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Bulletin 3:10 (2009)

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    THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 3, No. 10(52), 4 May 2009 Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland I NEWS:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2009
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      THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
      A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 3, No. 10(52), 4 May 2009
      Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland

      I NEWS: 15 - 30 April 2009
      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
      III PRIMARY SOURCES
      IV ANNOTATIONS OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS

      [NOTE: When viewing an RNB issue in the Messages archive of the
      homepage and the end of the text is truncated, scroll to the end of
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      ===========================


      I NEWS: 15 - 30 April 2009

      Tajik citizen on wanted list over killing three Russian skinheads
      Moscow News, April 16, 2009

      Russian police have placed a Tajik national on the international wanted list on suspicion of killing three Moscow skinheads, Russian website Gazeta.ru reports. Police have begun a search for the killer, who has not been named, but it has so far yielded no results.
      "We have begun a search for a Tajik national who killed three extreme right-wing skinheads in Golutvin railway station in Kolomna, Moscow Region. We have already put his name on the international wanted list," Sergei Zabaturin, chief of Moscow prosecutor's investigative committee on transport, said during a press conference.
      According to investigators, the killer is hiding out in Tajikistan now. Russian police have already sent a request for the capture of the alleged criminal.
      The court has initiated a criminal case against the Tajik for more that one killing.
      A similar assault happened in Moscow on April 11. About ten Tajik nationals attacked three CSKA Moscow soccer club supporters. One of the assailants wounded three Russians with a knife. One of them, 25 year-old Maxim, died at the scene from blood loss, and another died in the hospital.
      Investigators think the Tajik citizens started their attacks out of revenge. At least 300 migrant laborers from Tajikistan have died in Russia since January 1, 2008. More than half were killed by nationalist skinheads while the rest, about 140, died in accidents or from natural causes. Many deaths are not investigated or their perpetrators get lenient sentences.
      The number of Central Asian migrants killed in Russia is rising every year. This is a very sad situation that reflects poorly on the Russian government's control over their citizens and their priorities, the Foreign Policy Association reports.

      http://www.mosnews.com/society/2009/04/16/tajikkillsskinheads/
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      The Ombudsman Is Authorized To Report
      Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 17, 2009
      Excerpt from interview with Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin by Nataliya Lebedeva

      …(Rossiyskaya Gazeta) Are there any positive changes?
      (Lukin) Positive changes have taken shape in the fight against manifestations of nationalism and xenophobia. Our law-enforcement bodies have improved their work. They have at least stopped pretending that this problem does not exist. Questions linked to freedom of conscience are not being resolved too badly, although there are some reproaches here. The overall situation is such that it is too early for us to take a calm view yet. Our report talks about this honestly….
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      Stabbing in Nizhny Novgorod a Likely Hate Crime
      UCSJ, April 17, 2009

      For the fourth time in less than a month, a group of youths stabbed an
      ethnic minority in a Nizhny Novgorod, Russia district, according to an
      April 9, 2009 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Two
      young men with closely shaved hair stabbed a citizen of Kyrgyzstan on
      April 6 in the city's Lenin district, the site of three other
      stabbings on March 11, 17 and 24. The victim was hospitalized. Police
      are investigating the attack as an aggravated assault, so far without
      any hate crimes charge.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/stabbing-nizhny-novgorod-likely-hate-crime
      ---------

      Racists Attack Woman on Moscow Metro
      UCSJ, April 17, 2009

      Four youths attacked a 35 year old Tajik woman on the Moscow metro,
      according to an April 13, 2009 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. The youths reportedly screamed racist
      abuse as they assaulted their victim, and then threw her out onto the
      platform of the next stop. The woman did not report the attack to
      police.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/racists-attack-woman-moscow-metro
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      Neo-Nazi Who Attacked Homeless Man Faces Extremism Charges
      UCSJ, April 17, 2009

      A resident of Kaluga, Russia faces extremism charges after attacking a
      homeless man and putting the video of the assault on the Internet,
      according to an April 15, 2009 report by the Regions.ru web site. In
      August 2005, the assailant beat up his victim while screaming
      "skinhead!" and "you are disgracing our country." Neo-Nazis often
      attack homeless people, even if they are ethnic Russians, and the
      placing of video clips of their attacks on the Internet is an
      increasingly common propaganda tool for far-right organizations. The
      assailant is being held in pre-trial detention; so far no court date
      has been set.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/neo-nazi-who-attacked-homeless-man-faces-extremism-charges
      ----------

      Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter
      Volume 9, Number 15: April 17, 2009

      RUSSIAN POLICE UNIVERSITY PULLS ANTISEMITIC TEXTBOOK. The St. Petersburg MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) University, which trains future leaders of police agencies, has pulled all 1,000 copies of a textbook that contained viciously antisemitic passages, according to the national daily "Kommersant" dated April 2. As this newsletter reported in its previous issue dated April 3, students at the MVD University received copies of the history textbook written by two of their professors, according to the national daily "Vremya Novostey" dated March 30. The textbook contained several statements that promote theories of a Jewish conspiracy undermining the Soviet Union. It was the second time this year that the MVD has published an antisemitic tract.
      After the country's leading Jewish organization--the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR)--complained about the textbook, the university pulled it from circulation and announced that it would launch an investigation of the incident. Yet the dean defended one of the authors, who continues to teach at the institution, saying that he was only citing other authors' works. FEOR praised the decision but expressed concern that the book was distributed at all, and called upon the Ministry of Education to stop the growing number of antisemitic textbooks recently distributed in institutions of higher learning.

      http://www.ucsj.org/bigotry-monitor/volume-9-2009/volume-9-number-15-april-17-2009
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      Russia's economic crisis forces Lenin to wear old suit
      RIA Novosti, April 21, 2009

      MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - The ongoing economic crisis has already had an effect on everyone in Russia, from oligarchs to humble office workers, and now even Lenin in his Red Square mausoleum has felt the pinch.
      On the eve of the 139th anniversary of the birth of the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, financial difficulties mean that Lenin will be forced to continue wearing an old suit for the sixth straight year, the Trud newspaper said on Tuesday.
      Lenin's embalmed body has been on public display in a glass case in the mausoleum since his death following a series of strokes in 1924.
      Tuesday saw the reopening of the mausoleum to the public after two months of maintenance work, during which Lenin's corpse was bathed in special preserving fluids.
      "This is a unique technology," Yury Denisov-Nikolski, the vice-director of the scientific research institute that carried out the work, told the paper. "Thanks to it, Lenin will be able to lie here for another hundred years."
      However, the expert also bemoaned the lack of government funding for the mausoleum.
      "The state hasn't allocated a single kopek since 1992. Everything is held together by the Lenin Mausoleum foundation and donors," he said. "On top of this, the crisis has struck hard. How can we change his suit in these economic conditions?"
      Lenin's suits are traditionally ordered from Switzerland and made of the finest materials. A new one is usually purchased every three years.
      The Soviet leader's continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
      However, a senior Kremlin official recently said that there was no need no move Lenin from his resting place on Red Square, and that any attempt to do so could have serious consequences.
      "The recent blast at the Lenin statue in St. Petersburg led, as you know, to protests. Just imagine for a minute what would happen if we were to try to move Lenin's body," Vladimir Kozhin, head of the Kremlin property management department, told the Tribuna paper.
      A St. Petersburg monument of the communist leader was badly damaged earlier this month by an explosion that ripped a large hole in the statue. The 10-meter high bronze figure was subsequently taken down for repair work.
      ---------

      Russian website warned over alleged extremism in forum
      Excerpt from report Ren TV, April 21, 2009, BBC Monitoring

      (Presenter) The Sword of Damocles hovers over the Russian media. Any print media, TV channel or a radio station may be closed because of their viewers, readers and listeners, as soon as the latter discuss something in a inappropriate way in the forum. Now the Urals's largest news agency URA.ru has to bear responsibility for the words said by forum users. Yelena Klipova has the details.
      (Correspondent) The mood in the editorial office of the Urals's largest website cannot be worse. The fate of URA.ru is entirely in the hands of officials. Two warnings over extremism are just like a black mark. One wrong step and they will receive a closure notification.
      (Dmitriy Kolezov, journalist of URA.ru) The threat of a licence being revoked makes us nervous and hinders the work with (word indistinct) of the authorities because it is sort of a stigma attached (to us).
      (Correspondent) This detective story began a year ago. Someone wrote racist statements and threats against the authorities in the website's forum. The journalists deleted the statements but, all the same, received a warning from Roskomsvyaznadzor (Russian Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications and Mass Communications; now reformed into Roskomnadzor, Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications). The belligerent malevolent person was not content with this and continued to sully the forum with extremist statements. Law-enforcement agencies, which the media contacted, did nothing but shrug their shoulders: it is impossible to trace (the person). The forum was closed, which did not save the website from the second warning.
      (Aksana Panova, editor-in-chief of URA.ru) It should be stressed that not one piece of editorial material, not the slightest information, not one article has earned any reprimands from Roskomsvyaznadzor. They do not cause complaints. These complaints refer just to one message in the forum.
      (Correspondent) The journalists are racking their brains: who benefits from all this? One of the theories is an act of provocation and the authorities' revenge. The media let itself publish too many critical articles about cottages, bribes and other tricks of the authorities. At the same time, they filed complaints in court seeking a cancellation of the warnings. However, courts of all levels ruled that officials were right, i.e. the website is responsible for what its readers think and write.
      The member of the Public Chamber, Nikolay Svanidze, believes that it is a flaw in the law and, to be more frank, stupidity.
      (Nikolay Svanidze, journalist, member of the Public Chamber) Some scum may appear not only in (the forum of) mass media but also in the forum of a prosecutor's office, and say some absolutely illegal, anticonstitutional things. What then, should the prosecutor's office be closed? Or they may appear in some Kremlin forum.
      (Correspondent) Not only mass media has forums. However, not one organization has so far been made responsible for those that are on the other end of the network. Forum users themselves did not realize that not only a keyboard but the fate of TV channels, newspapers and radio stations are in their hands. (Passage omitted)
      Roskomsvyaznadzor has calmed them down: two warnings are not the epitaph. It calls on them not be nervous and continue to work for the benefit of society. The journalists are trying to guess what in this situation is the benefit of society and for some reason suspect that it is certainly not criticism of the authorities. Something about the life of insects is much safer: it is education and the media outlet will definitely not be closed.
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      Tajik Kills Three Neo-Nazis, Placed on Interpol Watch List
      UCSJ, April 21, 2009

      Police in the Moscow suburb or Kolomna have persuaded Interpol to
      place a Tajik man on an international wanted list after determining
      that he killed three neo-Nazis, according to an April 17, 2009 report
      by Newsru.com. According to a police spokesperson, Saidzhon Radzhabov
      came to the aid of two Tajik men whom the neo-Nazis were beating at a
      Kolomna train station during what the far-right calls "cleansing
      operations." He took out a knife and killed one of the assailants,
      20-year-old Maskim Danilin, on the spot; the two other extremists, age
      18 and 20, died later in a hospital. The Kolomna police believe Mr.
      Radzhabov is hiding in Tajikistan.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/tajik-kills-three-neo-nazis-placed-interpol-watch-list
      ----------

      Police Arrest Youths in Moscow Stabbing
      UCSJ, April 21, 2009

      Two youths confessed to multiple stabbings after police detained them
      in connection with an attack on a Tajik man, according to an April 20,
      2009 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. The youths
      allegedly stabbed their victim four times on April 23. The 37-year-old
      victim survived the attack and gave police a description before losing
      consciousness in the hospital; police detained the suspects, one of
      whom is a college student, shortly afterwards.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/police-arrest-youths-moscow-stabbing
      ----------

      Russians see themselves as global force for good - poll
      Mosnews.com, April 22, 2009

      A recent BBC Russian Service poll has shown that most Russians believe that their country is seen as a force for good in the world, rather than a threat to other countries. Neither the military conflict with Georgia, nor the gas row with Ukraine can damage Russia's reputation, the Russians think.
      The results contrast the findings of a separate BBC World Service poll across 21 countries, which found that other nations have an increasingly negative view of Russian influence, GlobeScan.com reports Tuesday.
      The poll reveals that two-thirds (66 percent) of Russian adults believe that Russia is seen by other countries as a `force for good in the world'. At the same time, very few Russians feel that other countries see their country as `a threat to world peace' (13 percent) or as `a threat to its neighbors' (12 percent).
      Despite significant coverage in the global media of Russia's troubled relations with former Soviet states, fewer than one in three believe that the nation's image has been damaged either by last year's conflict with Georgia (28 percent) or by the recent dispute with Ukraine over gas (24 percent).
      Russians' belief that their country is well-perceived outside its borders is very much in line with a growing opinion within Russia that the country exerts a positive global influence. A regular GlobeScan multi-country poll on behalf of BBC World Service found earlier this year that 82 percent of Russians feel their country exerts a positive influence in the world, up from 69 percent in 2005.
      According to the same poll, opinions outside of Russia are very different. Across the 20 other countries polled earlier this year, substantially more now have a negative view (42 percent) than a positive view (30 percent) of Russia's influence in the world.
      The belief that Russia is viewed as a positive influence is reflected in Russians' advocacy of an active multilateral approach to foreign policy: exactly half think that Russia should use its power and influence to cooperate with other countries in solving international problems, compared to 26 per cent who believe they should be used to defend Russia's own interests and only 14 per cent who say that the focus should be on providing an alternative to US global leadership.
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      Attack on Minority Athletes in Oryol
      UCSJ, April 23, 2009

      Around 30 people attacked five ethnic minority athletes in Oryol,
      Russia while screaming far-right slogans, according to an April 21,
      2009 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. On March 28,
      the mob surrounded the athletes, who had just won a martial arts
      contest against a local team, and started to beat them near the Hotel
      Salyut. Hotel security called police, whose arrival scared off the
      attackers. The athletes were given medical treatment for several cuts
      and bruises, as well as a broken finger. Police later detained a 20
      year old suspect who confessed to the crime and are looking for
      others. Although a local police official announced that the
      "non-Slavic appearance of the athletes might have played a role" in
      the attack, so far they are investigating the incident as
      "hooliganism" and aggravated assault rather than as a hate crime.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/attack-minority-athletes-oryol
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      Petersburg Youths Sentenced for Murder
      UCSJ, April 23, 2009

      Five youths in St. Petersburg were sentenced for murdering a citizen
      of Kyrgyzstan, according to an April 22, 2009 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. The Petersburg City Court ruled on
      April 22 that the group's ringleader, 18 year old Sergey Gerasimchuk,
      be sent to prison for five years, and gave lesser sentences of three
      years to all but one of his co-defendants, an under-aged youth who got
      off with a suspended sentence. Investigators initially leaned towards
      classifying the January 2008 murder as a hate crime, which would have
      resulted in longer sentences, but later changed their minds.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/petersburg-youths-sentenced-murder
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      STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA `STABLE,' SAYS OMBUDSMAN
      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's weekly newsletter
      Volume 9, Number 16: April 24, 2009

      Over the past five years, the human rights situation in Russia has been "stable," ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told a televised news conference on April 20. One area of improvement Lukin pointed to is the struggle against "aggressive xenophobia and nationalism." He said that "law enforcement agencies have become considerably more active" in detecting nationalist groups and taking them to court. He described Russia as "an emerging democracy."
      But the annual report Lukin released was a mixture of empty words and statistics insufficiently explained.
      The number of complaints accepted and filed with the office of the human rights ombudsman has been a steady 30,000 a year—out of 50,000 complaints--unchanged over five years, added Lukin's deputy Georgiy Kunadze.
      Lukin welcomed President Medvedev's interest in human rights issues which have been "for a rather long time underestimated." As for the consequences of Medvedev's interest, Lukin said cautiously, they remain to be seen. He expressed the hope that Russia "will constantly, on everyday basis, unostentatiously … but very substantially and in practice take care of developing our civil society, ensure that civil rights are better protected not only in words but in reality. This is one of the main, basic parts of our lives."

      http://www.ucsj.org/bigotry-monitor/volume-9-2009/volume-9-number-16-april-24-2009
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      SO FAR, HITLER'S BIRTHDAY HAS BEEN QUIET
      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's weekly newsletter
      Volume 9, Number 16: April 24, 2009

      As we go to press, reports suggest that Russian skinhead activity on Adolf Hitler's birthday, April 20--usually an occasion for bombings and mayhem several days before and after the actual date--has been minimal. More reports may still come but it now appears that the police, through a massive security presence, have been successful in reducing the anniversary violence each year for the past several years.
      The Interior Ministry pledged to prevent any violence by nationalist groups. Police beefed up security in areas inhabited by large numbers of dark-skinned natives of Central Asia and the Caucasus, a ministry official told Interfax, and officials shut down at least two outdoor markets in northern Moscow where most of the traders are migrants from former Soviet republics in the south.
      The one reported incident on April 20 took place in Moscow. Six migrant workers were hospitalized with knife wounds and other injuries after a brawl that officials initially described as an attack by skinheads celebrating Hitler's birthday, "The Moscow Times" reported. The first reports by national news agencies stated that as many as 20 skinheads attacked 15 Tajik and Uzbek construction workers and then fled.
      However, city police later denied that skinheads were involved in the fight that broke out at about 7 a.m. at a construction site, saying that all those involved were of the same ethnicity. "There were no skinheads or members of other youth groups there," police spokeswoman Natalya Tolstobrova told Rossiya television. A Federal Migration Service official told Interfax that all 20 men involved in the brawl were natives of the restive North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.
      We may never find out which version of the brawl is true.

      http://www.ucsj.org/bigotry-monitor/volume-9-2009/volume-9-number-16-april-24-2009
      -------

      Volgograd authorities prevented gay pride parade in downtown
      Interfax-Religion, April 29, 2009

      Volgograd, April 27, Interfax – Volgograd authorities prevented unsanctioned gay pride parade last Saturday. Sex minorities were going to march along the city's central street despite an official ban.
      "Our grandfathers and grand grandfathers shed their blood in World War II not because they wanted holy Stalingrad to welcome such shady shows decades after," city mayor Roman Grebennikov is quoted as saying by his press service.
      The city chief instructed the Public Security Committee at the administrative agencies to bring to justice all public order disturbers on the day of the expected action.

      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5970
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      Human rights activists: 23 killed, 98 injured in xenophobic crimes in Russia in 2009
      Kyiv Post/Interfax, April 28, 2009

      MOSCOW - Russia has become the world's leader in the growth rate of xenophobia and the number of radical nationalistic organizations, human rights activists said.
      "Xenophobia is now very strong here. Its level in Russia is one of the highest in the world," deputy director of the Sova analytical center Galina Kozhevnikova told Interfax on Tuesday.
      Opinion polls indicate that over 50% of Russians back the slogan 'Russia for Russians' and favor limiting employment in terms of ethnicity, she said.
      "Even in countries where ultra-right parties win, they do not get 50% support of the voters. We have a very high level of xenophobia, and it secures support to ultra-right organizations," Kozhevnikova said.
      Some 23 people have been killed and 98 have been injured in xenophobic and ethnic crimes in Russia since the start of 2009. "Mainly, these are people of Central Asian origin," Kozhevnikova said.
      According to human rights assessments, there are around 70,000 skinheads in Russia, she said. "This is a subculture of skinheads, and not all of them are prone to murdering," she said.
      In addition to skinheads, there are ultra-right organizations and groups but the volume of supporters is impossible to establish, she said.
      Sova is Russia's leading non-governmental center monitoring xenophobia and ethnic extremism.

      http://www.kyivpost.com/world/40395
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      Court Sentences Librarian to Community Service for Showing Antisemitic Film
      UCSJ, April 28, 2009

      A court in Cherepovets, Russia (Vologda region) sentenced a librarian
      to six months of community service and a fine after finding her guilty
      of inciting ethnic hatred, according to an April 24, 2009 report on
      the web site Jewish.ru. Natalya Yuganovaya screened the film "Russia
      With a Knife in its Back: Jewish Fascism and the Genocide of the
      Russian People" at a library affiliated with the local diocese of the
      Russian Orthodox Church, and lost her job as a result of the
      subsequent scandal raised.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/court-sentences-librarian-community-service-showing-antisemitic-film
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      MVD's New National Department to Combat Extremism Reports 164 Hate Crimes So Far This Year
      UCSJ, April 28, 2009

      The Ministry of Internal Affairs recently created a national
      department to combat extremism, and its head presented an early report
      on its work to the Public Chamber, according to an April 23, 2009
      report by the Prima news agency, which focuses on human rights issues
      in the former Soviet Union. Yuri Kokov, the department's head,
      reported on his department's focus on neo-Nazi groups, Islamic
      extremists, and possibly (and disturbingly) the rising number of
      protests across the country motivated by the world economic crisis. He
      added that so far this year, his department had recorded 164 hate
      crimes, while at the same time admitting that many other hate crimes
      were incorrectly recorded as "hooliganism" by local police forces.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/mvds-new-national-department-combat-extremism-reports-164-hate-crimes-so-far-year
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      Police in St. Petersburg Harass Opposition, Calling Them "Extremists"
      UCSJ, April 28, 2009

      In a clear abuse of anti-extremism legislation, police in St.
      Petersburg, Russia are systematically harassing members of the liberal
      opposition Yabloko party, one of Russia's oldest political parties
      which until recently was represented in the State Duma, according to
      an article in the April 27, 2009 edition of the St. Petersburg
      supplement to the independent daily "Novaya Gazeta." Police are
      reportedly calling Yabloko members, telling them that their names
      appear on a list of "extremists" that their superiors handed them, and
      ordering them to come to the station to be fingerprinted and
      photographed. Under Russian law, nobody can be ordered to appear at a
      police station unless they have been detained, or if police have
      already started a criminal case against them, all of which makes these
      phone calls appear to be illegal. Yabloko member Boris Sharov told
      "Novaya Gazeta" that the officer who called him asked if he would
      participate in demonstrations during the upcoming May holidays and an
      international Economic Forum that is going to be held in the city.
      "You don't want to cooperate with us?" the officer allegedly asked
      threateningly. "How about if you get detained?"
      At least one person was reportedly called by the local FSB and told to
      come in for a "talk"--a much scarier prospect. Yulya Minutina, head of
      the NGO "Zhivoy Gorod" ("Living City") reported that the FSB officer
      scolded her for belonging to a party that "receives American money"
      and "uses for PR purposes naive children like the members of 'Zhivoy
      Gorod'"--an accusation that in Russia's current political climate
      borders on an espionage charge.
      Whether or not the local police are using their resources to check up
      on actual extremists, such as members of numerous neo-Nazi gangs that
      have made the city infamous in recent years as a dangerous place for
      dark-skinned minorities, is not clear.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/police-st-petersburg-harass-opposition-calling-them-extremists
      ----------

      Russia has nearly 10,000 extremists, most are students – official
      Interfax, April 29, 2009

      YEKATERINBURG. April 29 (Interfax) - There are more than 200 extremist organizations in Russia, with almost 10,000 members. These are the data cited by Russia's deputy prosecutor general Viktor Grin.
      These groups consist mainly of young men aged between 16 and 25, all of them students at higher-education institutions and vocational schools, he said at an anti-extremism conference in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday.
      The Army of the People's Will, the National-Socialist Society, the Movement against Illegal Immigration, the Slavic Union of Northern Brotherhood are the most influential of these groups, the Prosecutor
      General's Office says.
      One of the factors facilitating the spread of extremist views are the emissaries from various foreign religious organizations which openly operate in Russia, the Prosecutor General's Office says. "As practice has shown, our education system is the most vulnerable element in our flawed legislation," Grin said.
      For a long time, the Tatarstan government invited teachers from Turkey to teach at a local religious school. They were trying to instill on their students the supremacy of all things Turkish while downplaying
      Russia's role. "These teachers did not speak Russian, so lessons were taught either in Turkish or in English. Turkish teachers were deported after prosecutors had to intervene," said the deputy prosecutor.
      --------

      UN conference in Geneva recognized the problem of Christianophobia
      Interfax-Religion, April 29, 2009

      Moscow, April 29, Interfax – Participants in the Geneva UN conference against racism and xenophobia condemned discrimination of Christians.
      The Forum's final document voiced concerns with "incidents of racial or religious intolerance and violence, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and anti-Arabism," the Moscow Patriarchate official web site has reported.
      The Russian Church has recently urged the participants in the conference to introduce an idea of Christianophobia into international laws.
      "It is very important to the Russian Orthodox Church to raise the issue of introducing to the list of threats the notion of Christianophobia in addition to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia," deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Georgy Ryabykh told Interfax-Religion.
      He pointed out there were many examples of "violations of Christians' rights, insults of their feelings and public distortion of the Christian teaching which put the notion of Christianophobia into international circulation."
      Austria, Holland, Israel, Italy, Canada, the United States and the Czech Republic boycotted the conference, though, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, they "could have contributed in fighting against racism."
      Speech delivered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran caused a scandal as he branded Israel "the most cruel and oppressive racist regime" and accused West destabilizing international atmosphere.

      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5983
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      Extremism Breeds Separatist Moods in Russia – Report
      Interfax, April 30, 2009

      MOSCOW. April 30 (Interfax-AVN) - The spread of extremism has a destabilizing effect on Russian society, said Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.
      "The problem of the spread of extremism in Russia is one of the key factors which lead to growing social instability, breeds separatist moods in some of Russia's regions and pose a threat of a terror attack," the prosecutor general said in a report circulated among the members of the Federation Council committee on legal and judicial affairs.
      In 2008, the Prosecutor General's Office registered 17 murders motivated by ethnic, racial or religious hatred, it said.
      The situation around hate crimes and extremism is most critical in Moscow, Chaika said.
      ----------

      Author of Antisemitic Textbook Fired from Petersburg MVD University
      UCSJ, April 30, 2009

      The author of an antisemitic textbook used in classes at St.
      Petersburg's MVD University, a training facility for future leaders of
      Russian police agencies, has been fired, according to an April 28,
      2009 report by Jewish.ru. Vasily Drozhzhin taught at the university
      and authored a textbook on Soviet history that contained vicious
      accusations of Jewish conspiracies against Russia. Russian Jewish
      groups protested the use of the textbook after media reports surfaced,
      resulting in an embarrassing scandal. The university officially
      apologized for offending the "national feelings" of Jews, and
      announced that the textbooks have been destroyed.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/author-of-antisemitic-textbook-fired-petersburg-mvd-university
      ---------

      Probable Racist Attack on Moscow Suburban Train
      UCSJ, April 30, 2009

      A group of men attacked a man from Tajikistan in a probable racist
      attack, according to an April 27, 2009 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. Sometime in the middle of April,
      Baymurat Allaberiev was riding a train towards Kolomna when the men
      approached him. One reportedly asked him, "What are you doing her?"
      and they started to beat him, knocking out some of his teeth. There is
      no information in the report about any police investigation into the
      incident.

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/probable-racist-attack-moscow-suburban-train
      ----------

      Moscow High Schoolers Commit Increasing Number of Extremist Crimes
      UCSJ, April 30, 2009

      A top Moscow police officer announced at an education department forum
      that local school children are responsible for an increasing number of
      extremist crimes, according to an April 24, 2009 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. Grigory Krasnov, the deputy head of the
      public security department within the Moscow GUVD, reported that
      police had recorded only six extremist crimes by school children in
      2006, 20 in 2007, and 64 last year. The astoundingly low figure from
      2006 shows a deeply flawed methodology, but the trend line is clearly
      upwards. Just as interesting was the forum for the announcement--a
      group of education policy makers--and the accusatory tone Mr. Krasnov
      used to describe how teachers and administrators have, in his view,
      generally reacted to police investigations of their students:
      "Class leaders describe them exclusively as kind, non-violent, and
      generally positive people. This is either indifference or they are
      hushing up the situation. In addition, inspectors who work in
      educational institutions did not discover these extremist crimes,
      despite the fact that these young people did not hide their views and
      looked the part [a probable reference to neo-Nazi skinheads]."

      http://www.ucsj.org/news/moscow-high-schoolers-commit-increasing-number-of-extremist-crimes
      ---------

      Gay parade won't be sanctioned in Moscow, any attempt to hold it "will be curbed toughly but within the law" – city authorities
      Interfax-Religion, April 30, 2009
      Moscow, April 30, Interfax - Moscow city administration did not receive any applications regarding the organization of a gay parade during the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, Valery Vinogradov, a deputy Moscow mayor, said.
      "You know the city's position on this account. It will not change," he said.
      Moscow city police deputy chief Vyacheslav Kozlov said at the press conference that any attempts to hold an unsanctioned gay parade "will be curbed toughly but within the law."

      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5988
      --------

      Protest against gay parade planned for Eurovision final held in downtown Moscow
      Interfax-Religion, April 30, 2009

      Moscow, April 30, Interfax – On Thursday afternoon, a small group of Orthodox young people have gathered in the Novopushkinsky public garden in downtown Moscow to protest against conducting a gay parade in the Russian capital on the Eurovision final day, May 16.
      An Interfax correspondent has reported that about a dozen of young people with slogans Say NO to Moscow gay parade! urge passers-by to sign an appeal to Mayor Yury Luzhkov in order to prevent "any social events with street marches held by sexual minorities, including those planned for May 16, 2009."
      "They (gay parade activists - IF) in fact issued an ultimatum based on false identification of Eurovision song contest with such immoral marches, which contradict our spiritual values and insult our national and religious feelings," the participants in the action say in their address.
      According to them, "extremely dangerous and harmful experience of some western countries that have such actions legalized are unacceptable for the majority of our society based on traditional family values."
      The participants in the action, representatives of Orthodox youth organizations of Moscow, consider gay parade socially dangerous and believe that "it threatens morality and health of society and may have direct negative consequences for security and state in general."
      They are also distributing leaflets Say NO to spiritual terrorism! signed "Orthodox front."

      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5990
      --------

      April, 2009. Monthly Summary
      SOVA Center, April 30, 2009

      In April, 2009, not less than 15 people, including 2 fatalities, became victims of racist and nationalistic attacks. In all, from the beginning of 2009, not less than 23 people died and 98 were injured (in the same period of time, in 2008, 66 people died and 207 were injured).
      In April, violent incidents were reported in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Arkhangelsk and Yaroslavl.
      A publication on one of the neo-Nazi websites attracted public attention in April: the "Day of Anger" was announced on May 5, 2009. This information was also republished by the mainstream Mass Media. The neo-Nazis declared that they were ready to commit mass racist and political attacks in memory of Maxim Bazylev, a known neo-Nazi leader who committed suicide on March 25, after he had been arrested and charged with several murders. The authors of the publication even attached a countdown ticker on the website.
      On April 29, Alexander Belov (Potkin), the leader of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, resigned from chairmanship. His motive was to save the organization from legal formalities which must arise in the case if Belov will be found guilty under article 282 of the Criminal Code (incitement to hatred).
      In April, there were not many cases of hate motivated vandalism. We registered only 3 cases which we can with certainty attribute as hate motivated. These were swastikas on the Lenin monument in Pyatigorsk, portraits of Hitler on the walls of buildings in Volgograd and anti-Christian slogans on the walls of an Orthodox church in Kaluga region.
      The Federal List of Extremist Materials was enlarged on April 1 and 6, by paragraphs 362-367. We believe, that paragraphs 362-365 are examples of misuse of anti-extremist legislation. Besides, the book by V. Istarkhov "Udar russkikh bogov" ("Russian Gods' Strike") is still on the list, while in January, 2009, the case was reconsidered and the book was not banned as an extremist one.
      In April we did not register any guilty verdict for violence with a hate motive recognized by the court. There were several cases when such a motive was suspected, but not proved, or was not included in the verdict as an aggravating circumstance. The former is the case of a group of teenagers who murdered a Kyrgyz man in January, 2008, and disguised it as a ritual murder. The latter is the verdict against a policeman in Nizhny Novgorod who was convicted for beating an Azerbaijan man. The racist insults he used were mentioned in the court decision, but they were not considered as aggravating circumstances. Besides, the hate motive was not recognized in the verdict for putting a fake bomb to a synagogue in Omsk. The perpetrator was doomed for deliberately false information about terrorist attack (art. 207 of the Criminal Code).
      In all, from the beginning of the year, there were 8 verdicts for hate motivated violence against 24 people (including 4 of them with suspended sentences).
      here were 2 verdicts for xenophobic (anti-Semitic) propaganda in April, in Samara and Vologda region. In all, from the beginning of the year, there were not less than 11 verdicts for hate propaganda (art. 282 of the Criminal Code) and 1 verdict for public calls to extremism (art. 280 of the Criminal Code). In 2009, 16 people have been doomed for nonviolent hate crimes, including 6 of them with suspended sentences.

      http://xeno.sova-center.ru/6BA2468/6BB41EE/CE13DBD
      ---------

      MORE THAN 200 EXTREMIST ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE IN RUSSIA, PROSECUTORS SAY
      Bigotry Monitor, UCSJ's weekly newsletter
      Volume 9, Number 17: May 1, 2009

      More than 200 extremist organizations are at work in Russia, with almost 10,000 members, according to data cited by Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin. The groups consist mainly of men aged between 16 and 25, all of them students at higher-education institutions and vocational schools, Grin told an anti-extremism conference in Yekaterinburg on April 29, according to Interfax.
      The Prosecutor General's Office said that the most influential of the groups are the Army of the People's Will, the National-Socialist Society, the Movement against Illegal Immigration, and the Slavic Union of Northern Brotherhood and charged that one of the factors facilitating the spread of extremist views is that emissaries from various foreign religious organizations openly operate in Russia. "As practice has shown, our education system is the most vulnerable element," Grin said. As an example, he cited the Tatarstan government's invitation to teachers in Turkey to teach at a local religious school. They were trying to instill in their students the supremacy of all things Turkish while downplaying Russia's importance, Grin said. He added that the teachers did not speak Russian, so lessons were either in Turkish or in English. They had to be deported after prosecutors intervened, Grin said.

      http://www.ucsj.org/bigotry-monitor/volume-9-2009/volume-9-number-17-may-1-2009
      =============================


      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS

      The Russian World of Ukraine
      By: Aleksandr Kolotilo
      www.odnarodyna.ru, February 26, 2009

      An encyclopedic dictionary under this title was published in 2008 by the Kiev publishing house Raduga. The publication was carried out with the assistance of the Russian Federation Government Commission for Affairs Pertaining to Compatriots Abroad. The dictionary was prepared by academics of the Ukrainian Academy of Russian Studies under the general editorship of Academician P.P. Tolochko of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences. Their work is striking confirmation of the fact that Russian culture is indigenous in Ukraine.
      The Russian world in Ukraine is a wider phenomenon than the concept of "a national minority." According to the data of the 1989 census, 11.3 million ethnic Russians were living in Ukraine; that is almost one-fourth (22.1%) of the country's population as a whole. According to the 2001 census figures there were 8,334,100 Russians living in Ukraine, or 17.2% of the population of Ukraine as a whole. There are no more recent statistics, but even so it is clear that the Russian nation is a pillar of Ukrainian statehood. Russian culture is so deeply integrated into Ukrainian society that it is impossible to create a Ukrainian state without the assistance of the Russians living here.
      From this point of view, it is impossible not to recognize the first attempt to provide integrated, systematic knowledge about a unique historical, social, cultural, and multiethnic community -- the Russian world of Ukraine -- as highly topical.
      Thematically speaking, the Encyclopedic Dictionary contains four main sections.
      The first contains an explanation of special scientific terms, ideas, and concepts (Great Rus, Little Rus, Werewolves (pro-Nazi guerrillas in Ukraine in WWII), Native Language, Russian-Ukrainian Bilingualism, The Russian World of Ukraine, Rus, Surzhik (hybrid Russian-Ukrainian language), the Linguistic Competence of the Population, and so forth); an expanded description of the main historical phenomena and events, cultural trends, social movements, political currents, scientific schools, and so forth, connected in one way or another with the main object of study (The Unification of Ukraine With Russia, The Russian World of Ukraine and the Political Struggle, Rewriting History, Sociocultural Models for Resolving the Problem of the Russian Language, and others).
      Here, for example, is how the concepts "Black Rus" (Chernaya Rus) and "Dark Red Rus" (Chervonnaya Rus) are interpreted in the book. "Black Rus -- the historical name in the 13 th -14 th centuries AD of the western Russian lands in the basin formed by the upper Neman with the cities of Novogrudok, Slonim, Volkovysk, and Nesvizh. In the 13 th century these territories were part of Lithuania and along with the Lithuanian lands became the nucleus of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The origin of the name 'Chernaya Rus' is not explained." "Chervonnaya Rus -- the name of Galicia (historical region spanning western Ukraine and southeast Poland) in the 16 th -19 th centuries in foreign sources."
      And here is what is said about the "rewriting of history" that one encounters at every step in contemporary Ukraine. "The rewriting of history -- the clarification, explanation, or concretization of various historical facts, the revision of whole systemic units of historical perspective; decisive changes in the general tone of the generally accepted ('official,' 'curricular') version of history; the recreation of history 'from nothing.' In the modern world a global war is under way to remake it on new, intrinsically different cultural, social, and axiological principles that differ from those established earlier. One of the key elements in this war is the battle for the historical memory of the eastern European peoples, in which an important place is occupied by the rewriting of the history of the Russian world of Ukraine."
      The dictionary cites examples of this rewriting of history. I will quote one of them: "...Attempts to directly reformat the historical memory of the peoples of Ukraine were revealed very prominently, for example, in the formula of the official solemnities on the occasion of the 60 th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, when on 9 May 2005 the majority of Ukrainian television channels showed documentaries and broadcasts justifying and glorifying the 'veterans' of the OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgents Army), some of whom swore an oath of allegiance to the German fuehrer and served in the SS troops. Following the edicts of the Ukrainian president (October 2007) on the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the formation of the Ukrainian Insurgents Army and on awarding R. Shukhevich the title of Hero of Ukraine, it is no longer possible to view the rest of the Ukrainian SS troops as traitors to their country or as collaborators, although Ukraine has not yet officially denounced the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal in general or the verdict recognizing the SS as a criminal organization in particular. At virtually the same time King Charles XII of Sweden, who lost the battle of Poltava, was awarded the lofty honor of 'the construction of a memorial in Ukraine' for his great personal contribution to the 'age-old history of Ukrainian state building....'"
      But I did not find in the Encyclopedic Dictionary a concept like "Holodomor" (Famine), which is so "topical" at the present time for Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his administration. It is generally known that the powers that be in Ukraine have decided to make political capital and actual financial capital (monetary compensation) out of the common tragedy of all the republics of the former USSR by presenting the famine of the early thirties of the last century as an exclusively Ukrainian tragedy and as genocide of the Ukrainian people. The reason that "holodomor" is not in the dictionary is that the indecent political game around it does not meet with approval not only in Russia, but also among a significant section of the Ukrainian population.
      I wish to dwell also on "The Linguistic Competence of the Individual" -- the information contained in the article is very vivid. Answers to the question: "To what extent do you speak a language like Russian?" were distributed in the following way: "I can speak and write in the language fluently" --79% of respondents; "I can read and write fluently, but I have problems in conversation" -- 13%; "I can read fluently in the language, but I do not write or speak it" -- 4.5%; "I basically understand the language, but I have certain problems in conversation and reading" -- 2%; and "I practically do not understand the language" -- 1%.
      The second thematic section in the Encyclopedic Dictionary contains articles devoted to personalities. These articles set out in compressed form the views and activity of thinkers, writers, military chiefs, and public and political figures of the most diverse nationalities who were born, lived, or worked in Ukraine and who wrote or spoke in the Russian language and made an outstanding contribution to Russian, Ukrainian, or Soviet culture, or who worked in the sphere of state building or administration (N.A. Berdyayev (philosopher), L.I. Brezhnev (USSR president), N.V. Gogol (writer), V.I. Dal (lexicographer), Ye.P. Kushnarev (Kharkiv governor killed in hunting accident January 2009), N.I. Pirogov (surgeon, founder of field surgery), Ye.M. Primakov (former Russian prime minister and foreign minister), F. Prokopovich (Russian Orthodox Church reformer, one of the founders of the Russian Academy of Sciences), I.Ye. Repin (painter and sculptor), P.A. Rumyantsev (governor general of Ukraine under Catherine II), A.V. Suvorov (generalissimus of Russian Empire who never lost a battle), and others).
      I think this thematic section does not need special comment. It is very important that it is also possible to read here about largely forgotten personalities, for example, Hero of Socialist Labor Aleksey Grigoryevich Stakhanov, the pioneer of a mass movement of USSR production innovators. And also about personalities whom, if official Kiev does mention them, it does so "through gritted teeth," as the saying goes. This applies, for example, to Soviet intelligence agent Lieutenant General Pavel Anatolyevich Sudoplatov. From 1936 he was infiltrated into the leading organs of the OUN as the representative from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. And on 23 May 1938 he killed OUN head Ye(vhen) Konovalets. Later Sudoplatov actively fought OUN-UPA detachments in western Ukraine.
      The third set of problems includes articles about the formation and development of Ukraine's Russian community and its social and political organizations (Russian Ukrainians, the First Congress of Russians of Ukraine, the Rus Ukrainian Society of Russian Culture, the Russian Council of Ukraine, Russian Bloc, the Institute of Russian Language and Literature, the Lvov Russian Cultural Center, "I Speak Russian," and others).
      Here, for example, is what the Encyclopedic Dictionary says about two organizations -- the Russian Community of Ukraine and the Russian Community of the Crimea.
      "The Russian Community of Ukraine is an all-Ukraine public organization. It was founded 26 June 1999 on the basis of the Russian Community of Kiev, which was founded in 1996. It was set up with the aim of unifying citizens of Russian nationality and Russian-speaking citizens of other nationalities living on the territory of Ukraine in order to satisfy and defend their lawful national-cultural, linguistic, academic, educational, social, economic, and other general interests. According to the data of the Institute of CIS Countries, as of 1 September 2006 the community had 8,000 individual and five collective members. Its chairman is K.V. Shurov."
      A special word is necessary, of course, about the Russian Community of Crimea. After all, it stands literally on the front edge of the battle against derussification -- the attempt to squeeze out Russian language and culture from all spheres of Ukraine's public life -- and against the Ukrainianization of the country's Russian and Russian-speaking population. "The Russian Community of the Crimea is the public organization of Russian compatriots of the Crimea. It was set up at the decision of the Expanded Coordinating Council of the Republican Party of Crimea held 23 October 1993. It was officially registered 22 March 1994. In 2003 the Russian Community of Crimea was joined by the Russian Movement of Crimea, another large organization of Russian compatriots on the peninsula. In 2006, having supported the electoral alliance "For Yanukovich" of the Party of the Regions and the Russian Bloc party, the organization substantially expanded its representation in the organs of power: Nineteen members of the Community entered the Crimean Supreme Council, and its chairman, S.P. Tsekov, became first deputy (chairman) of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, while his two deputies became Ukrainian people's deputies. The community's activity is directed toward implementing the 'Russian project' in the Crimea, which is intended to 'strengthen the eastern vector in the development of contemporary Ukraine and ultimately to make it the decisive vector in the part of Ukraine that by virtue of its cultural status and economic interests is orientated toward the integration of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.'"
      Let us mention the materials featured in the dictionary from the First Congress of Russians of Ukraine, which was held 23-24 May 1999, and other documents: They include "The Appeal of Moscow Mayor Yu.M. Luzhkov to Congress Delegates," "The Resolution of the First Congress of Russians of Ukraine 'On the Tasks of the Social Self-Organization of Russians in Ukraine,'" and "the Manifesto of the Russian Council of Ukraine...."
      The fourth and final thematic section of the Encyclopedic Dictionary includes articles on Ukrainian museums devoted to Russian military chiefs and scientific and cultural figures. Here too no special comment is necessary. These museums hold meetings of creative and scientific workers, open courses and consultations for students, and soirees devoted to the memory of Russian military chiefs and scientific and cultural figures, and host book and art exhibitions.
      The book ends with an appendix incorporating material from the archives of Ukraine's Russian organizations, the majority of which have not been published in the wider press and are unknown even to the narrow circle of specialists.
      The authors of this newly presented encyclopedic publication have given assurances that work on its improvement will continue. There is no doubt that the first edition will be followed by a second and a third.... And each edition will undoubtedly be highly sought after by the widest readership.
      ---------

      Russian hawk ascends to position of influence
      By: Melanie Newman
      Times Higher Education (UK), April 16, 2009

      Fears as right-wing critic of West takes top job at Moscow State centre. Melanie Newman reports
      Moscow State University's appointment of a Russian nationalist as the head of its new Centre for the Study of Conservatism has proved to be a controversial choice in academic circles.
      Aleksandr Dugin, who was made a professor of the university's sociology faculty last September, has called for the restoration of the Russian Empire and is a prominent "neo-Eurasianist" - he believes that Russia is culturally more Asian than European.
      Professor Dugin, reputed to be close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and former President, wrote in 1997: "In principle, Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution.
      "The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the US and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us."
      Edwin Bacon, head of the School of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London, described Professor Dugin as "well versed in the literature of his field of geopolitics and empire".
      But he added: "Dugin does not really do objectivity. His conclusions are never in doubt, and he likes nothing more than to use arguments from Western academics and politicians in the service of his case for a resurgent Russian empire."
      Dr Bacon said that there was no reason to suspect that his professorship signified any policy shift by the Russian Government.
      "It does, however, show the continued presence of nationalist sentiment within certain sectors of the Russian elite," he added.
      Alex Pravda, lecturer in Russian and East European politics at the University of Oxford, said that while Professor Dugin's neo-Eurasianist theories were fashionable in Russian policy circles, Mr Putin is more interested in closer relations with Europe than Asia.
      But he added: "What might well appeal to the Putinists is Dugin's emphasis on modernisation without Westernisation, which (they) interpret as without having to follow the US' lead."
      But Andreas Umland, assistant professor of contemporary Russian history at the Catholic University of Eichstatt-Ingolstadt, Bavaria, is more worried by the appointment.
      "Dugin has been working for years to shift Russian elite discourse to the Right," he said.
      "With similarly orientated publicists, he has succeeded in inserting the idea that the US is Russia's main problem into mainstream political thinking."
      The Centre for the Study of Conservatism would help him "further smuggle" hard Right ideas into the Russian mainstream, he added.
      Luke March, senior lecturer in Soviet and post-Soviet politics at the University of Edinburgh, shared Professor Umland's concerns.
      He said: "Dugin's latest professional post does indicate a new stage in the respectability of what in Europe would be seen as the unpalatable far Right ... The basis of his world view is a fantastic conspiracy, in this case of the 'liberal' West against Russian 'civilisation'.
      "The problem for Russia and the outside world is not just that people with provocative and incendiary views are being appointed to high positions, but that the state-controlled social and media environment ... does not give much scope for their views to be challenged."
      ----------

      The President Was Shown a Bad Textbook
      By: Elina Bilevskaya and Aleksandra Samarina
      Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 16, 2009

      Vladimir Lukin initiates Vladislav Surkov into problems of Russia's rights advocates
      President Dmitriy Medvedev conducted yesterday the first session of the regenerated Council for Promotion of the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights. The head of state asked the participants in the meeting to record violations of the rights of the working people. He also invited a rewrite of the law on nonprofits.
      The members of the council, who had been invited to the Kremlin, gathered at the Spasskiye Gate in good time. Anxiously greeting one another, they began to deliberate as to whether they were would be summoned to the Kremlin the next time were they to tell the president something impactful. "And what is it that's impactful about which you'd like to tell the head of state," your NG correspondent inquired of Yelena Pamfilova, general director of the Russian Transparency International center. "Corruption in the highest echelons of power," she replied.
      The rights advocates were summoned to the Catherine Room and seated at the round table, the reporters were sent off to watch a video broadcast of the session. Before taking his seat in the center of the table, the head of state bestowed on each attendee a handshake and presented Ida Kuklina, representative of the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers, a large bouquet of yellow and orange roses--in honor of her birthday.
      When the warm greetings and congratulations were over, the head of state explained to the rights advocates the essence of their main problem: "There is a heap of instances when the activity of the nongovernmental organizations is restricted without sufficient grounds. This has to do also, of course, with the fact that many government officials see them as a threat to their undivided rule." The room was not in the least surprised. Perhaps because it had known of this deplorable situation for several decades.
      The president did not dwell on establishment of the facts of the distressing existence of rights organizations and invited the council then and there to concern itself with an improvement in nonprofits legislation. After which he switched to his headache, asking the guests to help monitor unemployment. And, the main thing, to carefully track violations of the citizens' labor rights. The president is sure that the root of the evil lies in the illegal dismissals of the working people: "Unemployment is growing, and poverty as a result of the unemployment is growing, naturally." It turned out that a way out of the crisis is truly near: the entrepreneurs merely have to be compelled to lay off no more poor workers.
      Council Chairman Ella Pamfilova had waited to speak for a long time--she had for more than a year been separated from the leadership by the presidential rights council. And for this reason, having promised her colleagues that she would speak only in general terms lest she deny them a chance to speak about the most urgent issue, promptly forgot about this. Perhaps rightly so because at the center of her fiery speech was the subject of the citizens' protection against the law-enforcement authorities, among which the rights advocate has detected an abrupt increase in xenophobia. In confirmation of what she said, Pamfilova handed the president the history aide History of Our State and Law. 1985-1991. She is sure that the textbook, which is used to teach students of the MVD St Petersburg University, is unabashedly anti-Semitic. The president, who carefully taken notes of Pamfilova's statements throughout her speech, began with a dejected look to leaf through the aide.
      It is not all that clear, meanwhile, based on what association the rights advocate recalled a merit of the Russian elite. "It is good that government officials are making their tax returns public but it is more important to know where their property is located--in the country or overseas. And, which is even more important: where our elite's children attend school and work. Do they go to serve in the Russian Army by analogy with the grandsons of the queen of England," she sternly inquired of Medvedev. The president absolutely mannishly avoided answering, swiftly proposing that the next comrade be given the floor. At that moment the cameras were prudently turned off, and the last image on the screen was that of the doleful face of Vladislav Surkov, first deputy Kremlin chief of staff, who was sitting at the right hand of the president.
      The disconnection from the room proved very inopportune. Since your NG correspondent was still nurturing hope of hearing how Yelena Panfilova would be educating the president on the issue of corruption in the highest echelons of power.
      Steeped in human rights subject matter, it was recalled that a just a couple of years ago such sessions--chaired by Vladimir Putin--were held in public. That is, the press was permitted to observe a large part of the session inside the room. It was invited to the room ahead of time, and representatives of the news media would admire to their hearts' content the picture of the unity of the rights community and the ministers invited to the session. They would then diligently record the speeches. It is possible, though, that defense of the ideals of democracy requires a particularly careful approach. And even sterility.
      ----------

      Attacks motivated by xenophobia
      Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, April 20, 2009

      During the period since January until April 15, 2009 73 attacks and attempted attacks motivated by xenophobia were committed, and 20 dead and 70 wounded at least were their results. The attacks were recorded in Moscow and Moscow region (14 dead, 47 wounded) as well as in Nizhniy Novgorod (1 dead, 7 wounded), St. Petersburg and Leningrad region (1 dead, 7 wounded), Kaliningrad (1 dead, 2 wounded), Ulyanovsk, Kemerovo (1 dead each), Ryazan (1 dead), Kabardino-Balkaria (4 wounded), Tambov, Syktyvkar, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Kostroma, Yaroslavl (1 wounded each). The following were attacked: Uzbeks (7 dead, 3 wounded), Kirghizes (4 dead, 10 wounded), Vietnamese (2 dead), natives of Africa (1 dead, 14 wounded), Azerbaijanis (1 dead, 7 wounded), Chinese (1 dead, 2 wounded), Tajiks (1 dead, 4 wounded), Armenians (1 dead and 1 wounded), Chechens (1 dead), Russians (4 wounded), Daghestanis (4 wounded), Jews (2 wounded), Kalmyks, Buryats, Kurds (1 wounded each).
      During first two weeks of April 3 attacks were recorded in Russia and 4 wounded at least were their results. One attack took place in Moscow and one – in Nizhniy Novgorod. Tajiks were the victims (2 persons at least) as well as Kirghizes and Azerbaijanis (1 person each).
      On April 6 17-year-old Rafail Sadygov was cruelly beaten near his house in Moscow – son of vice-president of Federal national-cultural autonomy of the Azerbaijanis of Russia Mekhriban Sadygova. Later on, it was found out that the same people had beaten several persons else basing upon xenophobia, includin<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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