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Bulletin 2:27 (2008)

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    THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 2, No. 27(33), 17 September 2008 Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland I
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17, 2008
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      A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 2, No. 27(33), 17 September 2008
      Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland

      I NEWS: 1 – 15 SEPTEMBER 2008

      [NOTE: When viewing an RNB issue in the Messages archive of the
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      I NEWS: 1 – 15 SEPTEMBER 2008

      Russians No Longer Tell Apart Georgia's Leadership, Nation
      Kommersant, September 1, 2008

      Some 51 percent of the Russians have extended their negative attitude
      to Georgian leadership to the nation of that country, showed the
      recent poll of All-Russia's Center for Public Opinion Studies.
      Political analysts blame the change on the war for South Ossetia and
      forecast the attitude to improve once the relations of both states get
      more or less normal.
      The Russians have extended their negative attitude to Georgia's
      leadership to the nation in general, showed the poll that All-Russia's
      Center for Public Opinion Studies held past weekend to monitor the
      changes triggered by the five-day clashes of both countries for South
      Some 51 percent of respondents said their opinion of the Georgians
      worsened, while 41 percent said they weren't affected by that war.
      Each second Russian (50 percent) said the Russians and the Georgians
      had more to drift apart, and just 28 percent spotted the uniting
      common essence between the two nations.
      "It looks like Mikheil Saakashvili managed to ruin the attitude of
      the Russians not only to the Georgian state but also to the
      Georgians," concluded Valery Fedorov, who is the general director at
      Russia's Center for
      Public Opinion Studies.
      "It is a very alarming sign," said Boris Makarenko, deputy general
      director at Political Technologies Center. For the first time, the
      Russians are negative not about the authorities but rather about one
      of the CIS nations. The extension of negative attitude from the state
      to the whole nation is probably temporarily, as it results from the
      military conflict where Russia is involved, Makarenko pointed out.

      The Russian Church urges authorities to respond decisively to the West
      as it strives to introduce its influence worldwide against Russia's
      Interfax, September 1, 2008

      Moscow, September 1, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate urges Russian
      authorities to decisively defend their political choice on
      international stage and accused West of the double standards policy.
      "In spite of all talks on their adherence to international law and
      respect of people's choice, these (Western) countries have always
      acted in their own interests and apply quite contrary principles in
      various cases," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for
      External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevold Chaplin said on air of
      the Soyuz TV channel.
      He believes, it is Russia's priority task to defend "its free,
      original political choice and be not afraid to tell the West: "you
      live as you like and we will live as we like," forming our political
      system and our society, setting its laws and rules the way which is
      natural for our nation, its destiny, mentality and historical ways."
      The priest urged to realize that "all talks about shared human
      values, declarations that we can embrace and kiss all nations of the
      world disarmed before them have nothing to do with real politics."
      "We should be strong, and in military aspect as well, we should have
      will and ability to stop any invasion on our life style, our interests
      in the world, our ability to influence the processes developing in the
      world," Fr. Vsevolod said.
      He stressed, Russia "will never be obedient and leaded element of the
      world system, it will always offer both its people and neighboring
      nations its way of historical development," and expressed opinion that
      vector of contemporary Western development "is a direction to nowhere."
      "It's impossible to survive for the society deprived of faith as a
      foundation of public life, deprived of any objectives except consumer
      ones and the idea to impose an existing model of democracy all around
      the globe as it is convenient to American banks, Western governments,
      world economical and media elite," the priest said.
      He stressed that Russia can offer the world another way and "we will
      do it." "However, we need to remain strong, to be determined to say
      "no" to everyone who tries to spread their influence in the world at
      our expense, by way of infringement of our interest," the Moscow
      Patriarchate representative said.
      He also criticized the attempt of the West to "violently impose its
      line on all nations."
      "Why does West believe, and President Bush stated it clearly, that
      only one form of democracy, one form of people's participation in
      taking decisions, the Western form, is compulsory and should be set
      out in all nations and all countries!" the priest wonders.
      He noted that western countries were "not ashamed to apply quite
      different standards in various situations."
      "We remember very well, how the West backed up the right of nations
      for self-determination in Kosovo, it was only few months ago, then the
      idea of territorial integrity was omitted and rejected. Today the West
      insists that the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia should
      be protected at all costs," the priest stated.
      According to him, the West "didn't hesitated to introduce its troops
      in various countries, no matter that people there have never asked for
      it, neither referendums nor votes were held on the question, and
      sometimes there weren't even parliamentary decisions on whether
      American or NATO troops were needed."
      "In this case no one pays attention to democracy, legal principle
      appears to be impotent before the ideas of national interest and
      promotion of political system and democracy in its Western variant,
      President Bush and leaders of other Western countries care for so
      much," Fr. Vsevolod said.
      He also pointed out that Russian peacemakers in South Ossetia were
      accused "of not being neutral and thus should be changed to
      representatives of NATO or the European Union."
      "Are these countries indeed more neutral? The countries that are
      being involved in the conflict on one side, the countries that haven't
      even mentioned the violence committed against people of South Ossetia
      who now are in serious pain from this violence!" the priest said.


      Nizhny Novgorod Court Gives Antisemitic Vandal Suspended Sentence
      FSU Monitor, September 2, 2008

      An 18 year old student who vandalized Jewish graves in the Krasnaya
      Etna cemetery multiple times over the course of May and June was given
      a two and a half year suspended sentence, according to a September 2,
      2008 report by the Russian Jewish web site Sem40.ru. In a rare
      departure from standard prosecutions of similar cases, the youth was
      convicted of "mockery over the bodies of the dead and their burial
      motivated by ethnic hatred" rather than just "hooliganism." The
      defendant, Evgeny Alyoshin, admitted to a friend that he "doesn't like
      Jews" and prosecutors pointed out the fact that graves that he singled
      out Jewish graves for vandalism, while ignoring others. The trial
      featured emotionally-charged testimony from the head of the local
      Jewish community, whose daughter's grave was among those vandalized.


      St. Petersburg Prosecutors Charge Three With Hate Crimes
      FSU Monitor, September 2, 2008

      Prosecutors in St. Petersburg, Russia have charged three men with hate
      crimes, according to a September 1, 2008 report by the Jewish.ru web
      site. The suspects, all in their early 20s, allegedly went out hunting
      for minorities in April 2008 and attacked two citizens of Mongolia
      while screaming racist abuse. One of the suspects reportedly displayed
      a swastika tattoo during the attack. Later that day, prosecutors
      charge, the men attacked a citizen of the Ivory Coast. Investigators
      have already obtained a partial confession from the suspects.


      Racist Shooting Rampage in Perm
      FSU Monitor, September 3, 2008

      A man obsessed with racist ideas went on a shooting rampage in Perm,
      Russia according to an August 29, 2008 report by the news web site
      Newsru.com. The 28-year-old suspect allegedly shot a man to death and
      injured several others, selecting his victims by their ethnic
      affiliation. The shooter reportedly used a homemade gun to carry out
      the attacks; Russia has strict gun control laws and outside the North
      Caucasus, gun violence is relatively rare. Police say they found
      grenades and neo-Nazi literature in the suspect's home, and rather
      than describing him as a member of an extremist group, the police
      paint a picture of a mentally ill man "obsessed with the theory racial
      superiority." For some reason, he does not face hate crimes charges,
      but is being held on murder and "hooliganism" charges.


      Moscow Vandals Target Monument to Russian-Georgian Friendship
      FSU Monitor, September 3, 2008

      Someone vandalized a monument to Russian-Georgian friendship in
      Moscow, according to an August 28, 2008 article in the national daily
      "Moskovsky Komsomolets." The massive sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli was
      so badly damaged that the article hyperbolically compared the
      vandalism to the bombing of the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali.
      City officials promised to restore the monument.


      Neo-Nazi Violence on Moscow Suburban Train
      FSU Monitor, September 3, 2008

      Neo-Nazis attacked minorities on a Moscow suburban train, according to
      an August 27, 2008 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center.
      The previously unreported attack took place on August 10. A group of
      neo-Nazis walked from car to car on the train screaming "Russia for
      Russians!" and beating up minorities, pulling them off the train at
      different stops to assault them, while at the same time preventing
      other passengers from pressing the emergency intercom button to call
      for help. The extremists apparently viewed the attack as a propaganda
      opportunity; some of them took the time to explain to other passengers
      that they were acting to defend the country against non-Russians. At
      least ten minorities were victimized, but there is no information in
      the report about the extent of their injuries or if any of them
      reported the attacks to the police.


      Independence in Abkhazia and S.Ossetia will stop sufferings of their
      people, head of Russian Pentecostals believes
      Interfax, September 3, 2008

      Moscow, September 3, Interfax – Head of the Russian Union of
      Evangelical Christians (Pentecostals) and member of the Russian Public
      Chamber Sergey Ryakhovsky believes that independence of Abkhazia and
      South Ossetia corresponds to the will of their people.
      "Today Russian Protestants consider the decrees of the Russian
      President on independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a step
      corresponding to the will of people living in these republics. We
      believe it will stop their long history of sufferings, innocent
      victims and destructions," his statement conveyed to Interfax-Religion
      on Wednesday says.
      The bishop noted, "National will remains the supreme source of state
      sovereignty and Russian parliament and president listened to this will."
      "Russian Protestants have done what they could to extend humanitarian
      aid to people of the affected South Ossetian districts. We urge all
      Christians of Russia and other countries of the world to continue
      praying for the peace in the Caucasus and granting wisdom to leaders
      in taking political decisions," the statement reads.
      According to Ryakhovsky, Protestants also ask the Lord "to bring to
      reason Georgian leaders who unleashed fratricide."


      Possible Neo-Nazi Murder in Nizhny Novgorod
      FSU Monitor, September 4, 2008

      Neo-Nazis may have killed a native of Armenia in Nizhny Novgorod,
      Russia, according to a September 4, 2008 report by the Jewish.ru web
      site. The victim's body was found in his home on September 3 with
      multiple stab wounds and a piece of paper with a swastika on it inside
      his pocket. None of his personal possessions were missing, ruling out
      a robbery. Police are investigating the incident.


      Tomsk Prosecutors Bring Hate Speech Charges Against Man Who Posted
      FSU Monitor, September 4, 2008

      A 20 year old resident of Tomsk, Russia faces charges of inciting
      ethnic hatred after allegedly posting neo-Nazi clips online, according
      to a September 2, 2008 report by the Regnum news agency. He is the
      second Tomsk resident this year to be charged in connection with the
      spreading of neo-Nazi online clips, which are common on Youtube and
      its Russian equivalents. Most clips show attacks on minorities, along
      with speeches by neo-Nazis and far-right music. Neither case has so
      far resulted in a conviction.


      Youths Charged With Hate Crimes in Ufa, Russia
      FSU Monitor, September 4, 2008

      A group of youths in Ufa, Russia (Republic of Bashkortostan) face hate
      crimes charges, according to a September 4, 2008 article posted on the
      web site of the national daily "Komsomolskaya Pravda." The suspects
      are accused of multiple attacks on foreign students from Turkey and
      Vietnam over the course of May 2008. Their trial date has not yet been


      Russian museum of tolerance opens in 2011 to become the world biggest
      Jewish museum
      Interfax, September 4, 2008

      Moscow, September 4, Interfax - New Russian Museum of tolerance is to
      open in 2011.
      It will be the biggest Jewish museum in the world. Its total area
      will equal to 17,000 square meters, while the area of exposition
      dedicated to history of Jewish people is 4,500 square meters, the
      Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) told
      Interfax-Religion on Thursday.
      Building of the museum will be commenced in 2009 based on the
      Bakhmetev garage in Obraztsov Street in Moscow. It will house several
      museum expositions, a library, a scientific center, conference halls
      and exhibition galleries. The ground floor of the two-storey
      educational and exhibition complex will be located underground.
      The Graft Labs renowned German architectural bureau and the Ralph
      Appelbaum Associates international design company worked out the
      concept of interior design.
      Speaking at the museum concept presentation, FJCR President Alexander
      Boroda said, architects managed to settle two tasks at a time: "to
      preserve the garage building, which is a unique architectural site,
      and combine top multimedia technologies with traditional forms of
      museum expositions."
      The FJCR and the Garage center of modern culture will realize joint
      exhibition projects before construction work starts. Ilia Kabakov is
      to be exhibited first.
      The Ralph Appelbaum Associates became famous after constructing
      exposition of the USA Holocaust Memorial Museum. Besides, its
      designers worked at William Clinton Presidential library, the National
      World War I museum and the London transport museum.
      The Graft Labs bureau actively cooperates with Hollywood stars and
      cinema companies and carries out design and architectural projects in
      Europe and Asia. The Bureau designed Brad Pitt's villa and
      participated in his charity project to help residents of New Orleans
      suffered from Hurricane Katrina.


      Bigotry Monitor—UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 36,
      September 5, 2008

      A Russian court sentenced a small town policeman to two and a half
      years in prison for spreading neo-Nazi propaganda on the Internet,
      according to a September 3 report by the Sova Information-Analytical
      Center. Aleksey Smirnov of Boksitogorsk, Leningrad Region, violated
      Article 282 of the Criminal Code by posting hate speech on his web
      site. He was also convicted on illegal weapons possession. His
      conviction is the latest in a series of cases this year that point to
      a new focus on extremist web sites by law enforcement agencies.


      Bigotry Monitor—UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 36,
      September 5, 2008

      A court fined a resident of Aleksandrov, Vladimir Region after finding
      him guilty of inciting ethnic hatred, according to a September 4
      report by Interfax. Aleksandr Butusov will have to pay 54,000 rubles
      (around $2,100) for his postings on a local Internet forum calling for
      violence against Chechens. Such cases are becoming more common as
      Russian police investigate Internet forums known to be frequented by


      Bigotry Monitor—UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 36,
      September 5, 2008

      Police detained a drunken young man in connection with the vandalism
      of a Muslim prayer house in Furmanovo, Ivanovo Region, according to a
      September 3 report by Interfax. The 18-year-old allegedly threw a rock
      through the window of the prayer house and scratched a swastika on the
      building's facade. He faces charges of "hooliganism."


      Bigotry Monitor—UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 36,
      September 5, 2008

      The authorities in Russia's North Caucasus republic of
      Kabardino-Balkaria have deliberately inflated the threat from Islamic
      extremism, local people in the capital Nalchik told Forum 18 News
      Service. "If only five percent of the population understand Islam …
      you can't go out on the streets and create an Islamic state," one
      local Muslim pointed out. By exaggerating the threat, the news service
      summed up on September 2, local officials are able to secure
      anti-terrorism funding from the Kremlin, divert public attention away
      from the republic's systemic corruption and poor economic performance,
      and keep people too afraid to protest.


      Bigotry Monitor—UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 36,
      September 5, 2008

      A Ukrainian reporter spotted antisemitic leaflets inside a Russian
      Orthodox cathedral affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate in
      Kamenets-Podolsky, Ukraine, according to an August 27 report by the
      Kiev-based newspaper "Gazeta 24." According to the report, posters
      calling for a boycott of kosher products hang outside the city's
      Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral. Inside the cathedral, a newspaper article
      is posted claiming that "kikes" were behind the creation of "Ukraine"
      (referred to with pejorative quotation marks, along with the term
      "Ukrainian language"). "Kikes don't like the words 'Russia and
      Russians,' so they created an artificial state called Ukraine to
      divide and weaken the Russian empire," the article argued. The "Gazeta
      24" report sharply criticized the diocese for allowing the
      distribution of antisemitic propaganda.


      The Sukhumi-Abkhazian diocese seeks to join the Russian Church
      Interfax, September 5, 2008

      Sukhumi, September 5, Interfax - The Abkhazian Church wants to be
      self-governed Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, administrator of
      the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Diocese Fr. Vissarion Aplia told journalists.
      Orthodox believers of Abkhazia asked the Moscow Patriarchate for it
      "more than once before, but the republic wasn't recognized and it was
      the main obstacle for settling the question," he noted.
      "We were in a very hard situation after Georgian-Abkhazian war of
      1992-93 and it was the Russian Orthodox Church that extended help to
      the Abkhazian Church, though we asked the whole Orthodox world for
      help," the diocesan head said.
      "Today when Russia recognized Abkhazia's independence, we intend to
      ask for settling this question again," Fr. Vissarion further said.
      The Russian Orthodox Church stated late in August that though Russia
      had politically recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it didn't mean
      changes of canonical territories of the Moscow and Georgian
      "The political decision has been taken and we must respect it because
      it is based on the unanimous opinion of MPs from both chambers of the
      Russian parliament," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department
      for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told
      However, the priest further said, "Political decisions don't define
      church jurisdictions and spheres of pastoral responsibility. These
      questions should be settled canonically in course of dialogue between
      the two (Russian and Georgian -IF) Churches."


      Neo-Nazis Face Hate Crimes Murder Charge in Voronezh
      FSU Monitor, September 5, 2008

      A group of neo-Nazi teenagers face hate crimes murder charges in
      Voronezh, Russia, a city known as a hotbed of far-right groups,
      according to a September 5, 2008 report by the ITAR-TASS news agency.
      The five teenagers, aged 17-20, allegedly murdered a 15 year old boy
      who tried to join their group "Russian National Resistance" after
      determining that his skin was too dark and his features too Asiatic.
      Police found his body with 14 stab wounds. That same day, prosecutors
      allege, the suspects attacked another Asian-looking teenager. In
      addition to the charge of "murder motivated by ethnic hatred," the
      suspects are accused of "forming an extremist organization." If
      convicted, they face between 10-20 years in prison. Their trial date
      is pending; in the meantime, all five suspects are in pre-trial


      Russian TV channel warned over 'extremist' episode of 'South Park'
      The Canadian Press, September 8, 2008

      MOSCOW — An episode of the cartoon comedy South Park has been labelled
      as extremist by Russian prosecutors, who issued a warning Monday to
      the Russian TV station that broadcast it.
      The Prosecutor General's Office did not identify which episode its
      investigators found objectionable, but said it "offends the honour and
      dignity of Christians and Muslims and insults the feelings of
      believers irrespective of their faith."
      Prosecutors issued the warning to private TV channel 2x2, which aired
      the episode on Jan. 9, and said they had appealed to a Moscow court to
      declare the episode extremist.
      The all-cartoon 2x2 channel has received similar warnings in recent
      months about other animated series, leading to some media speculation
      that it may be the target of a takeover attempt. Corrupt Russian law
      enforcement officials are often used to force a change in company
      Representatives of 2x2 could not be reached for comment Monday
      evening. General director Roman Sarkisov was quoted by the Interfax
      news agency as saying he would defend the channel in court.
      South Park's creators, who have also made a feature-length movie,
      routinely take satirical jabs at politicians, celebrities, religion
      and sexuality. With heavy parody and scatological humour, the
      made-for-adults program follows a group of children living in a
      fictional U.S. town.
      Russian prosecutors opened their investigation into the South Park
      episode after receiving complaints from Russian Protestant leaders,
      the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.
      RIA-Novosti quoted the head of the Russian Union of Evangelical
      Christians, Konstantin Bendas, as saying prosecutors should ban the
      South Park cartoons on the grounds that they contain "covert and overt
      propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia as norms of sexual life."
      Earlier this year, some Russian Protestant leaders asked for the
      channel's broadcasting licence to be revoked, the agency said.


      Multiple Attacks on Dagestani Construction Workers in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, September 8, 2008

      Neo-Nazis attacked construction workers from Dagestan three times over
      the past week, according to a September 8, 2008 article in the
      national daily "Moskovsky Komsomolets." The first attack took place on
      August 31. At 1AM, at least 50 neo-Nazis threw firecrackers and smoke
      bombs at the train cars where the workers live on Moscow's
      Sevastopolsky Prospekt while screaming threats. Around 30 construction
      workers fled the train cars in panic, at which point the neo-Nazis
      assaulted them with fists and BB guns. The brawl lasted around 20
      minutes. On September 4, the extremists attacked again, after which
      the construction workers who hadn't already decided to leave Moscow
      out of fear for their safety built a metal fence around the train
      cars. However, two days later, the neo-Nazis broke the fence and beat
      up the workers again, three of whom ended up with broken limbs. Police
      are now guarding the site. The author of the article pointed out that
      nobody has bothered the Belarusian workers living in train cars right
      next door.


      Prominent Russian Orthodox Cleric Calls for Mandatory Theology Courses
      in Kaluga
      FSU Monitor, September 9, 2008

      The leading Russian Orthodox Church cleric in the Kaluga region called
      for the mandatory teaching of Russian Orthodox theology in local
      schools, according to a September 5, 2008 report by the Slavic Law
      Center. Metropolitan Kliment requested the governor of the Kaluga
      region to mandate that schools teach "The Fundamentals of Orthodox
      Culture"--a curriculum that human rights advocates and many minority
      religious leaders criticize for violating the secular nature of the
      state guaranteed in the Russian constitution, and for its use of an
      antisemitic textbook. As for the rights of religious minorities not to
      have another faith's theology imposed upon them by the government,
      Metropolitan Kliment said that by taking the course, "They will be
      able to better understand the culture and world view of the people
      whose Fatherland accepts them onto its territory," a statement that
      ignores the fact that millions of Russian citizens belonging to
      minority faith communities were born and have centuries' old roots in
      Russia. If these courses are not taught, he warned, the country will
      break apart along sectarian and ethnic lines, especially if
      large-scale in-migration continues from other former Soviet states.
      Currently, "The Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture" course is being
      taught in around 100 Kaluga schools as an elective; its teaching is
      mandatory in four other regions.


      Police Detain Far-Right Lawmaker in Izhevsk, Russia
      FSU Monitor, September 9, 2008

      Police detained a far-right member of the city parliament in Izhvesk,
      Russia (Republic of Udmurtiya) and charged him with the equivalent of
      a parole violation, according to a September 5, 2008 report by the
      Sova Information-Analytical Center. Vasily Kryukov of the "People's
      Will" party allegedly broke his written pledge not to leave the city
      until his trial date and ignored a summons to make himself available
      for questioning by investigators. He originally ran afoul of the law
      on November 30, 2006 when police went to the offices of "Izhevsky
      Factory" to investigate the distribution of extremist literature
      there. Mr. Kryukov allegedly assaulted a police officer and is also
      accused of dragging out his court proceedings.


      Two Racist Attacks in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, September 9, 2008

      Neo-Nazis assaulted a Tajik man in Moscow, beating him and breaking
      bottles over his head, according to a September 8, 2008 report by the
      Sova Information-Analytical Center. The victim was found on August 15
      lying in his own blood with fragments of bottles around him. On August
      10, a group of youths attacked a Central Asian man on a Moscow
      suburban train after complaining that he was speaking in his native
      tongue on a cell phone. The fight escalated into attacks on all
      non-Russians on the train. Police detained between 3-4 suspects.


      Moscow Police Detain Suspect in Murder of Anti-Fascist Activist
      FSU Monitor, September 10, 2008

      Police in Moscow have detained a suspect in connection with the murder
      of Alexei Krylov, a 21-year-old anti-fascist activist who was stabbed
      to death by an estimated 15 neo-Nazis on March 16, according to a
      September 8, 2008 report by the Interfax news agency, one of several
      recent cases of neo-Nazis killing their ideological rivals. Police
      released no details about the suspect.


      Moscow Bombing Work of Neo-Nazis?
      FSU Monitor, September 10, 2008

      Neo-Nazis may be behind the bombing of a funeral attended by Azeris in
      Moscow, according to a September 6, 2008 article in the national daily
      "Kommersant." One person died and two ended up in the emergency room
      after a bomb exploded at the Artizan restaurant in southeastern
      Moscow. Police are investigating the possibility that neo-Nazis set
      the bomb, but are also investigating other theories, including the
      possibility that a bomb went off accidentally. Azeris at the funeral,
      however, were adamant that the bombing was a racist attack. A group of
      neo-Nazis were sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for the
      deadly Cherkizov market bombing, which marked an escalation into
      terrorist tactics by far-right groups in Russia.


      Russian Muslim Leader Declares Anti-US Jihad
      FSU Monitor, September 10, 2008

      Talgat Tadzhuddin, one of Russia's two competing chief muftis, has
      once again declared jihad against the US, this time because of its
      support for Georgia, according to a September 8, 2008 report by the
      online news web site Gazeta.ru. "The USA are fiends of hell who impose
      spiritual assimilation on anybody who strikes back against their
      filthy hands," the mufti is quoted as saying, further characterizing
      the West as "enemies of the human race." An August 29, 2008 BBC
      Russian service report carries an additional quote: "We [Muslims]
      should help Russia in its jihad against the USA. Muslims have
      experienced their aggression more than anybody else. And now in
      alliance with Moscow we have a chance to pay them back for all of the
      suffering that the Americans have inflicted on the Islamic world. We
      call upon Muslims and Russian Orthodox to join in a united
      Islamic-Orthodox jihad against the Empire of Satan."
      Muslim and Orthodox commentators have reacted by criticizing the
      mufti's statement. In 2003, Mufti Tadzhuddin called for a jihad
      against the US in reaction to the war in Iraq, but he then kept silent
      on the topic, reportedly at the insistence of the government.


      African Student Attacked in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, September 11, 2008

      An African student was attacked in Moscow, according to a September
      10, 2008 report by the Jewish.ru web site. The student was admitted to
      the hospital on Tuesday with a concussion and facial fractures. The 19
      year old victim studies at the Friendship of Peoples University.


      Crackdown Against Jehovah's Witnesses Continues in Russia
      FSU Monitor, September 11, 2008

      In the latest instance of government action against Jehovah's
      Witnesses and other minority Christians in Russia, officials in Ufa
      (Republic of Bashkortostan) have banned a planned Jehovah's Witnesses
      congress, according to a September 9, 2008 report by the Interfax news
      agency. Around 1300 Jehovah's Witnesses planned to hold a mass prayer
      service in a rented building until the local prosecutor's office
      banned it.
      At the same time in Dzherzhinsk (Nizhny Novgorod region), the city
      government is "searching for a technicality" to block the construction
      of a Jehovah's Witnesses prayer hall on an empty, burned out lot,
      according to a September 9, 2008 article in the national daily
      "Kommersant." Around two dozen people gathered in an officially
      approved protest action outside the construction site calling for the
      project to be halted. An official from the city government admitted
      that the city is collaborating with the Russian Orthodox Church in
      opposing the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses, who have been trying
      to build their prayer hall since 2004 but have been delayed by
      official actions. In 2006, the city organized a public meeting of
      residents to discuss the construction project, during which a Russian
      Orthodox priest and other speakers warned about the danger posed by
      "sects." The meeting ended in a resolution condemning the project.
      The "Kommersant" article quoted a legal expert saying that the
      construction project is legal under the constitution's protection of
      freedom of religion. The article ended with a one paragraph
      "explainer" that referred to Jehovah's Witnesses as "one of the oldest
      totalitarian religious organizations." The fact that "Kommersant"--one
      of Russia's most professional newspapers--used that sort of language
      indicates the level of animosity towards Jehovah's Witnesses and some
      other minority Christians prevelant in the country.


      Suspect in Murder of Indian Student Dies in Police Custody
      FSU Monitor, September 11, 2008

      A young man that police detained yesterday in St. Petersburg, Russia
      died in police custody, according to a September 11, 2008 report by
      the local television station Vesti. Nitesh Kumar Singh was murdered in
      St. Petersburg by a group of masked assailants in 2006 in what
      appeared to be a racist attack. According to police, the suspect
      indicated he was willing to sign a confession after investigators
      interrogated him. He then ran towards the 4th floor window and jumped
      outside to his death.
      Russian police routinely employ torture to extract confessions from
      suspects, and there have been other instances in which suspects jump
      out of windows to escape the pain.


      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's—weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 37,
      September 12, 2008

      Russia's Interior Ministry will set up units to resist extremism and
      guarantee the security of individuals requiring protection from the
      state, according to a presidential decree posted on an official
      website, according to a brief item dated September 11 by Interfax-AVN,
      an Internet news service usually specializing in military news and
      owned by the independent Interfax news agency. The report offered no
      The units for resisting extremism are to be formed within the
      divisions combating organized crime, the decree says. It also orders
      the formation of "units to guarantee the security of individuals
      entitled to protection from the state and also to safeguard the
      property of such individuals." The divisions combating economic crimes
      are expected to fight corruption and organized crime in the economy as


      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's—weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 37,
      September 12, 2008

      On September 8, prosecutors accused the Russian television station 2x2
      of promoting extremism with an episode of the iconoclastic U.S.
      cartoon "South Park" and violating children's rights by airing shows
      such as "The Simpsons" and "The Family Guy," "The Moscow Times"
      reported. The Moscow City Prosecutors' Office said that a commission
      of experts had determined that the "South Park" episode "Mr. Hankey's
      Christmas Classics" was extremist in character because it promotes
      "hatred between religions." The prosecutors have asked the Basmanny
      District Court to rule that the episode encourages extremism.
      The director of the 2x2 network, Roman Sarkisov, disputed the findings
      of the commission's report, which was issued last month. "I don't
      think there's any extremism in `South Park,' which is shown all around
      the world," Sarkisov said. In March, 2x2 received a warning for
      showing the cartoons "Happy Tree Friends" and "The Adventures of Big
      Jeff." It quickly pulled them. Under media laws, a media outlet loses
      its license after two warnings. Sarkisov speculated that his network's
      legal troubles may be linked to business. "Someone is trying to get
      our frequency," he said.


      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's—weekly newsletter, Volume 8, Number 37,
      September 12, 2008

      On September 9, "The New York Times" suggested that Russia might have
      inspired separatism among its own numerous nationalities when
      President Medvedev formally recognized the independence of the
      Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In an article of well
      over 1,000 words, "The Times" focused on Tatarstan, an energy-rich
      republic in the middle Volga region that advertises its "powerful and
      diversified industry, high intellectual potential, and qualified labor."
      "The Times" noted that the two declarations of independence in the
      Caucasus were swiftly followed by an appeal by the All-Tatar Civic
      Center expressing the devout wish that Tatarstan would be next. Rashit
      Akhmetov, chief editor of the opposition paper "Zvezda Povolzhya," was
      quoted as saying that Moscow's decision to recognize the independence
      of two Georgian regions "made Tatarstan's cause seem, as Rashit
      Akhmetov put it, `not hopeless.'" Akhmetov's key reaction was that
      "Russia has lost the moral right not to recognize us."
      "The Times" also cited Lawrence Scott Sheets, identified as the
      Caucasus program director for the International Crisis Group, an
      independent organization that tries to prevent and resolve global
      conflicts. "In the long term, [the Russians] could have signed their
      own death warrant," Sheets was quoted as saying. "[Tatar independence
      is] an abstraction now, but 20 years down the road, it won't be such
      an abstraction."


      Trial Begins of Moscow Neo-Nazis Accused of Killing Chess Player
      FSU Monitor, September 12, 2008

      The trial of a neo-Nazi youth gang accused of killing the
      internationally known chess player Sergey Nikolaev has begun in
      Moscow, according to a September 12, 2008 article in the national
      daily "Kommersant." The 13 defendants, aged 16-18, face between five
      and 22 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors accuse the youths of
      two murders, ten attempted murders, and hate crimes. The trial is
      closed to the public, due to the under-aged status of most of the
      defendants. Moscow's chief prosecutor Yuri Syomin, referred to the
      gang's leader as "mentally retarded" but it is unclear if that is
      true, in which case it may have an impact on potentially sentencing,
      or if he meant it as an insult.


      Voronezh Prosecutors File Hate Crime Charge Against Stabbing Suspect
      FSU Monitor, September 12, 2008

      Prosecutors in Voronezh, Russia charged a 20-year-old suspect with
      aggravated assault motivated by ethnic hatred, according to a
      September 12, 2008 report by the news web site Gazeta.ru. The suspect,
      along with two other men who have not yet been charged, allegedly beat
      and stabbed an ethnic Armenian man on the night of September 2 while
      shouting the far-right slogan "Russia for Russians!" The victim, who
      was hospitalized, and the young woman he was walking with reported
      that seven young men attacked him; police detained the suspects three
      days later.
      Prosecutors in Voronezh filed hate crimes murder charges against a
      separate group of neo-Nazis earlier this month.


      Japanese Diplomat Attacked in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, September 15, 2008

      Three men attacked a Japanese diplomat in Moscow, according to a
      September 15, 2008 report by the RIA Novosti news agency. The attack
      on the Japanese embassy's first secretary took place the previous
      evening in Gorky Park. There is no mention in the report that the
      attackers robbed their victim, increasing the possibility that it was
      a hate crime. So far, neither the police nor the embassy have
      commented on the crime.


      Russia's Main Far-Right Group Splits
      FSU Monitor, September 15, 2008

      A split has occurred within the ranks of Russia's main far-right
      group, the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), according to a
      September 15, 2008 article in the national daily "Kommersant." A
      meeting of 30 regional branches of the DPNI--a group linked with
      anti-migrant violence in Kondopoga and other cities--rejected the
      proposal of its leader Aleksandr Belov to ally with more "respectable"
      political parties. Both sides of the dispute blame the government,
      which they accuse of engineering the split within their ranks. The
      delegates then declared that Mr. Belov is no longer the DPNI's leader
      because he allied the group with members of the small party "Narod"
      which has taken part in liberal opposition rallies. Since July, Mr.
      Belov has been trying to transition the DPNI into a mainstream party,
      allying it with the Narod party and the extremist nationalist Great
      Russia party of Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO. He blamed
      the split of Russia's secret services, which he claimed "hired around
      30 skinheads for a little bit of money" to engineer his ouster.



      Russian-Speaking Minorities
      Le Monde, September 1, 2008 (?)

      Recognizing theRussian leaders' right to "defend" the "interests" of"
      Russian-speakers outside Russia," as Nicolas Sarkozy did in Moscow on
      12 August, is, to say the least, blithe. The map which we publish
      (page 12) in our special report on the Georgia conflict shows the
      multiplicity of the Russian-speaking minorities in the countries of
      the former Soviet Union. Without even recalling the use which Nazi
      Germany made of this, assistance to national minorities can be the
      cause of or the pretext for dangerous tensions.
      The Abkhazians and the South Ossetians, recognized as independent of
      Georgia by Russia, are not, strictly speaking, Russian-speakers. But
      they are Russophiles. Moscow issuedt hem with Russian passports on the
      pretext that Russian law allows them to be issued to all citizens of
      the former Soviet Union and that the Abkhazians and the Ossetians, not
      wanting Georgian passports, were deprived of documents for traveling.
      Their Russian passports enable them, moreover, to enter certain
      countries more easily than with Georgian documents.
      Some 20 million Russians live outside the borders of Russia in the
      countries which used to belong to the Soviet Union. Moreover, the
      number of Russian immigrants in North America and, to a lesser extent,
      in Europe is constantly increasing. Moscow demands a tutelary role
      over these compatriots who are separated from their mother country or
      who are emigrants. This claim is debatable, but it can find a
      justification when the populations concerned are actually victims of
      The governments of Estonia and Latvia issue passports to their
      Russian-speaking populations only on condition that they submit to a
      test of integration. This demand constitutes an inequality in
      treatment which has been referred to the Organization for Security and
      Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and which could give Russia grounds to
      treat these populations as Russian and to issue them with passports.
      In order to avoid the situation of a particular minority being
      improperly exploited by an ill-intentioned neighbor, the states
      exposed to this risk must start by respecting the rights of all those
      who live on their territories.

      Russia: Western Businesses and the Return of the Cold War Mentality
      Stratfor.com, September 2, 2008

      The Russian resurgence evinced by its intervention in Georgia on Aug.
      8, combined with the United States' possible responses to Moscow's
      newfound strength, could put some U.S. and Western companies operating
      in Russia and Russia-friendly countries at risk of being targeted by
      the Kremlin and its associates. U.S. and Western firms could face
      threats of various kinds from Russian intelligence, the judiciary,
      regulatory bodies, organized crime, nationalist groups and Russian
      The Russian resurgence showcased by Moscow's intervention in Georgia
      on Aug. 8, combined with the potential U.S. responses to Russia's
      actions, could put U.S. companies operating in Russia and countries
      supportive of Russia (Belarus, Armenia, eastern Ukraine and
      potentially some Central Asian countries) at some risk of being
      targeted by the Kremlin and associated groups as a Cold War mentality
      begins to resurface in U.S.-Russian relations. Unlike during the Cold
      War, significant numbers of U.S. companies are operating in Russia
      today, representing an easy target for possible retaliation should
      U.S.-Russian tensions increase.
      Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. and Western
      businesses rushed into Russia in the early 1990s. Russia offered a
      virgin market with plenty of opportunities, great infrastructure
      compared to most undeveloped markets and a starved pool of consumers
      looking to enjoy their newfound liberty by exercising their freedom to
      consume. However, from the very start life has been hard for U.S. and
      Western businesses in Russia. From the beginning of the hectic
      privatization period, Russian industry was broken, decaying and
      divided up by former politicians, organized criminals and various
      oligarchs. Thus, running a business in Russia means learning to
      navigate the often indiscernible links between government, organized
      crime and business rivals and the Kremlin can make this as easy or
      hard as it likes.
      The tactics that the Kremlin could use against Western and
      particularly U.S. businesses could range from overt uses of government
      power such as actions by the Federal Security Service (FSB) or
      regulatory agencies and the judiciary to less obvious strategies such
      as using the powerful Russian organized crime network or nationalist
      groups. Russian oligarchs and businessmen could also use Russia's
      anti-Western mood to go after their Western competition.
      The FSB as a Lever
      The Kremlin is worried that foreign companies will be used to
      distribute Western political propaganda, general influence and
      branding that will stifle domestic competitiveness. From Moscow's (not
      altogether paranoid) perspective, U.S. firms are staging grounds for
      foreign spies. Former Russian President and current Prime Minister
      Vladimir Putin previously was a KGB operative who in the 1980s was in
      charge of business and technology espionage a tactic that served the
      KGB well and that the FSB continued with vigor even as Cold War ended.
      This trend is likely to continue; FSB activity regarding Western
      companies could even intensify as political tensions between the
      United States and Russia increase.
      Strategies could vary from increased surveillance and harassment to
      infiltration and the direct physical targeting of Western executives
      and employers. U.S. companies could also find themselves facing
      opposition from environmental and health-related nongovernmental
      organizations set up by the FSB and consumer boycotts initiated either
      openly by the Kremlin or through intermediaries.
      Regulatory Agencies and the Judiciary
      One of the Kremlin's favorite overt tactics against Western
      businesses is to use the Russian federal environmental agencies, like
      Rosprirodnadzor, to pressure companies by citing environmental damage
      caused by Western usually energy projects. The Kremlin is not
      actually concerned about the environment, but rather uses regulatory
      agencies like Rosprirodnadzor as a tool to target its political and
      economic competitors. Such a tactic was used to pressure Royal
      Dutch/Shell into divesting itself from the $22 billion Sakhalin 2
      project in December 2006 and also against Chevron Corp. on its Caspian
      Pipeline Consortium project.
      U.S. businesses could therefore see Russian federal regulators such
      as Rosprirodnadzor and the federal veterinary and plant health
      regulator Rosselkhoznadzor or the Federal Migration Service as main
      sources of direct pressure that can use environmental and food health
      and safety as an excuse to attack U.S. and Western companies,
      ultimately leading to litigation.
      As tax, migration, environmental and health regulatory bodies attack
      foreign companies on separate grounds, the Russian federal and state
      level judiciaries will be the ones ultimately bringing court cases
      against Western companies. Most of these court cases will have
      predetermined outcomes and will give the Western businesses few
      options but to submit to the eventual ruling.
      Organized Crime
      As a more indirect tactic the Kremlin could outsource its pressure
      tactics to Russian organized crime and nationalist movements.
      Russian organized crime is notorious for its involvement in business,
      and no foreign company operating in Russia can ignore its presence if
      it wants to survive. The Russian underworld was a strong force even
      during the Soviet era, operating lucrative smuggling operations of
      Western luxury goods, operations that allowed organized criminals to
      seize the day (and most Soviet industry) as the Soviet state collapsed
      in the early 1990s.
      Russian organized crime pervades Russian society and is very active
      abroad. It is active in everything from the advanced financial
      "white-collar" crime to protection rackets within the country. It is
      also a reality for any business operating in Russia. Protection and
      security provided by Russian organized crime essentially racketeering
      is so prevalent for foreign businesses that they customarily set
      aside 10 percent of their monthly profits for such "services." Certain
      groups also offer a multitude of services that can range from
      personnel protection to clearing of competition.
      The Kremlin, politicians and FSB also have many links to Russian
      organized crime and can use those contacts to pressure Western
      businesses. Strategies could range from raising protection prices to
      conducting targeted attacks against employees of Western companies
      that the government later blames on organized crime.
      Nationalist Movements
      The Kremlin could also encourage various nationalist movements to
      pressure U.S. businesses, through either consumer boycott campaigns or
      direct attacks. The wave of nationalism inside Russia is still
      growing, and the government has no plans or desire to rein it in.
      Various nationalist groups particularly groups like the Nashi and
      Pobeda youth groups could therefore be used indirectly as tools to
      pressure U.S. businesses inside Russia.
      The larger Nashi group is a Kremlin-controlled youth group with a
      membership of between 100,000 and 150,000. Most Nashi organized
      activities have to date targeted with very little violent events
      foreign political representatives, such as embassies, diplomats and
      international organization offices, although individual members of the
      Nashi have taken matters further. It would not be a stretch for the
      Nashi to reorient its activities from the political and diplomatic
      targets to the more business-oriented. Members could easily make it
      very difficult for consumers to frequent Western businesses by
      conducting activities like protests and sit-ins outside restaurants
      and stores, and they could start boycotts of Western products.
      Whenever the United States makes a political move against Russia the
      safety of Americans and American symbols inside of Russia are at risk.
      Therefore, there could be a shift in how American and Western
      companies brand themselves, with much less emphasis being placed on
      their country of origin.
      McDonalds is the prime example of this nationalist outburst not
      altogether surprising, as McDonalds is a target for anti-U.S.
      sentiment from France to the Middle East. Its restaurants were most
      recently targeted in February 2007 in St. Petersburg, although attacks
      were seen during the Kosovo War in 1999. It is not clear if the most
      recent attack was the work of nationalist groups, but the rise of
      targeted attacks against U.S. businesses is certainly something that
      cannot be discounted. Whether their actions come as directives from
      the Kremlin or not, U.S. companies doing business in Russia should
      take nationalist groups into account.
      Russian Business Interests
      However, it is not just the Kremlin that will use the increased
      tensions between Russia and the United States to raise pressure on
      Western businesses. Russian oligarchs competing with Western companies
      could use the anti-Western mood to make it difficult for their direct
      competitors to operate in Russia or to force their Western financiers
      to abandon control of joint ventures (without recouping their
      investments, of course). Oligarchs could use their links to organized
      crime to do this overtly, but they could also pressure Russian
      companies working with Western companies as third parties
      particularly for transportation, information technology and
      communication to stop cooperating or else lose business with the
      oligarchs' conglomerates. Oligarchs could also use their links with
      the Russian state to elicit pressure on Western companies. There are
      likely to be more cases like that of the joint U.K.-Russian venture
      TNK-BP, in which Russian oligarchs used everything from the Federal
      Migration Services to direct FSB-launched raids on offices and tax
      audits to try to force U.K. firm BP out of the venture.
      U.S. businesses in Russia should therefore expect to be targeted and
      might want to review their policies and adopt those used often in the
      Middle East, particularly in terms of personnel safety. Russia's
      nationalist movements have more freedom to operate and are often
      directly linked to the Kremlin, like the Nashi group than during
      Soviet times. Furthermore, U.S. and Western firms in the former Soviet
      Union are more visible and therefore far easier targets than they
      ever were during the Cold War.

      BBC Monitoring: Russian TV shows updated programme on British
      'Russophobia' in 19th century
      Channel One TV, September 3, 2008

      The first part of pro-Kremlin pundit Mikhail Leontyev's eight-part
      programme, "The Great Game", broadcast on European version of
      state-controlled Russian Channel One TV on 1 September 2008, was an
      updated version of the first instalment of the same programme
      broadcast on Channel One on 14 October 2007.
      The introduction showed footage of Georgian soldiers and equipment
      involved in the August 2008 conflict in South Ossetia, brief footage
      of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the concert held in
      Tskhinvali by Russian conductor Valeriy Gergiyev to support the
      victims of the conflict, burning houses, refugees, Russian armoured
      vehicles, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meeting Saakashvili
      in Tbilisi, NATO headquarters, and an excerpt from Condoleezza Rice's
      statement about Russia that "is using and has always used only one
      instrument, its military might" in its foreign policy.
      "Secretary of State Rice knows what she is talking about, and she
      knows what she is lying about", Mikhail Leontyev said. He claimed that
      her phrase "has always used" was a reference to "the Great Game, the
      19th-century cold war". Then he quoted Rudyard Kipling - "When
      everyone is dead the Great Game is finished. Not before". A Harvard
      professor was shown saying, with superimposed translation, that the
      United States' actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were similar to that of
      the British Empire. Dominic Lieven of the London School of Economics
      added that the USA "has become the successor to Great Britain".
      The rest of the programme examined evolution of UK foreign policy in
      relation to Russia in the 19th century and argued that UK foreign
      policy has been influenced by a paranoid hatred and fear of Russia. It
      argued that the Cold War did not begin in 1946, but can be dated back
      to the "Great Game" (See "Russian TV examines history of British
      "Russophobia" in 19th century", Channel One Worldwide, Moscow, in
      Russian 1940 gmt 14 Oct 07). The updated version included a few
      additional comments about geopolitical rivalry over the Black Sea,
      Afghanistan and other regions, and claims that the United States has
      now assumed the role of the 19th-century British Empire.

      Members of the diaspora community either back the Russian position or
      hold their own counsel.
      By: Vahe Avanesian in Moscow and Sopho Bukia in Tbilisi
      IWPR'S CAUCASUS REPORTING SERVICE, No. 458 Part 1, September 4, 2008

      The large Georgian community in Moscow has been watching the latest
      conflict in the Caucasus with horror, but members say that they have
      been spared the kind of persecution they experienced two years ago,
      when many of their ethnic kinsmen were deported.
      Tbilisi and Moscow have cut diplomatic ties and are recalling their
      ambassadors. Transport links between the two countries, which were
      restored only a few months ago, have been severed again.
      Gia Janashia (not his real name) is a Georgian with Russian
      citizenship who has lived in Moscow for the last 26 years. Last
      month's conflict caught him and his family in western Georgia visiting
      "I hadn't seen my parents for three years," he said. "There hadn't
      been a direct flight from Moscow for ages and they'd only just
      restored it, so I decided to go with my children.
      "My wife is Russian and in the first hours of the war [overnight on
      August 7-8] she started phoning and begging us to come back. On August
      9, we travelled to Tbilisi and when we passed Gori, it was a terrible
      sight - apartment blocks were burning. I covered my children's eyes
      with my hands so they wouldn't see it."
      After a nightmarish four-day trip, Janashia and his children
      travelled to the Armenian capital Yerevan, where they managed to get
      on a flight to Moscow.
      Now back in the Russian capital, Janashia insists he is not being
      made to suffer because of his ethnicity.
      "My Georgian friends and I are not having any problems at all," he.
      "I was expecting a repeat of the nightmare we went through in 2006,
      but no, everything's been fine. The main thing is not to forget to
      curse [Georgian president Mikheil] Saakashvili as roundly as you can.
      Everyone here likes that, from policemen to shop assistants."
      In 2006, in the worst confrontation between Moscow and Tbilisi prior
      to the war that broke out this August, hundreds of Georgians were
      deported from Russia in retaliation for the expulsion of four Russian
      officers accused of espionage.
      Russia cut all communications and banned imports of wine and mineral
      water from Georgia.
      The ban on Georgian wine, a favourite among Russians for many
      decades, came as a blow to wine merchants like Mikheil Poladishvili,
      who has lived in Moscow for more than 30 years and owns a shop selling
      alcohol in the city centre.
      He recalled the regular inspections that followed, saying, "It wasn't
      because I'm Georgian; it was just that we weren't allowed to sell
      Georgian wine, which we don't."
      In the wake of the recent conflict, he said, "everything has got much
      harder. It's heartbreaking that...Georgia has launched a war against
      Russia. But we carry on living and working, and just try not to watch
      the news on TV. People are treating us the same as normal."
      As was the case during previous crises, people from the Caucasus
      visiting Moscow have complained of police harassment.
      Samed Shahinov, a student from Azerbaijan, told IWPR how police
      stopped him and his friends in Moscow's Pushkin Square and searched
      them in a rough manner, simply because they had foreign passports.
      The official line has been to urge police to show restraint. A senior
      official in the Moscow city administration told IWPR that the security
      agencies had received instructions from above that "in the current
      situation, any action against Georgians will do us more harm than the
      Saakashvili regime can".
      The official, who did not want to be named, explained, "They don't
      want to repeat the mistakes of autumn 2006, when they naively thought
      that the Georgians in Russia were unhappy with the situation and would
      [work to] get rid of Saakashvili quickly."
      President Dmitry Medvedev has publicly ordered Interior Minister
      Rashid Nurgaliev to ensure that "all foreigners who are legally
      resident in Russia do not experience any harassment".
      Another difference from the situation two years ago is that prominent
      Georgian individuals and organisations in Russia have spoken out
      against the Saakashvili government, blaming it for the conflict with
      "A lot of people actually feel that way," said Janashia. "There's
      nothing surprising about that - we watch the Russian Federation TV
      He added, however, that Georgians in Russia were not in a position to
      voice disagreement even if that is how they felt.
      "If anyone thinks differently, they can't say so aloud," he said.
      "Lots of Georgians here have families and jobs - their whole life is
      here - so they have no other option, or else they will face the same
      as Kikabidze."
      Vakhtang Kikabidze is a popular Georgian singer living in Moscow who
      gained star status in a famous Soviet film, "Mimino". After coming out
      in support of the Georgian government over the conflict and handing
      back a Russian Order of Friendship awarded him by Medvedev, he was
      publicly berated as a "traitor to Russia".
      Another popular Georgian singer, Nani Bregvadze, has cancelled
      concerts in St Petersburg.
      These dissident voices are, however, the exception, and the majority
      of leading Georgian diaspora figures have lined up to back the Kremlin.
      Vladimir Khomeriki, who heads the Russian-Georgian Peoples' Unity
      Fund, welcomed Moscow's decision to recognise Abkhazia and South
      Ossetia as independent states.
      Janashia dismisses many of the Moscow-based diaspora groups as "front
      organisations" backed by city mayor Yury Luzhkov. With that in mind,
      he said, "no one expected anything more from them. Representatives of
      these organisations remained silent when Georgians were being loaded
      up and deported like cattle in 2006."
      While they insist their community is not being targeted, Georgians in
      Russia have felt increasingly uncomfortable because of the often lurid
      media coverage of the crisis, in which Saakashvili is denounced and
      the Georgian state portrayed as entirely hostile.
      That sense of unease is strengthened by accusations that Georgian
      spies and subversives are operating within Russia. Alexander
      Bortnikov, the head of the Russian intelligence service, the FSB,
      announced recently that nine Georgian secret-service agents had been
      arrested for spying on military installations and making plans for
      terrorist attacks.
      Bortnikov's warning that in addition to the alleged spies, a "group
      of 12 foreign fighters" had been captured led to Russian TV showing
      footage of the detained men purportedly confessing to their crimes.
      This kind of hostile reporting has prompted many Georgians to
      consider returning home.
      Natia Katashvili has been working for almost a year with a large IT
      company in Moscow. Now she is counting the days until her contract
      expires in October and she can go back to Georgia.
      "Every day since the war began, I've been talking to my family and
      friends in Georgia for hours on end," she said. "They don't understand
      how I can live in an enemy country. They tell me what is actually
      happening. And that picture has nothing in common with what the
      Russian media are saying.
      "I'm sure a lot of Georgians will leave here after our own country
      has been wrecked in this manner."

      Moscow Builds Ghetto for Gastarbeiters as Russians Debate Whether They
      Can Be Integrated
      By: Paul Goble
      Window on Eurasia, September 10, 2008

      Vienna, September 10 – Moscow commentators have long insisted that
      Russia will not face the kind of ethno-religious clashes that have
      taken place in Paris and other European cities because there are not
      any ethnically or religiously homogenous neighborhoods in most Russian
      But now given its growing need for immigrant workers to make up for
      the demographic decline of the Russian nation, Moscow companies, with
      the support of the city government, are building apartment blocks and
      even entire city districts for migrants, a step that may produce
      precisely the problems Russians have largely avoided up to now.
      Moreover, as the basic source of new migrant workers shifts from the
      Caucasus, where most people know some Russian, to Central Asia, China
      and other eastern countries, where few<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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