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Bulletin 1:1 (2007)

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  • andreumland
    =============================================== THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Bimonthly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 1, No. 1(1), 1 November 2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2007
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      A Bimonthly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 1, No. 1(1), 1 November 2007
      Compiler: Andreas Umland





      Call for Contributions:
      Russian Nationalism Links List


      Hate crimes: big issue for pre-election Russia
      Russia Today, September 5, 2007

      A report conducted by one of Russia's leading human rights centres
      SOVA indicates that hate crimes are on the rise in Russia. So far this
      year, there have been more than 350 racially motivated attacks,
      resulting in 38 deaths. That is almost a quarter more than last year's
      figure to this date.
      Galina Kozhevnikova from SOVA centre says they were expecting the
      resent growth of xenophobia in Russia: "Unfortunately we were not
      surprised, 20-25% growth of hate crimes is stable, but this year we
      see a new trend of other minorities targeted, like homosexuals and
      members of subcultures," she says.
      Crimes against immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus peaked in
      2004. Government's migration policy resulted in tens of thousands of
      people across Russia joining anti-immigrant groups. Now the slogan
      "Russia for Russians" is widely used to justify violence.
      At the same time a number of youth anti-extremist anti-fascist groups
      appeared in recent years to counteract the radicals.
      Russian courts have also toughened their stand on the crimes as well.
      For years hate crimes were treated as mere hooliganism. Now the
      prosecutors are more aggressive to demand the proper punishment for
      crimes with a racial motive. In 2003 only four verdicts in court have
      had racial motives considered. Last year, the number was 33.
      However intolerance runs deep in the society, say SOVA experts. Even
      some politicians are endorsing a radical nationalist agenda out in the
      2007 is an election year in Russia. Xenophobia has been promoted
      before in election campaigns. For example a party was banned from the
      elections to Moscow's city Duma in November 2005 for using a
      xenophobic ad in its campaign. President Putin has promised to fight
      extremism in government but SOVA says politicians won't hesitate to
      use nationalist ideas to gain popularity.
      "Practically all political parties taking part in the December Duma
      election, with a few exceptions, are using ultra-nationalist slogans.
      A good example is the so-called Russian project by United Russia party
      - we are no longer dealing with a social phenomenon but with a
      state-level xenophobia," says SOVA's Ms Kozhevnikova.
      Russia has always been a multicultural society but in its recent
      history has been plagued by xenophobic tendencies on many levels.
      According to SOVA, more than half of the Russian population support
      the "Russia for Russians" slogan. And if the deputies are guided only
      by what's popular in the run up for the elections, activists fear,
      attitudes may never change.


      A High Profile Neo-nazi Leader Currently Under Investigation
      Xeno-News, 02.10.2007

      On September 27, 2007, in Voronezh, a criminal case was filed against
      Dmitry Rumyantsev for the dissemination of hate propaganda covered
      under article 282, part 1 (incitement of hatred on the basis of race
      and ethnicity). Rumyantsev is one of the leaders of the
      National-Socialist Society (NSO), a relatively small, but
      well-promoted neo-nazi network. The charges have been brought in
      connection with his speech at a demonstration in Voronezh on July 21,
      The demonstration was organized by a local department of the Union of
      Russian People (SRN) to celebrate "the glory of Russian arms" and
      Rumyantsev arrived from Moscow to make a speech full of open calls to
      murder the "invaders" of "Russian land".
      According to the press-release of the Prosecutor's Office of Voronezh,
      Rumyantsev is stated as a leader of SRN. This mistake is presumably
      due to the fact that Rumyantsev is not very active in Voronezh.
      Moreover, Russian law enforcement authorities have no experience in
      prosecuting such leaders of informal network organizations as
      Rumyantsev. Thus, the Voronezh Prosecutor's Office hasn't managed to
      determine the correct affiliation of Rumyantsev, bringing charges only
      for hate propaganda, and not for creating extremist associations
      (article 282-1).
      However, the NSO has just undergone a crisis starting after the arrest
      of Maxim Martsinkevich (alias Tesak). In September, the organization
      split into two parts, with Rumyantsev and Sergey Korotkikh (alias
      Malyuta) emerging as leaders. In this situation, a hate propaganda
      charge against one of the most well-known among neo-nazis activists
      might not only demoralize the far right, but also intensify the crisis
      and reduce the activity of the NSO.


      Attempt of Terrorist Act on a Concert in St. Petersburg
      Xeno-News, 15.10.2007

      On October 13, 2007, in St. Petersburg, a ska/punk/hardcore festival
      "Music of the Streets" became a target of several neo-nazi attacks.
      The first incident happened at the beginning of the concert. A group
      of 15-20 neo-nazi skinheads attacked five young people. A young man
      had his arm broken and a girl was hospitalized with her head injured
      by a metal stick.
      The second incident happened when a Swedish group "Blisterhead" was on
      stage. A small bag which smelled like smoke was found in the hall and
      passed over to a guard who was standing near the stage. At that moment
      there were at least 300 hundred people in the hall. The tragedy didn't
      occur only because of the swift response by the guards. The smoke was
      seen coming from the bag and one of the guards doused it with water
      and removed it from the building without attracting any attention from
      the crowd.
      The police found a homemade explosive device in the bag and the city
      prosecutor's office initiated charges of illegal possession of
      explosives (Article 222 of the Criminal Code). The case was given over
      to the jurisdiction of the newly formed Investigation Committee. There
      has been no information about any charges of an attempted terrorist
      The festival did not have any political overtones; however, a St.
      Petersburg group "Spitfire", one of the headliners, is known as being
      antifascist. The festival had been widely discussed on the web by
      neo-nazis. Later all the discussions were deleted from the websites.
      Reportedly, there were more attacks on individuals before and during
      the concert.
      On October 15, St. Petersburg national socialists on their website
      implicitly took responsibility for these events, publishing a
      statement which approved the assaults and the attempted explosion
      while also threatening antifascists and all the non-political
      supporters of the ska/punk/hardcore music with new attacks.


      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 40, Friday, October 19, 2007

      Unidentified men in an unmarked car shot at four ethnic Russians in
      Karabulak, Ingushetia. The incident is the latest in a series of
      attacks on ethnic Russians in the Caucasus republic, according to the
      national daily "Vremya Novostey" of October 15. Three members of the
      Kortikov family and a neighbor fell victim to the drive-by shooting.
      The attackers used automatic weapons, killing at least one, according
      to the newspaper. Regional authorities at first denied that an
      attempted ethnic cleansing is taking place, but after this latest
      attack, a local official termed it a deliberate act aimed at
      destabilizing "interethnic accord" in the republic.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 40, Friday, October 19, 2007

      A group of youths armed with knives ambushed two natives of the
      Caucasus in Yekaterinburg, Russia, according to the local edition of
      the national daily "Komsomolskaya Pravda" of October 16. In the
      evening of October 14, the two men encountered a young woman on the
      street who asked them for a cigarette. As they stopped to speak with
      her, a group of four men ambushed them, stabbing and beating them. The
      victims were not robbed, making it likely that the attack was a hate
      crime. No arrests have been reported.

      A Series of Neo-nazi Attacks in Moscow
      Xeno-News, 22.10.2007

      On October 20, 2007, in Moscow, a group of up to 30 teenagers,
      presumably football fans, attacked several people, and as a result one
      of the victims died. All of the assaulted people were of "non-Slavic"
      appearance. The incidents took place after a football match between
      the "Spartak" and "Moskva" clubs.
      At around 5 p.m. on Architect Vlasov street, Sergey Nikolaev, a native
      of Yakutia and a 46 year-old well-known chess player and businessman,
      was attacked by a mob of young people armed with baseball bats and
      knives. Nikolaev was severely beaten and received 10 knife wounds. He
      died on the scene.
      Later in the same day, the mob moved to the neighboring Nametkina
      street where two more attacks were carried out. Galidzhan Gulyashov, a
      37 year-old street cleaner from Uzbekistan, and Salimjan Rakhmonov, a
      28 year-old Tadjik, were hospitalized with serious traumas and wounds.
      There is no information available about any attempts by the police to
      stop the mob from moving and thus prevent further violence, but
      however, later in the evening, 63 football fans of the "Spartak" team
      were detained in the area. Half of them were released the same
      evening, with the others held in connection to the attacks.
      The Moscow Prosecutor's Office initiated an investigation into the
      incident of assault leading to death committed by a group (article
      111, part 4). The investigators have recognized the hate motive as one
      of the possible motives behind the crime.
      On the following day, October 21, another Uzbeki individual was killed
      in Moscow as a result of a series of knife wounds. The attack was
      recorded by a safety camera mounted on a nearby building. To this
      date, the police have not cited a hate motive as connected to the crime.


      RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 11, No. 199, Part I, 26 October 2007

      The Moscow city authorities have granted permission for a "Russian
      March" to be held on November 4, which is National Unity Day,
      gazeta.ru reported on October 25, citing the press service of the
      Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI). Human rights activists
      expressed concern about the planned march, Interfax reported. "Such
      actions do not only harm the image of the country, but scare away
      investors and also contribute to a reduction in the number of foreign
      students studying in Russia," said Aleksandr Brod, the director of the
      Moscow Bureau for Human Rights. According to Interfax, Brod
      acknowledged that the authorities cannot legally prevent the march,
      but said they should carefully check the application submitted by the
      march's organizers and ensure that participants in the march do not
      violate the rights of others. "All of the organizers of such actions
      are known, [and] it is already difficult for them to use words about
      planning...some sort of cultural activities as a cover," Brod said. He
      added: "The cult of violence, words about how one nationality is
      superior to another, can bring about nothing good. All centers of
      negative ideology and inter-ethnic hatred should be blocked." JB

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      Three members of ethnic minorities were stabbed to death, two of them
      during a rampage by youthful soccer fans in Moscow over the weekend,
      according to an October 23 report in the national daily "Komsomolskaya
      Pravda." The violence erupted on Saturday after a soccer match. The
      youths walked around the southern part of the city, attacking anybody
      they thought did not look like an ethnic Russian. The first victim was
      a native of Yakutiya, well-known chess player Sergey Nikolayev, 43,
      who died in an ambulance shortly after 5 pm. Two other dark-skinned
      men -- natives of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - were set upon in
      separate attacks on nearby streets. They were hospitalized with knife
      and baseball bat injuries; their condition was characterized as
      "serious." A little later, ethnic Armenian music student Ovanes
      Aymuryan, 23, was found dead near the Chertanovskaya metro station, a
      victim of 18 knife wounds. Sunday night, a native of Uzbekistan in his
      late 20s was stabbed to death in Moscow, Interfax reported. Police
      listed the motive as unknown. Robbery seems unlikely, as police found
      10,000 rubles ($400) in the victim's pocket. "The Moscow Times" of
      October 23 quoted police officials flatly denying that the attacks
      were hate crimes. "Most probably, the [soccer] fans got drunk and
      walked down the street chanting loudly," police spokesman Yevgeny
      Gildeyev said. "Nikolayev probably asked them to be quiet, which
      provoked the attack." "Incredibly," the newspaper noted, the official
      argued that the victims were simply "in the wrong place at the wrong
      time" and that Nikolayev's death could not have been a hate crime
      because he was a Russian citizen. Galina Kozhevnikova, deputy director
      of Sova Information-Analytical Center, which monitors hate crimes,
      called Gildeyev's remarks "ridiculous." She said: "How can they
      instantly reject the hate crime motive when all three victims have
      dark skin and soccer fans are known to be from the ultra-right?
      Authorities are under clear instructions to deny the fact that
      xenophobia exists at all in this country." Police said 63 soccer fans
      aged between 13 and 16 were detained but released after their
      identities were recorded, Gildeyev said, adding that the matter was
      handed over to the City Prosecutor's Office. But according to an
      October 25 report by the RIA Novosti news agency, investigators have
      found a cell phone with a video of the murder of Nikolayev and the
      beating of an ethnic Uzbek, as well as extremist literature in the
      suspects' apartments. The suspects, three youths accused of killing
      two and injuring two others, now face charges of murder, aggravated
      assault, and incitement of ethnic hatred. On Monday, October 22, a
      Vietnamese woman, 30, and a Vietnamese man, 28, were hospitalized in
      Moscow, victims of two separate knife attacks on the street, Interfax
      reported. As of October 22, 53 people have been murdered and more than
      400 injured in hate crimes this year, according to Sova's count,
      increasingly accepted in the press as reliable. In both categories,
      the figures exceed the numbers for all of 2006.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      On October 23, the Moscow City Court convicted three young men in a
      racially motivated killing and sentenced them to prison terms ranging
      from three to 14 years. They were found guilty of beating and stabbing
      to death an ethnic Kyrgyz man in October 2006.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      Two dark-skinned foreign students were attacked in Krasnodar, Russia,
      according to an October 24 report by the Sova Information-Analytical
      Center. The attack, by 15 people, took place in mid-October near the
      students' school. The victims did not report the incident to the police.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      Prosecutors have charged a student who calls himself a Russian
      nationalist with inciting ethnic hatred after he posted a video
      showing executions on the Internet, "The St. Petersburg Times"
      reported on October 23. The three-minute video, which first appeared
      in August on several ultranationalist web sites, shows two men
      kneeling in the woods in front of a Nazi flag with their arms and legs
      bound and identified as "colonists from Tajikistan and Dagestan." One
      man is shown being beheaded, and the other is shot in the head. The
      video ends with two men in black masks and camouflage clothing giving
      Nazi salutes. Police in Maykop, the capital of the southern republic
      of Adygeya, detained a student on August 15. The suspect, identified
      by "Kommersant" on October 20 as Viktor Milkov, 24, admitted to
      posting the video but contended that he received it as an e-mail
      attachment from a stranger. Investigators have established that the
      e-mail came from a different region of the country. Milkov was charged
      with inciting ethnic hatred, said Vasily Semyonov, head of the
      Investigative Committee in the Regional Prosecutor's Office. If
      convicted, Milkov could face up to four years in prison, "The St.
      Petersburg Times" wrote.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      The Muslim community is deeply concerned about the spread of extremist
      ideology, Ravil Gaynutdin, Russia's chief mufti said, according to an
      Interfax item dated October 24. In a sermon marking the holiday of Id
      al-Fitr at the Moscow central mosque on October 12, Gaynutdin
      condemned nationalist parties and extremist movements. He stressed
      that acts of intolerance "are not mere hooliganism, but well-organized
      actions targeted against the followers of Islam. Deliberate distortion
      of the teachings and the image of Islam, claims about one religion
      being superior to another and the use of 'Russia for Russians' slogan
      as an election platform by one of political parties can unleash those
      who want to destroy peace, tranquility, and stability in the country."
      He called for intensifying the struggle against "xenophobia, national
      chauvinism, and ever-increasing attempts to sow interethnic and
      inter-confessional discord."

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      The organization known as Movement for Russia without Racism is
      calling on the authorities to confront soaring sales of racist books
      in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Interfax reported on October 22. "A new
      tendency has emerged over the recent year: sales of racist and
      pseudo-scientific Nazi books have jumped in Moscow and St.
      Petersburg," movement coordinator Alexander Vinnikov told a press
      conference in St. Petersburg. "Facts of Russian history are being made
      mythical and distorted," he charged. "They are trying to set Russia
      against the rest of the world."

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      Facing strong criticism by Jewish leaders for his government's silence
      on a recent rise in antisemitic attacks, on October 22 Ukrainian
      President Viktor Yushchenko met with Jewish leaders "to assuage their
      fears and to affirm his commitment to fighting antisemitism," the
      Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported from Kiev. His response was
      to partly blame Russia for seeking to destabilize Ukraine. Among those
      attending the meeting were the prosecutor general, the minister of
      interior, and the acting head of Ukraine's secret service, the SBU.
      Over the past few weeks, Jews in Ukraine have been attacked and
      beaten, a Chabad house in Uzhgorod was set on fire, and mass rallies
      were held across the country celebrating a World War II Ukrainian
      nationalist who fought the Red Army alongside the Nazis. The
      government endorsed the celebrations, and some of the rallies
      reportedly included antisemitic elements. According to JTA, acting SBU
      chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said the culprits in the Uzhgorod arson
      case have been identified as members of a "Eurasian gang" from Russia
      who plotted to intensify interethnic tensions in Ukraine. He said the
      same gang was probably behind three other recent attacks on rabbis in
      Ukrainian cities. JTA quoted Josef Zissels, head of the Association of
      Jewish Communities and Organizations in Ukraine, as saying: "I also
      believe that this is a manifestation of some Russian influences, but
      we also must take into account local factors." As for the authorities'
      response to the attacks, Zissels said, "I am not satisfied with the
      SBU representatives' reaction because I don't see them as sufficiently
      competent." Yushchenko criticized law-enforcement agencies for their
      response to the attacks that included assaults on blacks, Asians, and
      Arabs in addition to Jews. He pledged to spare no effort to free
      Ukraine of xenophobia and antisemitism. At the meeting, Ukrainian
      officials asserted that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, known as UPA and
      led by Gen. Roman Shukhevich until he was killed in combat, did not
      collaborate with the Nazis and that such stories were misinformation
      spread by communists, pro-Russian radicals, and Soviet propaganda.
      Yushchenko acknowledged that some of the recent celebrations honoring
      Shukhevich included antisemitic "provocations" but said that UPA
      veterans were not behind them. "Honoring the UPA is a controversial
      issue, and we must take into account all aspects of the problem,"
      Vadim Rabinovich, leader of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, told
      JTA. An October 23 report on the meeting by the Ukrainian news agency
      UNIAN said that Yushchenko called on Ukrainian Jews not to give in to
      a conspiracy "inspired from outside the country to turn [the Jewish
      community] into an instrument of pressure and speculation, including
      about historical issues." Though not mentioned in the report, his
      statement was probably a reaction to the condemnation by Russian
      Jewish organizations of the Ukrainian commemoration of UPA.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      On October 20, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said that a recent act
      of vandalism against Ukrainian national symbols on the summit of the
      country's highest mountain had been orchestrated from Russia and that
      "both the organizers and the executors" of the act had been
      identified. Acting SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko told reporters that
      the perpetrators of the vandalism on Mt. Hoverla were Ukrainian
      citizen and permanent Moscow resident Leonid Savin and Russian
      citizens Alexander Bovdunov and Valery Mantrov. All three are members
      of the Eurasian Youth Union, a group banned by a Ukrainian court, and
      are currently in Russia, Nalyvaichenko said. "The desecration of the
      Ukrainian national symbols was coordinated from Russia by the head of
      the Eurasian Youth Union, Pavel Zarufulin, and Alexander Dugin, on
      whom the SBU has imposed a five-year ban on entry to Ukraine,"
      Nalyvaichenko said. "They were the direct organizers." He told the
      story of how Savin, Bodvunov, and Mantrov arrived in Ukraine on
      October 12. Having climbed to the top of Mt. Hoverla in the Carpathian
      range, "they simulated sawing off parts of the Trident -- the national
      emblem -- installed there and painted the Eurasian Youth Union emblem
      on a monument to the Ukrainian Constitution." Then they photographed
      the results of their act on a cell phone camera and left Ukrainian
      territory. Afterward, Savin posted the pictures and video footage
      showing the simulated sawing off of Trident parts on the Eurasian
      Youth Union website, Nalyvaichenko concluded.

      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 7, Number 41 Friday, October 26, 2007

      Estonian prosecutors have filed charges against four activists accused
      of organizing street violence following the relocation of a Soviet war
      memorial in April that led to the death of one person and the arrest
      of nearly 1,000 people, the Associated Press reported. According to
      Prosecutor Laura Vaik, those accused -- Dmitry Klensky, 61, Dmitry
      Linter, 33, Maxim Reva, 32, and Mark Sirok, 18 -- began planning the
      riots in mid-2006 with backing from Moscow. Klensky, Linter, and Reva
      were leaders of an organization created last year to prevent the
      relocation of a Soviet war memorial. Sirok heads the Estonian branch
      of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi.

      Interfax Ukraine Focus, October 23, 2007

      KYIV - Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has condemned any racial or ethnic hostility in the country and demands that the Security Service of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies find and prosecute those planning to cause instability and chaos in Ukraine.
      Yuschenko met on Monday members of Jewish organizations and Ukraine's
      intellectual elite to discuss how to protect the Jewish community and
      their rights and fight xenophobia, the presidential press service reported.
      Yuschenko said at the meeting that attacks on Jews in Ukraine and
      attempts to stir up ethnic hatred were similar to recent acts of vandalism on Hoverla, in Kharkiv and in Kruty.
      The president noted that such actions might be masterminded by "external directors" who plan to cause instability and chaos in the country. The president said that the law enforcement bodies and the Security Service
      must find those guilty of such actions and punish them severely.
      First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan Vasiunyk, acting Security
      Service Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Prosecutor General Oleksandr
      Medvedko and acting Interior Minister Mykhailo Korniyenko were present
      at the meeting.

      Interfax Ukraine News, October 10, 2007

      MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin is surprised by the indifference of the European Union to the encouragement of the glorification of Nazis by the authorities in Latvia and Estonia and said that the approach of certain European organizations to matters related to World War II borders on hypocrisy.
      "Certain facts that we are coming across in certain East European
      countries are arousing frank surprise and lack of understanding. We know that in several European countries laws prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, while the activities of Latvian and Estonian authorities are openly encouraging the glorification of Nazis and their collaborators.
      And such facts remain unnoticed by the Europe Union," Putin said at a
      meeting with members of the Executive Committee of the European Jewish
      Congress. "After the proclamation of independence not a single Nazi
      criminal has been punished in Estonia," Putin said.
      "Neo-Nazi gatherings timed to the anniversary of the formation of the
      Latvian Waffen SS legion are held in Latvia annually on March 16 with
      the permission of the authorities," he said.
      "We also witness the strange attitude of certain European institutions
      bordering on hypocrisy, regarding the transfer of the monument to the
      Liberator Soldier [Bronze Solider] in Tallinn," he said.
      Putin praised the stance of Jewish organizations in Baltic states which "frankly, honestly and openly expressed their attitude to the issue. I want to voice my appreciation and gratitude [to them]," he said.
      As another example of the growth of Nazi sentiments he named the attempts of certain forces in Ukraine "to whitewash members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, guilty of the massive extermination of Jews in Ukraine." "I find it absolutely impermissible," the president said.
      Putin said Russia deeply respects the efforts of Jewish communities to
      preserve the truth about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes along
      with the memory of the heroism of the soldiers who died liberating Europe from the "brown plague."
      "History has proved more than once that when the lessons of the past are forgotten and attempts to rewrite history and to sow seeds of revenge are made this leads to an upsurge of nationalism and anti-Semitism. Therefore, I cannot help being alarmed by the growing trend in Europe, including EU countries, to review history in this direction, to try and question the liberation mission of the Allied armies, including the Soviet army, during World War II and to whitewash Nazi crimes," Putin said.
      In his opinion, such attempts are very dangerous and may result in the
      growth of mistrust and intolerance in Europe. "We hope that they will
      not be left unnoticed or without due reaction from both government and public institutions, in particular the European Jewish Congress," Putin said.

      Interfax, October 19, 2007

      MOSCOW - A number of public organizations in Ukraine have appealed
      to the Russian authorities "to help protect the Russian historical and
      spiritual heritage in Ukraine from destruction."
      "Simultaneously with the physical destruction of monuments of
      common history and culture the historical memory of our people is being eradicated, the public mind distorted, children and young people are brought up in the sprit of hatred for the past, which is termed only as the colonial past," their open letter published on Friday says.
      The letter complains of "mental, cultural and spiritual genocide of
      the Russian people in Ukraine."
      In the past few years the city of Poltava has witnessed "outrageous
      insults to monuments constituting the historical and cultural legacy of the European and world communities as well as Russians in Ukraine," the letter reads.
      The open letter was signed by board chairman of the Russian
      Community Serhiy Provatorov, national coordinator of the Expert Council for the Protection of Russian Cultural Legacy Oleksandr Mashkin, chairman of the Russian Community of Poltava Region Viktor Shestakov and chairman of the Union of Russian Writers of Poltava Region Mykola Yaremenko.


      Union states Ukraine is a pseudo-country
      Official Statement, Eurasian Youth Union
      Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

      MOSCOW - The Eurasian Youth Union [EYM] takes full responsibility for
      the destruction of the so-called Ukrainian state symbols on the Mount
      Goverla in the Carpathians, the highest point of Ukraine.
      With a force of a detached mountain unit of the EYM at Mount Goverla we sawed and vandalized a symbol of Ukraine's occupation -Trizub; destroyed granite plaque of the sectarian Ukrainian church; split granite memorial plaque of so-called "Constitution of Ukraine".
      Instead of the symbol of the Ukrainian collaborative blue and yellow flag, we unfurled over Mount Goveral the EYM banner. Goverla has been
      renamed Mount Stalin.
      By this unprecedented act of Eurasian enthusiasm EYM states that the
      so-called time of "Ukraine's" independence ends. Instead of an ugly
      neighboring education [should be something else], we will build a Great Ukraine within the Eurasian empire.
      EYM also warns that in the case of appointment of the orange monkey -
      Yulia Tymoshenko, as Premier, we will not be able to stop our Ukrainian activists from undertaking direct actions against the so-called leadership of the pseudo-country.
      For photos and video of this action you can look at the resources
      http://www.evrazia.tv, Imperial Network, The Eurasian Youth Union
      Announcement: Today, 20.30 Moscow time on the air "TV Evraziya"-
      will hold a telecast of Eurasian Youth Union Leader Paul Zarifullin to
      the people of Ukraine in connection with the recent political
      in that country.

      Ukrayinska Pravda, October 20, 2007

      KYIV -The State Security Service (SBU) exposed organizers and executors of the act of vandalism over Ukrainian national symbols on Hoverla mountain in Ivano-Frankivsk region.
      According to the SBU Saturday report, the crime was committed by three
      young men, members of the Yevroaziyska Spilka Molodi (ESM), the
      organization banned by Ukraine's court.
      The following individuals are accused of committing the crime: Savin
      Leonid Volodymyrovych, 1974, born in Sumy, resident of Ukraine, living in Moscow, the Russian Federation since March, 2007, one of the organization's activists being in charge of the ESM website operation; Bovdunov Oleksandr, 1986, and Mantrov Valeriy, 1988, both residents of the Russian Federation. The SBU has received evidence proving that the act of vandalism was organized by Russian-located ESM leaders Pavlo Zarifulin and Oleksandr Duhin, whom the SBU banned to enter Ukraine for five years in June 2006.
      The SBU reports that criminals came to Ukraine on October 12 and firstly visited Sumy and Kyiv. Then they arrived to the foot of Hoverla mountain and climbed up the hill where they imitated the cutoff of some details of the construction in the form of small Ukraine's national emblem and draw the ESM emblem on the memorial to the Ukrainian Constitution. The flagstaff for the Ukrainian flag was empty at that time. Criminals filmed and photographed their vandal actions, went down the mountain and left Ukraine by train.
      On October 17 night, Mr. Savin edited snapshots, having added a picture of broken granite slabs, metal parts and the like and on October 18 placed them on the ESM website with a video reel imitating cutoff of the trident. The documents that the SBU possesses prove that criminals planned the aforesaid unlawful actions when being in Russia. It was proved that snapshots were forged, according to the operational investigation group.
      The SBU reports that currently the national symbols and memorial to the Ukrainian Constitution on Hoverla mountain are renewed.
      On October 20, the SBU referred the evidence to the Office of the
      Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The SBU also informed the Foreign
      Ministry of misdeeds committed by foreign citizens.


      Interfax Ukraine, October 24, 2007

      KYIV - The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has reintated a resolution barring entry to Ukraine to Eurasian Youth Union Head Pavel Zarifulin and Eurasian Movement Head Aleksandr Dugin.
      The SBU press service told Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday that the
      resolution on the entry ban was taken in the summer of 2006, but its
      effect was suspended after the signing of Ukrainian-Russian agreements on ending the practice of banning entry to the countries.
      The SBU said that "the resolution on the entry ban to these two people has again taken effect" after the events on Hoverla Mountain.
      The Eurasian Youth Union earlier said its representatives had destroyed Ukrainian state symbols on Hoverla Mountain and presented photos as evidence. In particular, the organization's representatives sawed off and destroyed a metal trident - a Ukrainian state symbol - and broke a granite plaque dedicated to the Constitution of Ukraine.
      In place of Ukraine's flag, representatives of the Eurasian Youth
      Organization raised the flag of their organization, renaming Hoverla
      Mountain Stalin's Peak.
      SBU Acting Chairman Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said on Saturday that the
      service had established the identity of the vandals. They are three
      young people - Ukrainian citizen Leonid Saviv, currently residing in Moscow, and two Russian citizens - Aleksandr Bovdunov and Valeriy Mantrov. They all are members of the Eurasian Youth Union, which is banned under Ukrainian law.
      He said that these people are currently in Russia, adding that the
      planning of the destruction of Ukraine's state symbols was done by Zarifulin and Dugin, whom the SBU has banned from entering Ukraine for five years.
      The investigation subunit of the Interior Ministry's department in
      Ivano-Frankivsk region has opened a criminal case due to the events on
      Hoverla Mountain.

      Ukrainian News Agency, October 26, 2007

      KYIV - Russia's Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has described the incident involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla Hill as a bad joke. Chernomyrdin was speaking at a press conference.
      "I have to tell you that the information is wrong. Nobody sawed anything. They took pictures, they bought a lot - including in Ukraine - and simply daubed their sign," Chernomyrdin said. He added that information available to him indicated that everything was simulated.
      "However, no matter the case, it is bad and I condemn it," Chernomyrdin said. According to him, the Eurasian Youth Association is an international organization and the organization's Russian division had nothing to do with this incident. According to him, the Ukrainian division was involved. At the same time, he stressed that it was bad, no matter who did it. Asked how the Russian special forces would react if such an incident occurred in Russia, Chernomyrdin said: "They would first find out what happened rather than give an instant assessment. Regarding the Kremlin stars, they would not reach it because it is too high."
      As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prosecutor-General Oleksandr Medvedko believes that the filing a hooliganism case in connection with the incident involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla hill was acceptable.
      The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has said that the pictures
      showing damage to the granite slab installed on the Hoverla hill in
      commemoration of the Constitution Day were faked.
      Viacheslav Koval, a parliamentary candidate for the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc, recently accused supporters of the Eurasian Youth association of destroying national symbols on the Hoverla hill.

      Ukrainian News Agency, October 20, 2007

      KYIV - The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has announced that
      snapshots of the broken granite slab erected on the Mount Hoverla on the Constitution Day are a fake. Ukrainian News learned this from its press service.
      "Most of the snapshots published on the Internet to describe this
      event have not been proved as authentic," the press service said.
      At 7 a.m. on October 18, an investigation team from the regional SBU
      office climbed Hoverla together with representatives of the Hoverla forest board of the Carpathian National Natural Park, the press service reported. On the mount top, they saw the pole, intended for the Ukrainian flag, waiving a black cloth with symbols of the Eurasian Youth Union.
      The press service told Ukrainian News that there was no Ukrainian flag on the pole on that day because it is usually raised on great occasions only.
      Workers from the Carpathian National Natural Park pulled down the flag of the union.
      The SBU agents also could see that the trident had been cut off from the symbolic sign standing near the flagpole and attached to the sign
      pointing the directions to different Ukrainian cities.
      A snowflake, which is the symbol of the Eurasian Youth Union, was painted on the granite slab. The slab itself had no signs of damage.
      The photographs showing that the slab is broken do not depict the
      reality, the press service explained to Ukrainian News. Moreover, snow has covered Hoverla and air temperature is -5. The press service said the regional administration will restore the symbolic sign on Saturday.
      As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Security Service of Ukraine
      and the Interior Affairs Ministry are investigating the October 19 destruction of national symbols on Hoverla.
      Parliamentary candidate Viacheslav Koval of the Our Ukraine-People's
      Self-Defense Bloc stated that the Eurasian Youth Union followers
      destroyed the national symbols on Hoverla.

      Ukrainian News Agency, October 24, 2007

      KYIV - Around 30 members from such youth organizations as the Nationalist Youth Congress, Plast, Spadschyna, and the Lviv Polytechnic's Student Brotherhood have held a theatrical demonstration in Lviv to protest the desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla. The performance named "Come to Visit Us" was full of humor.
      The protesters gathered at the Monument to Stepan Bandera in Lviv
      They tied a dummy the size of a man in glasses and sweater to the tree
      and named it a 'provocateur' or 'moskal.' The dummy was in air balloons all over.
      The protesters read out their message to Eurasian Youth Union heads
      Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin. The address was entitled "Message
      from the Ukrainian youth to Dugin, Zarifulin, and other degenerates and provocateurs" and was written in the style of old Ukrainian letters that Cossacks used to write to a Turkish sultan.
      After that, the protesters began to beat the dummy with sticks, and
      broken air balloons were found to contain sweets.
      "The performance is a mock of what Eurasian Youth Union members have
      done on Hoverla. We shouldn't respond to their slap in the face with
      radical measures," said one of the protest organizers Andrii Mochurad, a representative of the Nationalist Youth Congress.
      The organizers said they manifested humanism when they tied the dummy to the tree by its leg because if they tied it by its head, it would mean death.
      "For those who don't have enough brains, for the blood to reach the
      head," Mochurad commented.
      The organizers also said that they held the protest at the Monument to
      Bandera because the Eurasian Youth Union announced that it would make its next sortie to this monument.
      As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the investigative department of
      Ivano-Frankivsk Region Police filed a criminal case on October 20
      alleging the desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla.
      The Security Service has established the names of three masterminds and two vandals who desecrated the national symbols. The suspects did not destroy the signs, they only simulated the process, the SBU said.
      The SBU has renewed the ban on entry to Ukraine for Eurasian Youth Union heads Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin after it established that they controlled the act of vandalism on Hoverla from Russia.

      Ukrainian News Agency, October 27, 2007

      KYIV - Russia's Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin supports
      the erection of a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa.
      Chernomyrdin announced this at a press conference.
      "I welcome it. I always welcome it when history is being restored and not broken," Chernomyrdin said. Chernomyrdin also stressed that this was the affair of Odesa.
      "This monument is not being restored. It existed. It was simply moved to another place. The city decided to return it," he said. He also
      expressed the belief that historical monuments deserve special treatment.
      "Catherine II played a huge role in history... Some people need to bow
      down to her and not pick a fight," Chernomyrdin said.
      As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Our Ukraine People's Union
      party has expressed opposition to unveiling of the monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa.
      Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is also the leader of the Party of Regions, considers demolition of the monument to Catherine II in Odesa unacceptable.
      On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
      association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations
      held a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in
      protest against the erection of a monument called "Founders of Odesa."
      Local authorities are erecting a monument called "Founders of Odesa" on Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress Catherine II.

      Monuments to oppressors of Ukrainian people should not be allowed
      Ukrainian News Agency, October 27, 2007

      KYIV - The Our Ukraine People's Union party opposes unveiling of the
      monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa. The Our Ukraine
      People's Union party announced this in a statement, a text of which
      Ukrainian News obtained.
      "The OUPU strongly opposes the intention of the Odesa municipal
      authorities to unveil a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II on October 27. Unveiling such a monument plus a celebration in connection with it amounts to an outrage over the memories of the thousands of Ukrainian patriots who suffered in the hands of Catherine II and a challenge to the entire Ukrainian people," the statement says.
      'The party warns that attempts to unveil such a monument would only
      result in civil confrontation. "We are calling on all democratic forces and all government institutions to provide an assessment of the provocative actions of the Odesa municipal authorities and not allow monuments to oppressors of the Ukrainian people to stand on their land," the statement says.
      The Our Ukraine People's Union party stressed that it was on the
      orders of Catherine II that Zaporizka Sich was destroyed, the democratic system of Ukraine destroyed, peasants enslaved, and education destroyed.
      "The perseverance with which the Odesa authorities - before removing
      monuments to Lenin and the communist punishers of Ukraine from the
      center of Odesa - are attempting to replace them with monuments to other oppressors is surprising," the statement says.
      As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
      who is also the leader of the Party of Regions, considers removal of the monument to Catherine II in Odesa unacceptable.
      On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
      association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations
      held a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in protest against the erection of a monument to Odesa's Founders.
      Local authorities are erecting a monument called "Founders of Odesa" on Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress Catherine II.

      UNIAN, in Ukrainian Oct 25, 2007
      BBC Monitoring Service, UK, October 25, 2007

      KIEV - The [propresidential party] Our Ukraine People's Union has
      issued a statement decisively condemning the intention of the city
      authorities in Odessa to unveil a statue to Russian empress Catherine the Great on 27 October.
      The authors of the statement say, "The unveiling of this statue, and
      what's more to make an occasion out of it, is an insult to the thousands of Ukrainian patriots who were killed by Catherine and is a challenge to the entire Ukrainian people."
      The party says that all qualified historians give a uniformly negative
      assessment of Catherine's role in Ukrainian history. "The Ukrainian people composed countless songs about the 'hostile mother', who 'destroyed the Sich [stronghold of Ukrainian Cossacks]'.
      This assessment was marvellously summed up by [19th century poet] Taras Shevchenko in countless lines of his Kobzar [collection of patriotic and pastoral poetry]," the statement says.

      By Pavel Korduban
      Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 197
      The Jamestown Foundation, Oct 24, 2007

      President Viktor Yushchenko's recent efforts to commemorate World War
      II nationalist fighters have provoked a wave of pro-Russian and leftist extremism in Ukraine.
      Radical leftists disrupted commemorations of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) across Ukraine on October 14, and the Russian radical nationalist organization Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) claimed responsibility for vandalizing national symbols on Ukraine's highest mountain.
      On October 12 Yushchenko posthumously proclaimed Roman Shukhevych,
      the UPA commander in the 1940s, a Hero of Ukraine, and two days later
      he decreed that the 65th anniversary of the UPA should be commemorated. On October 14, a monument was unveiled in the western town of Lviv to one of the main ideologists of 20th century Ukrainian nationalism, Stepan Bandera.
      The leftist and pro-Russian forces have made it clear that they will
      not put up with "the president's attempts to impose pro-fascist, neo-Nazi policy on society," as one of the leaders of the Communist Party (CPU), Oleksandr Holub, put it.
      The CPU issued a statement saying that Yushchenko had "voiced support at the state level for an ideology that was condemned internationally and by the Nuremberg trial."
      The UPA has always been respected in western Ukraine, which the Soviet
      Union annexed from Poland in 1939, as freedom fighters. Official historiography maintains that the UPA fought both the Nazis and the Red Army. Most right-of-center parties, the far-right groups, and President Yushchenko share this point of view.
      Pro-Russian parties and leftists, most of whom are nostalgic for the
      Soviet past, say that the UPA collaborated with the Nazis, so it does not deserve commemoration. This negative view of the UPA dominates in the Russian-speaking regions, and it is apparently shared by the majority of the Party of Regions of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
      UPA veterans and several thousand supporters of the far-right parties
      Freedom, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Ukrainian
      National Assembly organized a march in Kyiv on October 14 to commemorate the UPA.
      They were confronted by supporters of the CPU and the radical left
      Progressive Socialist Party, who behaved aggressively. Police prevented scuffles between supporters of the rival camps, briefly detaining 24 of them.
      Similar events happened in several other cities across Ukraine, including the second biggest city, Kharkiv. In the Crimean capital of Simferopol, where pro- Russian and leftist radicals by far outnumber the nationalists, police had to work especially hard to prevent serious confrontations.
      Yushchenko's calls for UPA commemoration were largely ignored by the local authorities beyond western Ukraine. Not everybody would understand this. We have to first conduct serious explanatory work, said the governor of the central Ukrainian Poltava Region, Valery Asadchev, who is a member of Yushchenko's team.
      The council of Ukraine's easternmost region, Luhansk, voted to approve
      an appeal for Yushchenko to revoke his decree on proclaiming Shukhevych a hero. Luhansk voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Party of Regions in the September 30 parliamentary election.
      On October 18, the ESM, a Russian radical youth group, said that its
      activists had demolished Ukrainian national symbols that had been
      erected on Ukraine's highest mountain, the Hoverla. The mountain, located in western Ukraine, is a symbol by itself. Yushchenko, when he was opposition leader, would ascend it ceremoniously each year accompanied by crowds of his political supporters.
      The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed that the ESM's
      activists had vandalized the symbols but said that the ESM had exaggerated the damage. The SBU said that this was committed by three young men, two of whom had arrived from Russia for the purpose.
      One of the leaders of the ESM, Pavel Zarifullin, commenting on the SBU's statement, said the three young men in question reside in western Ukraine, rather than Russia.
      Zarifullin mocked the SBU, saying that it only pretended to have full
      information on the ESM activists in question. The Ukrainian version of the Russian daily Kommersant quoted the ESM's main ideologist, Aleksandr Dugin, as saying that the "action on the Hoverla" had been prompted by Yushchenko's commemoration of Shukhevych.
      Dugin and Zarifullin were declared personae non gratae in Ukraine in 2006 for their participation in anti-NATO and anti-U.S. protests in Crimea.
      Ukraine's main parties displayed very different reactions to the incident on the Hoverla. Yushchenko's Our Ukraine People's Self-Defense condemned it as a criminal act committed by anti-Ukrainian forces.
      Yushchenko's allies from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc urged immediate
      reaction from the Prosecutor-General's Office. The Party of Regions kept silent. The CPU's Holub said that the Hoverla incident was Ukrainian society's emotional reaction to Yushchenko;s neo-Nazi policy.


      Ukraine’s President’s Site Attacked; Russian Nationalist Group Claims Responsibility
      Associated Press, 30 October 2007

      KYIV, Ukraine (AP) - Hackers from several countries launched a massive attack and temporarily disabled the Web site of Ukraine's Western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko, his office said Monday. A Russian nationalist group claimed responsibility.
      The attacks from servers in Russia, Britain, Kazakhstan, the United States, Israel and Ukraine began Sunday night and continued through Tuesday afternoon, the presidential press service told The Associated Press. Over 18,000 attacks have been carried out, temporarily blocking access to the site. The Web page could not be accessed Tuesday night. A radical Russian nationalist youth group, the Eurasian Youth Movement, claimed responsibility for the attacks in their blog, saying it was their retaliation for Yushchenko's office's alleged attack of their own Web site, which had been disabled.
      The group also accused Yushchenko of adhering to fascist ideology and of attacking the organization's Moscow office. Yushchenko's office denied the claims. The Eurasian Youth Movement is strongly critical of the West and opposes what it calls a US encroachment on Russia's traditional sphere of influence. The group has opposed Yushchenko's campaign to bring Ukraine into the European Union and NATO, considering this ex-Soviet republic part of Russia's realm. Its leader Alexander Dugin has been barred from entering Ukraine.
      Earlier this month, the group claimed responsibility for desecrating a monument to Ukraine's independence erected on top of the country's highest mountain - an act that drew widespread anger and condemnation from Ukrainians.

      Ukraine Has No Language Problem - Yushchenko
      ITAR-TASS, 29 October 2007

      KIEV, October 29 (Itar-Tass) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has opposed speculations surrounding the language issue. "There is no language problem between average citizens. It is hard to find a language policy model more tolerant than the one Ukraine is applying to any national minority," he said. Ukraine has never oppressed other languages, first and foremost, Russian, Yushchenko said.
      "Half of the Ukrainian budget allocations for languages fall on Russian. Tell me which other state is assigning so much budgetary funds for the language policy. I'd rather not call them a national minority, but call them people who respect the Russian language," he said. "This is an absolutely transparent policy, which guarantees every resident of Ukraine the right to free communication in the language of his or her choice."
      "Ukraine will respect the language of any national minority. There must be no language speculations, although I, as the president, will have to listen to such claims and make corrections," he said. "One should be ashamed to live in Ukraine and fail to understand the
      Ukrainian language, and one should be ashamed not to speak several languages in a few years."
      Meanwhile, the Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovich reminded the
      authorities on Friday that it is working on a referendum concerning
      the Russian language status, Ukraine's neutrality, and municipal
      elections. Five million people signed up in support of the referendum,
      and their signatures were presented to the Central Elections
      Commission on September, three days before the early parliament
      elections, the party said.
      "The politicians must rely on the opinion of people," said the Party
      of Regions, which defines itself as "a responsible political force
      supported by millions of citizens." "We will be protecting their
      interests in every lawful way possible," the party said. Party
      representatives said recently that they might abandon the referendum
      idea if the nation would benefit from that.
      "The new status of the Russian language is a demand of our voters, and
      we will not let them down. We won't bargain our principles," said
      party co-leader Raisa Bogatyryova.
      In the words of Director of the Sociology Institute of the Ukrainian
      Academy of Sciences Nikolai Shulga, the number of ethnic Ukrainians,
      who say that Russian is their native tongue, has grown by one million
      people to 5.5 million.
      In his opinion, that is because of the Ukrainian urbanization ˆ the
      majority of Ukrainian cities speak Russian. " The Russian community is
      still here. They are trying to hush it down or marginalize, but it
      exists and even grows," he said.
      The Ukrainian constitution gives the state status to the Ukrainian
      language. It also guarantees the free development, use and protection
      of Russian and other languages of national minorities in Ukraine. Yet
      the constitution does not have a notion of the official language.
      It takes no less than 300 votes in the Verkhovna Rada to amend the
      constitution. Over half of Ukrainian citizens insist that the status
      of the Russian language in Ukraine must be changed, the Social
      Monitoring Center said in comments on a July poll. Nearly 27% of 2,014
      respondents throughout Ukraine, including the Crimea, Kiev and
      Sevastopol, supported the state status of the Russian language
      alongside Ukrainian. Another 25% said that the Russian language must
      be legalized in areas of compact residence of Russians.
      One-third of the respondents said that nothing should change, and
      about 12% said that the Russian language should be banned in official
      communication. The Ukrainian constitution and laws attribute the state
      status only to the Ukrainian language, while Russian, which is the
      native tongue of over half of Ukraine's residence, is defined as the
      language of a national minority.
      The Russian language was legalized by local councils in the Donetsk,
      Zaporozhye, Lugansk, Nikolayev and Kharkov regions, as well as in
      Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoi Rog, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Sevastopol,
      Kharkov, Yalta and some other cities in the southern and eastern areas
      of Ukraine in May-June 2006. Local prosecutors and courts have been
      challenging these decisions since then.
      Nearly half of Ukrainian citizens think that the status of the Russian
      language in Ukraine must be changed, says a report entitled "Socio-
      Political Preferences and Electoral Feelings of Ukrainian Citizens."
      The Ukrainian Sociological Service based the report on results of a
      poll, which was held nationwide on July 16-25. Nearly 24% of 26,000
      respondents said that the Russian language should acquire the state
      status in Ukraine, while another 23% said that the Russian language
      should receive the official status in areas compactly populated by
      ethnic Russians.
      Nearly 46% of the respondents bluntly said no to any changes in the
      language policy of the Ukrainian state.

      Patriotism is the passion in Russian fashion
      By Amie Ferris-Rotman
      Reuters Life! Oct 30, 2007

      Cossacks, folklore and bright red colors were all the rage
      at Moscow Fashion Week that showcased a nation in the grip of patriotic fervor.
      Russian models are often the face of Western
      luxury brands loved by the Russian elite, but it
      was the passion for nation that took centre stage
      on the catwalk over the last five days.
      Set up 14 years ago to compete with its European
      counterparts, Moscow Fashion Week paraded looks
      from 70 designers for 120,000 guests at the
      city's Gostiny Dvor, an elegant revamped 19th
      century exhibit hall near the Kremlin.
      All but two of the designers were Russian and
      many relied on Mother Russia as the muse for their collections.
      "My greatest inspiration is Russia. I've tried my
      whole life to maintain my Russianness in my work
      as it gives me great pleasure to produce
      collections that reveal where I am from," Slava
      Zaitsev, Russia's foremost designer who used to
      dress Soviet party elite, told Reuters after his show.
      "I am, after all, a Russian artist," the
      69-year-old said, dressed in black leggings and a
      traditional Russian shirt with gold embroidery and a flattened collar.
      Zaitsev's models danced along the catwalk to
      Russian love songs, wearing Cossack-style
      trousers tucked in to leather boots and amber medallions.
      A wave of patriotism has surfaced in Russia since
      President Vladimir Putin came to office eight
      years ago, producing a pro-Kremlin youth group
      and the re-emergence of national holidays.
      Kremlin critics say it has produced a darker side
      too, contributing to an aggressive foreign policy
      and a suspicion towards outsiders.
      Though Moscow Fashion week is virtually unknown
      in the greater fashion world -- attracting little
      international interest -- Russian TV stars,
      Soviet crooner Joseph Kobzon, pop singer Natalya
      Korolyova and her stripper husband Tarzan arrived
      for the opening night, wearing clothes by featured designers.
      Valentin Yudashkin, another designer from Soviet
      times who also has shops in Europe, opened the
      week with his collection, of bold red suits, oversized smocks and lace
      One young designer called her new collection
      'Gogol' after the Russian writer, with a quote
      from his work on her label, while another had
      bright square-cut shirts with images by the
      Russian avant-garde artist Malevich.
      "Why shouldn't we show our traditions? Why should
      we wear only Western clothes?" Sergei Zverev, a
      Russian stylist and TV personality dressed in
      pointy platform shoes and wearing bright eyeshadow, told Reuters
      Designer Chapurin -- he is known only by his
      family name -- called his collection "Russian Dreams."
      It featured women's silk suits reminiscent of
      World War Two. "It's an illusion of the war
      style... to inspire and help one dream about Russia," he said.
      Young designer Marianna Rosenfeld had an array of
      jackets with silk screens of Boris Berezovsky --
      a Russian tycoon who lives in London -- the words
      "Secret Agent" were stamped across the backs of the shirts.
      Berezovsky, a vocal Kremlin critic, has been
      accused by the Russian media of working for
      British intelligence, which he has denied.
      "It's not our goal to attract foreign designers,
      we are here to develop the Russian fashion
      business for Russia," Moscow Fashion Week's spokeswoman Anna
      Vorotnikova said.


      State of Hate: The country goes on a neonationalist binge, apparently
      with the Kremlin's blessing. The question is, why?
      By Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova
      Newsweek International, November 6, 2006

      Russia is becoming an increasingly scary place. Ask Marat Gelman,
      whose gallery made the mistake of hosting a show by a Georgian artist
      at a time when Georgians are the subject of official disapproval. Last
      week the gallery was wrecked by 10 masked men—"not vandals, nor
      hooligans from the street, but highly professional and experienced
      militants who came to do their job," says Gelman, who was badly
      beaten. Or ask art historian and curator Aleksandr Panov, attacked
      (but not robbed) by thugs days after he publicly condemned the attack
      on Gelman. Or ask ordinary Georgians who, increasingly, have been the
      victims of police extortion and skinhead attacks, among them
      24-year-old carwash supervisor Irakly Bukiya. "We immigrants have
      always been second-class people in Russia," says Bukiya, who knew
      better than to call the police last week after he was beaten up in the
      Moscow Metro. "I know that the state is on the s<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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