seiten rechter Nationalisten und Festnahmen.
      Das meldete die Agentur Interfax. Einige der Festgenommenen hatten
      Teilnehmer der Kundgebung mit Faustschlägen und Fußtritten
      angegriffen, berichteten Augenzeugen.
      Außerdem protestierten vor dem Rathaus der Hauptstadt Mitglieder der
      russisch-orthodoxen Kirche mit Kruzifixen und Ikonen gegen die
      Veranstaltung.
      Die Polizei habe zudem eine Wohnung aufgesucht, aus der ein
      Transparent gehangen habe, sagte ein Behördensprecher. Mit dem Banner
      sei der Moskauer Oberbürgermeister Juri Luschkow aufgefordert worden,
      die Rechte von Schwulen und Lesben zu gewährleisten.
      Hingegen sagte ein Vertreter der Moskauer Homosexuellen-Organisation,
      die Kundgebung sei absichtlich friedlich verlaufen: "Wir wollten Herrn
      Luschkow zeigen, dass wir nicht so "abartig" sind, wie er uns hinstellt."
      In Russland wurde ein Verbot gleichgeschlechtlicher Liebe zwar 1993
      aufgehoben. Trotzdem gibt es noch heute fast überall in der früheren
      Sowjetunion null Toleranz für offen lebende Schwule und Lesben. Nahezu
      50 Prozent der Russen gaben in einer Befragung vom Juni 2006 zu, dass
      sie Homosexualität verurteilen. Im Mai 2007 war auf einer nicht
      genehmigten Schwulen-Kundgebung in Moskau der Grünen-
      Bundestagsabgeordnete Volker Beck vorübergehend festgenommen worden.

      http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,557015,00.html
      -------------

      May 2008: Monthly Results
      SOVA News Release, June 1, 2008
      In May 2008, there were at least 13 attacks on individuals, which left
      4 people dead and as many as 14 injured. We can note a reduction in
      skinhead activities, compared to previous months. However, it is
      important to stress that media neglect is the reason for such apparent
      decrease in the number of hate crimes. In May, confirmed incidents
      occurred in Moscow (four dead and four injured), Bryansk, Kaliningrad,
      Novokuznetsk, Omsk, and Tula. Overall, there were at least 232 victims
      of hate crimes (57 of whom died) during the first five months of 2008.
      Such incidents were registered in 21 regions of Russia. During the
      same period of 2007, there were 279 victims (39 deaths). Moscow (35
      dead and 89 injured) and Saint Petersburg (11 dead and 18 injured)
      continue to be the centers of violence in Russia. The Courts announced
      at least 5 accusatory verdicts in May, sentencing 19 people for
      racially-motivated crimes. Such verdicts culminated trials in Moscow,
      Moscow Region, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, and Penza Region. The most
      noteworthy was the conviction of eight suspects who stood trial for
      the explosion at the Cherkizov Market in Moscow, which left 13 people
      dead and 53 injured. Four defendants were sentenced to life
      imprisonment, while the others received sentences ranging from 2 to 20
      years in prison. Overall, since the beginning of 2008 there were 12
      confirmed accusatory verdicts in 11 different regions of Russia. At
      least 4 convictions were made in May 2008 (in Voronezh, Lipetsk,
      Dagestan, and Saint Petersburg), including the important decision
      against Dmitry Rumyantsev, the leader of National Socialist Society,
      who received a conditional sentence for his speech at a demonstration
      in Voronezh in 2007. We would also like to note the May 26 verdict
      against six members of Kazan branch of the Russian National Unity
      movement, each of which received between 4 and 7 years in prison. The
      convicted were charged on 8 counts, including article 282 (part 2),
      which addresses membership in extremist groups. Previously, this
      article was only evoked in the convictions of alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir
      members. The Federal List of Extremist Materials continues to expand.
      As of the end of May 2008 there were 141 items on the list. The list
      also omits publishing information for dozens of materials, which makes
      their identification impossible.
      ========================


      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS

      STALIN'S APOLOGISTS GO INTO THE OFFENSIVE: Historians Steeped in the
      Stalin Era Attempt to Restart the Stalin Cult
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 20, May 16, 2008

      To rewrite the past to suit the politics of the present has been an
      objective of dictatorships the world over. In ancient Egypt, the
      pharaoh of a new dynasty chiseled out the boasts of his predecessors
      on limestone steles and had masons etch in his own accomplishments. In
      modern times, Russian leaders have defined "the correct version of the
      past" and condemned "the falsifiers of history" who dared to disagree.
      With the emergence of a new Russian leadership that apparently seeks a
      balance between the siloviki (those with KGB backgrounds) and the
      so-called liberals, the heirs of the KGB have launched a campaign to
      whitewash most reprehensible parts of the Stalin era's record.
      FSB CALLS FOR CANCELING 1989 DENUNCIATION OF1939 STALIN-HITLER PACT.
      The Federal Security Service (known as the FSB, successor to the KGB)
      is working with Russian historians to exonerate the infamous
      Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 by selectively releasing classified
      documents as well as appealing to the Duma to overturn the
      denunciation of that pact by the Soviet Congress of Peoples' Deputies
      in 1989, Paul Goble wrote on May 13 in his blog "Window on Eurasia." A
      former U.S. government specialist in nationalities of the Soviet
      Union, Goble has published some additional details of an April 22
      roundtable discussion, titled "Problems of the Publication of Sources
      about the Great Fatherland War. Criticism of Attempts at the
      Falsification of History," hosted by the FSB. The meeting included
      archivists, historians, and representatives of the Russian Orthodox
      Church.
      According to the portal newsarmenia cited by Goble, Colonel Sergei
      Ignatenko, the head of the FSB's Center for Public Affairs, revealed
      that the FSB wants to release any document it has "if this does not
      involve a state secret." The reason, Ignatenko said, is the increasing
      tendency by Russian and foreign historians, novelists, and filmmakers
      to "falsify" the history of the Second World War and the Soviet
      Union's role in it. "That which we see on movie screens today," he
      declared, "is to a great extent falsification in a pure form." He
      added that "with rare exceptions," there are no serious historical
      investigations of this subject. One reason for that is the efforts of
      "our Western opponents" who "distribute money" in order to denigrate
      Russia, its people, and its history.
      Colonel Ignatenko said that when he asked Russian filmmakers why they
      were distorting the history of the war, they responded by saying that
      they were doing so "in order to increase ratings." They do not think,
      Ignatenko said, how harmful this is. He announced: "We beyond any
      doubt must be responsible for what we bring to the masses."
      Goble then cited the statement that might have been the reason for
      calling the meeting: Oleg Rzheshevskiy, a senior scholar at the
      Academy of Sciences Institute of General History and the president of
      the Russian Association of Historians of the Second World War, called
      for the Russian parliament to overturn the 1989 condemnation of the
      so-called "secret protocol" of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
      Rzheshevskiy said: "When this protocol was condemned, did anyone think
      about the fact that this agreement was concluded in the interests of
      [Russian] security?" He contended that circumstances gave the USSR no
      other way out and he declared, "if the parliament of Russia will
      reverse this decision, that step alone will permit a more effective
      struggle with the falsifiers of history."
      PAVLOVA: REVERSION TO STALINIST LIES WILL TURN PEOPLE TO THE TRUTH. To
      put Rzheshevskiy's remarks in a historical context, Goble cited an
      essay, posted on the Grani.ru portal, by Moscow historian and
      commentator Irina Pavlova who participated in the FSB roundtable
      discussion. She argued that Rzheshevskiy carried out a long-awaited
      "revenge" of Soviet-era historians on those who spoke the truth about
      Stalin in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pavlova predicted that in
      the current political climate, Rzheshevskiy and his comrades think
      that "victory will be theirs." These historians hold "all the posts in
      Russian historical science and they also control the preparation of
      new [professional] cadres." She recalled the programmatic document
      adopted at the time of a 1997 meeting of the association of historians
      that Rzheshevskiy heads. They argued then that "history is a political
      science" and that in writing it, historians must "always think about
      the interests of their state and be concerned about the healthy
      thinking of the [rising] generations."
      In her current article, Pavlova emphasized that what is taking place
      in post-Soviet historical scholarship is linked to political processes
      in the country. She identified those processes as aimed at defeating
      efforts to tell the truth about the past. Nevertheless, Pavlova
      concluded on a surprisingly positive note. The current leaders, she
      wrote, "can give directions and the historians who serve them can
      write about the Second World War however they like. They can lie as
      much as they want, praising Stalin and his policies to the skies, and
      slandering again as much as possible those" who disagree. "But the
      truth about the war, which at the end of the 1980s and the beginning
      of the 1990s began to emerge out from under the rubble, can't be
      pushed back. It lives. And the greater the effort to impose the
      pro-Stalinist conception on society, the more people will be drawn
      [not to it but] to the truth."
      BELARUS KGB PRESSURES ORTHODOX NOT TO VENERATE SOVIET-ERA MARTYRS. The
      KGB effort to recapture its control over history transcends borders.
      The Belarus secret police, still called KGB, discourages the
      commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the
      Soviet Union, Forum 18 News Service reported on May 12. The KGB has
      sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the
      Orthodox Church, removed from Grodno Cathedral.
      Russian Orthodox Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 that "Some
      comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting
      the people in such a way." While there was no official order to remove
      the icons--"it was on the level of a chat"--Kurayev reported that
      Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take
      them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."
      The news service that specializes in religion in countries of the
      former Soviet Union has also learned from a local Orthodox source that
      KGB officers often monitor visitors to Kuropaty, where mass graves of
      Stalinist repression victims probably include Orthodox martyrs. The
      act of going there--even to light candles--is "fraught with tension"
      with the current Belarusian regime, according to the source. An
      Orthodox chapel once planned for the site has never been built.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/051608BM.shtml
      --------

      Russia's Muslims Need to Form Enclaves to Defend Against Xenophobic
      Attacks, Ashirov Says
      By: Paul Goble
      Window on Eurasia, May 19, 2008

      Baku, May 20 – Muslims living in the Russian Federation are now so
      often the victims of xenophobic attacks that they need to form
      enclaves like the ones Muslims have in many European cities in order
      to be able to defend themselves, according to the controversial head
      of the Muslim Spiritual Administration (MSD) for the Asiatic Part of
      Russia.
      Nafigulla Ashirov, who has often drawn fire for his remarks about
      Zionism and other religions, said in an interview given to
      IslamNews.ru that the Muslim community in Russia has no choice, given
      official indifference or complicity with the skinheads, if it hopes to
      defend itself (www.islamnews.ru/news-11801.html).
      "A woman is the most defenseless part of the Muslim community," the
      mufti said making reference to last week's attack against one of them
      in the Moscow metro. (On that attack, see
      www.islamrf.ru/articles.php?razdel=1&sid=3009). "If the authorities
      cannot effectively defend the citizens, the latter must be given the
      possibility to defend themselves" one way or another.
      The best way, one that Europe's Muslims have long employed either by
      default or by design, is through "the establishment of large
      neighborhoods" where they form an overwhelming majority" and where
      there is "a mosque, kindergartens, schools and other kinds of Muslim
      infrastructure."
      But in response to an explosion of opposition to this idea, Ashirov
      told a colleague that he had made it in the heat of anger after the
      recent attack and that he certainly did not want to be understood as
      saying that this was the only solution to the problems that Muslims in
      Russia now face (www.islamnews.ru/news-11857.html).
      Both because they formed such a relatively small portion of Russian
      cities in the past and because the "propiska" or registration system,
      which was universal in Soviet times and exists in a modified form now,
      they were not able and officials did not permit them to form the kind
      of neighborhoods that Muslim immigrants formed elsewhere.
      But now with the dramatic growth in their numbers in many Russian
      cities – there are more than 2.5 million Muslims (in ethnic terms) in
      Moscow, for example – and the possibility of bribing officials to
      allow them to live where they want, more and more Muslims there are
      living together, as immigrant communities typically have elsewhere.
      That pattern by itself is changing the relationship between the
      Muslims and the surrounding community, allowing the former to maintain
      the languages of the regions they come from and the traditional
      behavior of their nationalities and prompting the latter to view them
      with disdain or even outright hatred.
      Many analysts and community leaders have seen this change as an
      indication that the relatively peaceful relations between Muslims and
      non-Muslims in Russian cities is going to change still further for the
      worse, possibly leading to the kind of violence that have marred Paris
      and other French cities during the past two years.
      Both Muslims and non-Muslims in Russia have long worried about such a
      trend, although the latter are more inclined to blame the rise of the
      skinheads and the latter to blame the Muslims themselves for any
      problems. (For an example on such discussions, see the roundtable in
      the current issue of Vestnik Evropy at
      magazines.russ.ru/vestnik/2008/22/mu7.html.)
      Up to now, few Muslim leaders have been willing to suggest that the
      two communities should live apart in the way Ashirov proposes, fearful
      that such ideas will only add fuel to the fire of inter-ethnic and
      inter-religious tensions in the Russian Federation thereby making what
      they acknowledge is now a bad situation even worse.
      But the rising number of victims of xenophobic attacks – more than 70
      people mostly Muslims have been killed in Russia from them in the last
      four months alone – and the failure of the Russian police to protect
      Muslims from such violence are leading more and more people to think
      what was once unthinkable or at least unspeakable except by someone
      like Ashirov.
      Nonetheless, at least in public, most Muslim leaders in the Russian
      Federation – such as Ravil Gainutdin, who heads the Union of Muftis of
      Russia (SMR) not only will not give any support for such an idea but
      are quite prepared to speak out against both it and him
      (http://www.islam.ru/rus/2008-05-19/#21276).
      That could change, however, because as outspoken mufti argued at least
      initially, "those who like to speak in the name of Muslims and receive
      privileges in the name of Muslims by keeping quiet about these
      problems are only making the situation worse," a prediction that if it
      proves true could tear that country or at least its major cities apart.

      http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2008/05/window-on-eurasia-russias-muslims-need.html
      ------------

      The rise of Russia and its football
      www.opendemocracy.net, May 19, 2008

      As Moscow prepares to host an iconic Champions League final between
      Manchester United and Chelsea, Marc Bennetts turns a spotlight on the
      unknown world of Russian football.
      Following Zenit St. Petersburg's stunning victory in the UEFA Cup
      final in Manchester in front of hordes of howling Glasgow Rangers
      fans, and the upcoming Champions League final in Moscow between those
      two giants of English football - Manchester United and Chelsea - the
      football world has fixed its attention firmly on Russia. And it has
      realised that it knows next to nothing about the subject.
      While the world's media has long been full of tales of Russian spies,
      politicians, and oligarchs, the country's football still remains the
      Great Unknown, isolated by politics and geography, culture and history.
      The break-up of Soviet football
      Sport in the former Soviet Union, as in many other communist and
      totalitarian states, was considered hugely significant for
      international prestige. Victory was proof of the wonders of socialism;
      defeat was a disaster, a disgrace to the ideals of Lenin and Marx. As
      a result, huge amounts of resources were poured into the USSR's
      sporting infrastructure, and talented youngsters were encouraged,
      nurtured and provided with the very best in terms of facilities.
      However, the collapse of the USSR in 1991 meant more than just the
      end of the world's first socialist state; it also signalled the
      break-up of Soviet football. Overnight, the Soviet Union's players
      found themselves deprived of the centralised state system, and thrust
      into a new and sometimes frightening world.
      The realities of post-perestroika Russia meant that the ruling
      powers, indeed the general population, had little time for any form of
      sport. In the 1990's, Russia was in real danger of ceasing to exist as
      a fully functioning state. The world's largest country was being
      ripped apart by a brutal separatist war in Chechnya, a vicious crime
      wave, and the incompetence and corruption of the Yeltsin regime.
      Football was the last thing on most people's minds.
      The first games I went to in Russia in the mid-1990s were
      characterized by extremely low crowds, players whose only desire was
      to sign with a foreign club, and an overwhelming sensation of sadness
      as once great football was brought to its knees. Turnstiles were often
      opened at half-time to let fans in for free, such was the lack of
      interest.
      The oil dollar effect
      Now, however, everything has changed. Oil dollars have transformed
      Russia, and its national game along with it, making its Premier League
      football the fifth richest in Europe in terms of turnover. The crowds
      have come back, and the quality of both the domestic players and the
      imports, or `legionaries' as the Russians say, has risen dramatically.
      The `player drain' has been well and truly plugged, with average
      wages looking increasingly generous and top players regularly claiming
      that they see no point in leaving Russia to play for a mid-table
      European side. A great change indeed from the 1990's, when, for
      example, Sergei Yuran, the Spartak Moscow mid-fielder and Russian
      international, signed a contract with the struggling second division
      English side Millwall at a time when Spartak were champions of Russia
      and regularly involved in Champions League football.
      Top Russian players like Zenit's Andrey Arshavin can now earn
      $200,000 a month. However, the economic boom sweeping through Russia
      may be in the process of transforming the country, but it is also
      exaggerating social differences. It is splitting the population into
      `the wealthy' and `the poor', with the spaces in between looking
      increasingly sparse.
      Granted, the very top stars in the English Premier League earn far
      more than their Russian counterparts, yet while the salaries enjoyed
      by John Terry and co are unquestionably obscene, they are not, I would
      suggest, contributing to a rapidly widening, and potentially
      cataclysmic, division within British society.
      The Soviet legacy
      Despite the Western-style lifestyles and salaries enjoyed by Russia's
      top players, the legacy of the Soviet system of sport, with its
      emphasis on draconian measures to ensure the fitness of those men and
      women chosen to represent the USSR is not entirely dead.
      Russian players are cursed with possibly the strictest training
      regime in the entire world. They are forced to attend sbori, or
      training camps, during the close season, each lasting between two and
      six weeks. In the four-month gap between seasons, players are almost
      constantly away from home. They are more than often held abroad, but
      sometimes in the Russian south, in Black Sea resorts like Sochi and
      Adler. Separated from their families, the players are subject to
      strict diets and heavy training sessions. Footballers in Russia are
      also obliged to stay at the club's out-of-town training camps before
      games, including home matches, with the result that if a team has two
      matches a week they are simply never at home. As the former Spartak
      striker, Vladimir Beschastnykh, told me not so long ago, `Sometimes I
      feel like they are training us for the Special Forces.'
      The system of sbori comes from Soviet times, from the routine for
      international away matches. The players would be kept in the training
      camps prior to fixtures to ensure they were in top form before
      representing the USSR. The system then spread to clubs, and has
      remained a part of the Russian football scene.
      Restoring Russian greatness
      Sbori are not the only thing to remain from the Soviet era. Now that
      Russia has begun to reassert itself on the global stage, it is again
      looking to promote the country through sport. The Russian football
      national team, so often a source of shame and embarrassment, not once
      having managed to get out of its group at a major tournament, is
      resurgent. It goes into this summer's European Championships in
      Austria and Switzerland as one of the competition's dark horses.
      This revival of Russian football stems from a 7-1 defeat to Portugal
      in Lisbon in 2004. Even taking into account the almost complete
      control that the Russian authorities enjoy over the mass media, there
      was no way the humiliating result could be hushed up. It reflected
      badly on President Putin's pledge that Russia would eventually `catch
      up with Portugal' (in terms of GDP).
      Putin, furious at the way Russia had been torn apart in Portugal,
      contacted the president of the Russian Football Federation, Vitali
      Mutko, and instructed him to build up the national side, to look for
      sponsors and investors. As a former KGB officer, the Russian national
      leader had naturally enough inherited the Soviet belief that sport was
      intimately connected to prestige on the international scene. Spineless
      and incompetent displays like the one in Lisbon were hindering his
      attempts to restore Russian greatness and world influence.
      Oil money was rapidly turning Russia into a potential superpower, and
      states that aspire to regional, and even global, leadership simply do
      not get beaten 7-1 at football by tiny south European nations. Mutko,
      in turn, contacted the oil oligarch and Chelsea FC owner Roman
      Abramovich. The sixteenth-richest man in the world, doing his part to
      rescue Russian national pride, promptly conjured up respected Dutch
      coach, Guus Hiddink, who immediately set about rebuilding the
      demoralised Russian team.
      `We are the future'
      However, despite the Russian footballing boom, the Champions League
      final will be an all-English affair. The British media has made much
      of the Russian hooligan threat, yet as scenes in Manchester during,
      before, and after the UEFA Cup final last week prove, it may be
      Muscovites who have more to fear from drunken English supporters.
      Indeed, Russian football hooliganism is extremely organised. The
      majority of `hools' have no interest in attacking fans who are not
      involved in what they call the `near football' world. Indeed, the
      majority of Russian hardcore hooligans are dismissive of the English
      football scene. They recognise that while the Millwall and Chelsea
      thugs of the 1970's and 1980's were trendsetters, times have moved on.
      As one Russian hooligan told me recently, "We respect them, but we are
      not afraid of them. They are the past - we are the future!"
      As investment pours into the Russian game on an unprecedented scale,
      the country's sides will be hoping that soon they will also be able to
      say the same thing about their English, Italian, and Spanish counterparts.
      ----------

      Crime Stats Questioned By Rights Campaigners
      By: Ali Nassor
      St. Petersburg Times, May 20, 2008

      Human rights activists and members of ethnic minorities have condemned
      official statistics depicting a drastic fall in the number of hate
      crimes committed in St. Petersburg as exaggerated and say the decline
      if anything is cause by the police's inefficiency in dealing with such
      attacks.
      "About 60 teenagers are currently standing trial on charges of
      extremism and hate crimes," Chief of the Investigation Department of
      the St. Petersburg and Lenoblast Prosecutor's Office, Andrei Lavrenko
      told reporters on Thursday.
      He said since last year the police has managed to avert dozens of
      plots of extremism including an explosion in Dom Kino on 12
      Karavannaya Ulitsa and a plot to blow up a bus carrying police cadets.
      He said the suspects were recruits of the same network of racial
      extremists responsible for an explosion in McDonald's restaurant on
      Nevsky Prospekt last year.
      St. Petersburg and Lenoblast chief beat cop Vyacheslav Kovalenko also
      said on Thursday that 218 people mostly teenagers were apprehended
      for hate-related crimes this year compared to 433 for the same period
      last year.
      But according to a report by Galina Kozhevnikova of the Moscow-based
      Sova Information Analysis Center that monitors the nation's hate
      crimes in a quarterly report, 37 hate murders were reported across
      Russia during the period compared to 26 committed during the same
      period last year.
      However, Vadim Nepryakhin, Prosecutor of the Moskovsky District
      believes that while St. Petersburg has experienced a decline in hate
      crimes, his district deserves special credit for not having registered
      a case of that nature this year.
      "Though I don't rule out hate incidents in other parts of the city, I
      am proud to announce that our jurisdictional area is an oasis of
      peace," he said.
      "It has been quite a long time ever since we had a report of a
      violent hate crime in our district," he said.
      In a meeting with a representative of the St. Petersburg African
      community on Thursday Nepryakhin distributed a copy of safety
      instructions for foreign students.
      Several incidents of racially motivated attacks had been reported at
      a student residence on Novoizmailosky Prospekt in Nepryakhin's
      jurisdiction.
      The meeting with an African representative was one in a series that
      Nepryakhin has been holding with the leaders of the city's ethnic
      minorities this year in his efforts to overcome the problem of
      intolerance.
      Among others, he has met with representatives of the Indian, Chinese,
      Arab, Afghan and Tajik communities in what he said were measures to
      establish a bridge between the targets of hate crimes and the law
      enforcement organs.
      The safety guide Nepryakhin handed out contained more than 30
      instructions and was similar to one the city's Prosecutor's Office
      issued in November 2004.
      The Prosecutor's Office recommend foreign students to stay near the
      alarm and the driver when commuting on public transport, avoid
      transport with few passengers, avoid dark courtyards, run away if
      threatened, shout loudly to attract public attention when sensing
      danger and not to invite strangers to their rooms.
      As in 2004, the guidelines were met with some scorn by students.
      "How can you avoid transport with few passengers and get a place near
      the driver and the alarm at the same time?," said Ibrahim Diallo, a
      student from Guinea.
      "In fact, the whole thing ends up by saying that a foreign student
      should stay indoors if he wants to be safe in St. Petersburg," he said
      ----------

      Extremist Group Steps Up Pressure on Immigrants
      By: Galina Stolyarova
      St. Petersburg Times, May 20, 2008

      Members of the nationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI)
      launched a verbal attack on the pro-Kremlin United Russia party last
      weekend for introducing a series of reforms to the process of
      obtaining Russian citizenship.
      Activists from the radical youth movement staged a protest outside
      the party's local headquarters calling for an end to the reforms.
      In April, the State Duma voted to support the first draft of the
      newly amended law on Russian citizenship that cancels the requirement
      for five-year residence in the country for former Soviet citizens
      permanently residing abroad and planning to relocate to Russia.
      Under the new law, such applicants would no longer have to pass a
      Russian language exam or confirm their source of income.
      The DPNI said that enabling mostly non-Slavic people to obtain
      citizenship would be, paradoxically, "a step that would inevitably
      result in the further growth of xenophobic sentiment in the country."
      "We do not want to believe that you are fully aware of all the
      negative consequences of such a move and that you really want this
      kind of future for the country, and therefore suggest that you use
      your influence to persuade the United Russia parliamentarians to end
      the plan," reads the DPNI appeal to United Russia.
      No official reaction has followed from United Russia.
      Over the past several years the DPNI has been notorious for its
      nationalist rhetoric. Its website publishes a "crime watch" about
      crimes committed in Russia by non-Slavs.
      The movement has also been involved in a number of street clashes
      with pro-tolerance movements.
      Earlier this month, the Leninsky district court handed down suspended
      sentences to a group of anti-fascist activists responsible for
      starting a brawl with members of DPNI in September 2006.
      The members of the "antifa" group antifa refers to individuals and
      groups that are dedicated to fighting fascist tendencies claimed
      responsibility for the street clash that resulted in three people
      being sent to city hospitals with stab wou<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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