Bulletin 4:19 (2010)
- THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
Vol. 4, No. 19(100), 8 May 2010
Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland
I NEWS: 15 - 30 April 2010
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
III 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 the message and click "Expand Messages." Only then, the whole text of the - otherwise truncated - issue will appear.]
I NEWS: 15 - 30 April 2010
Kremlin's official praises youth movement for keeping Russia stable
Interfax, April 15, 2010
Moscow, 15 April: First deputy head of the presidential administration Vladislav Surkov has urged the leaders of the Nashi youth movement to be alert. He believes that Russia has managed to preserve political stability thanks mainly to the Nashi's proactive stance.
"I have always thought about your movement as one of those associations which are always engaged in a fight, which never relax, and which are always alert. I think that thanks to a large extent to your movement political stability in our country has been preserved in the last five years," Surkov said at a congress of the Nashi movement in Moscow today.
"If you abandon the fight even for a minute, if we all go on leave, consequences will follow soon," Surkov said. In view of this he cited the events in Kyrgyzstan, where mass protests led to a coup.
Sukrov called on the Nashi movement to be alert and vigilant. He also suggested that forms of activities should be varied, so that "life could be interesting and entertaining".
Surkov passed greetings from Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Puitn.
"Your work is important to us, we appreciate very much what you do," Surkov said.
(Surkov said he would not change his profession, regardless of a post he might occupy, Russian RIA Novosti reported on 15 April.
"For instance, I know what I am going to do. It has always been important to me that my country in which I live and my people to whom I belong command respect," Surkov said at the congress.
"Justice is important to me. It is important to me that, if we create new society, all national riches should not belong to a small group of people. They should serve as many people as possible, if not all, - we must strive for this," Surkov said.
He believes that those who have chosen political struggle will never be able to relax.
"Forms could be very different: one can be a journalist or a businessman, work in the presidential administration or be federal commissar (in the Nashi movment)," he said.)
Liberal Russian paper cautioned over 'nationalistic' article
Russian news agency Ekho Moskvy, BBC Monitoring, April 15, 2010
Moscow, 15 April: Novaya Gazeta has been given a caution by the Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications for promoting nationalistic views, the chief editor of the publication, Dmitriy Muratov, told Ekho Moskvy radio.
"Novaya Gazeta has recently published an article about the Russkiy Obraz (Russian Image) organization, which espouses views that are rather nationalistic, if not fascist. There was an interview with one of its leaders and our comment. This organization has a website where it posts its material. Naturally, we used it in order to shed light on the image of this underground," Muratov said.
He said that he found it "hard to evaluate" the decision of the federal supervision service because he was not a "psychiatrist" and did not have "medical education". "It is common knowledge that Novaya Gazeta has never ever professed any nationalistic views. We are intolerant of such things," the chief editor said.
Yet, Muratov noted, "one more caution, and they could close the newspaper down".
"We will challenge this decision in court. As for Mr Protopopov (who endorsed the caution) and the Ministry of Communications, I would sincerely recommend that during the Victory Day celebrations they see Mikhail Romm's outstanding film "Ordinary Fascism". I would suggest that they issue a caution to all Russian TV channels at the same time," Muratov said.
EXTREMISTS ATTACK HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 14, April 16, 2010
Men screaming racist rhetoric attacked a prominent human rights activist in Ryazan, according to an April 10 report posted on the opposition web site Kasparov.ru. Pyotr Ivanov, who works for the nongovernmental organizations Memorial and the Ryazan Human Rights School, was assaulted on April 10 by three men who aggressively asked him first, "Are you Russian or not?!" At least one of the assailants had a shaven head. A passing police patrol scared off the attackers, but so far police have detained no suspects.
Far-Right Suspected in Attack on Ryazan Human Rights Activist
UCSJ, April 17, 2010
Men screaming racist rhetoric attacked a prominent human rights activist in Ryazan, Russia according to an April 10, 2010 report posted on the opposition web site Kasparov.ru. Pyotr Ivanov, who works for the NGOs "Memorial" and the Ryazan Human Rights School, was assaulted on April 10 by three men who aggressively asked him, "Are
you Russian or not?!" At least one of the assailants had a shaven head. A passing police patrol scared off the attackers, but so far police have detained no suspects.
Vladivostok Stalinist victims 'should be properly honored'
RIA Novosti, April 19, 2010
VLADIVOSTOK, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - The remains of victims of Stalinist purges recently uncovered in Russia's Far East should be honored with a memorial complex, a local historian said on Monday.
The mass grave of victims of the Stalinist purges was uncovered by construction workers in October. Bullet holes in skulls found shows that many of the victims were shot but historians said they could have also starved or been worked to death.
"The uncovering of the area where political prisoners were shot has had a huge impact on society. In my opinion, it is time to build a historical remembrance complex near Vladivostok to properly commemorate the innocent victims of repression so they will always be remembered," Boris Shadrin said.
In the early 20th century a military graveyard and White Guard concentration camp were located in the area.
The road was being constructed as part of Vladivostok's preparations for the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will be held in Vladivostok in 2012. Construction has now come to a halt.
Shadrin said the complex could be built in Vladivostok at the site of a transit camp, through which tens of thousands of prisoners were taken. The human rights and humanitarian society Memorial has already placed a monument to the victims of political repression on the site.
"Another option is to mark the uncovered mass graves with obelisks. This will create an entire complex of memorials," he added.
Local historians have evidence showing that there are several more mass graves in the area.
In Vladivostok, a working group of representatives from the city representative board and clergy has been set up for the reburial of the remains. Work on gathering and examining the remains will be carried out by local archeologists and historians in May when the earth thaws. The remains will be buried in one of Vladivostok's graveyards.
During the Stalinist purges millions of people were executed on fake charges of espionage, sabotage, anti-Soviet propaganda or died of starvation, disease or exposure in Gulag labor camps in Siberia and the Far East. According to official statistics, 52 million were convicted on political charges during Stalin's regime.
Controversial Russian TV series reflects school life patriarch
RIA Novosti, April 19, 2010
CHELYABINSK, April 19 (RIA Novosti)-The controversial TV series School reflects Russia's reality and demonstrates the need for pupils to have classes on moral values, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Monday.
"There has been much criticism of the directors, of television. But in actual fact, this series showed us what is happening to our children and youth, albeit in a grotesque form," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said during a visit to the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.
The patriarch praised the recent introduction of religious and secular ethics courses in schools, saying that they would "direct the thoughts of our students toward these very values."
School, a 60-part fictional series showing the harsh reality of Russian schools, was launched on Channel One January 11, and has sparked heated public debate.
The series by young director Valeria Gai Germanika was shot in a real Moscow school and includes large amounts of documentary-type footage. Forty-eight episodes have been broadcast since it was launched.
The series shows schoolchildren openly smoking and drinking beer, harassing their classmates and snubbing teachers, and even having sex, but the state-controlled channel denied in January that it undermined President Dmitry Medvedev's aims to improve education, which included making 2010 the Year of the Teacher.
Many people, including teachers and Russian Church clerics, slammed the series for showing no way out of Russian school problems, but some people, including the president's commissioner for children's rights, Pavel Astakhov, supported the series, arguing that it was useful for teenagers to see themselves, and rejecting claims that the show was an instruction manual for bad behavior.
The necessity of religion classes in Russian schools has been hotly debated for the past decade, and the patriarch expressed his satisfaction that Medvedev had laid the issue to rest.
In July last year, the president backed the idea of teaching courses of religious culture and secular ethics in a number of Russian regions, and the courses were introduced earlier this month.
Students may choose to study one of six modules, covering the cultures of Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, the basics of the world's key religious cultures or secular ethics.
Russia redeemed sins of fighting against God and regicide, Patriarch Kirill believes
Interfax-Religion, April 19, 2010
Yekaterinburg, April 19, Interfax Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes Russian people has redeemed sins of fighting against God and regicide.
"Standing in this holy place I'd like to say that all our sins are redeemed by blood," Patriarch Kirill said on Sunday after a Divine service in the lower chapel of the Church on the Blood in Yekaterinburg.
Thus he responded to "certain appeals to national repentance inciting people." The Patriarch stressed that he meant "not just emotional stress or intellectuals' tears, but severe redemption by sufferings and blood of our people and violent execution of the tsar family became its symbol."
Patriarch Kirill urged to think why Nicholas II's assassination became possible in 1918, though there were so many monasteries in Russia and churches were not abandoned, however "our prayers didn't make the Lord save historic Russia."
"Until each of us and we all together answer this question, we are not secured from new blood and disturbances," the Primate said and added that historical disturbances "are usually execution of God's justice, punishment for people's sins."
"Much was given to our nation and the Lord asked from us sternly," the Patriarch said.
Ukrainian Far-Right Demonstrators Burns Israeli, Russian and Polish Flags
UCSJ, April 20, 2010
Far-right extremists burned Israeli, Russian and Polish flags during a rally in Kiev, according to an April 15, 2010 report by the Ukrainian Jewish news web site http://jn.com.ua Members of the "Patriots of Ukraine"--a group that regularly holds racist and anti-Semitic demonstrations--gathered in Kiev on April 15 to commemorate the 242nd anniversary of an uprising by Ukrainian Cossacks against Polish landowners. Police detained two of the demonstrators, but charged them solely with disobeying the police, rather than a hate crime.
Trial Begins in Vladivostok Hate Crime Case
UCSJ, April 20, 2010
A resident of Vladivostok, Russia is on trial after being charged with a hate crime, according to an April 15, 2010 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Igor Mironov allegedly attacked two citizens of Kyrgyzstan in January 2010 and faces charges of aggravated assault motivated by ethnic hatred. There is no information about the extent of injuries to the victims in the report.
Church in Russia can't become a state institution - Metropolitan Hilarion
Interfax-Religion, April 21, 2010
Moscow, April 21, Interfax Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk doesn't believe the Church in Russia will become governmental.
"Such threat (of Church governmentalisation IF) doesn't exist today," Metropolitan Hilarion said at his meeting with Orthodox youth of Caucasus in Moscow.
He reminded that the Russian Church didn't place priority on any political party or political power and stick to the principle of "equal distance".
"The Church can't interfere in politics and back up any political party against other or identify itself with any political power," the Metropolitan said.
According to him, this principle is reflected in the Basis of the Social Concept adopted at the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000. Besides, non-participation of the Church in political activities should be accompanied with non-interference of the state in church affairs, the Moscow Patriarchate official believes.
Works by scientology founder recognized as extremist in Russia
Interfax-Religion, April 21, 2010
Moscow, April 21, Interfax On the initiative of the Surgut Transport Prosecutor's Office, materials by scientology founder Ron Hubbard were recognized as extremist and banned in Russia, the Prosecutor General's Office reports.
In compliance with the legislation, they will be included in the Russian federal list of the extremist materials.
The Surgut Transport Prosecutor's Office and the Khanty-Mansiysk customs held a joint check to find out that various recipients in Surgut received international mail deliveries from the USA with literature, audio and video disks on scientology (by Ron Hubbard.)
The informational materials were confiscated and sent to the religious expert council at the Khanty-Mansiysk governor for examination where experts in psychiatry, psychology and sociology concluded that the materials should be prevented from spreading "as they undermine traditional spiritual life basis of citizens in the Russian Federation."
The Surgut Transport Prosecutor's Office applied to the court to recognize confiscated materials as extremist.
On the results of the conducted psycholinguistic expertise it was recognized that the materials "contain evident and concealed appeals to social and religious discord, to promotion of exclusiveness, superiority or deficiency of a person on grounds of his or her social and religious affiliation and attitude to religion, urges to impede legal activities of the state bodies including judicial and law enforcement agencies, to commit crimes motivated by ideological and religious hatred."
Moscow mayor defends decision to display Stalin posters during war anniversary
Interfax, April 22, 2010
Moscow, 22 April: (Moscow) Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov believes it would be wrong to ignore the role of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union's victory over fascism.
"If you believe the words of two marshals of the USSR, Stalin was a great military commander. The name of the supreme commander-in-chief and leader of the victorious state may not be removed from the chronicles of the Great Patriotic War," Luzhkov said at the "Moscow and Victory" workshop on Thursday (22 April).
The Moscow mayor drew attention to the fact that some historians were blaming Stalin for all the setbacks in the war. He recalled that a commission to counter falsification of history had been established in Moscow in 2009. "If there are people who lose their memory, that is a disease. If the loss of historical memory takes place nationwide, then such a nation has no future," Luzhkov said.
It emerged at the beginning of 2010 that the Moscow authorities were planning to display Stalin posters on the streets of the capital ahead of the 65th anniversary of victory. The authorities said that of the 2,000 posters they were planning to display, Stalin would only appear on 10.
(Passage omitted: human rights activists and some politicians, including Minister of Culture Aleksandr Avdeyev, have spoken against Stalin posters appearing in Russia; stands featuring the posters are due to be assembled between 20 and 30 April and removed between 15 and 20 May)
TWO MIGRANTS KILLED IN MOSCOW
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 15, April 23, 2010
Two men have been killed in a spate of attacks against migrants, police reported. Police said that on April 20, unidentified attackers stabbed Vladimir Samiev and Dolgan Mikeev, students from the Caucasus. They said Mikeev died from his wounds. Later on in the day in another part of town, police added, a person from Central Asia was attacked and killed in the corridor of his apartment block. No details about the person's identity or ethnicity are known. Also in Moscow, police said that an Arab man was assaulted and stabbed. He was hospitalized and is reportedly in serious condition.
Police cited witnesses as saying that the assailants were young men with shaved heads.
THREE MIGRANTS INJURED IN A BOMBING OF THEIR HOSTEL
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 15, April 23, 2010
Two home-made bombs were thrown into a Moscow hostel used by migrants from Central Asia and three people were injured, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on April 19. Moscow police officials told journalists that skinheads might have been involved in the April 17 attack. Police have classified the attack as "attempted murder."
TRIAL BEGINS IN VLADIVOSTOK HATE CRIME
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 15, April 23, 2010
Vladivostok resident Igor Mironov is on trial for a hate crime, according to an April 15 report by the Sova Center for Information and Analysis. Mironov allegedly attacked two citizens of Kyrgyzstan in January 2010 and faces charges of aggravated assault motivated by ethnic hatred. The report offers no information about the victims' injuries.
Communist State Duma Deputy Makes Antisemitic Statement
UCSJ, April 24, 2010
A member of the Communist Party in the State Duma made an anti-Semitic statement, according to an April 22, 2010 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Responding to a list of the world's richest people published in a business newspaper, Aleksey Bagaryakov stated that although Jews only make up 2% of Russia's population, they occupy "the key posts in the government, business and creative spheres."
This supposedly leads to "contradictory feelings" "amongst the remaining, majority of the population, especially Russians," the parliamentarian added.
The deputy then complained about the abolition of the "nationality line" on the old Soviet passports, which was used to discriminate against Jews and other minorities. "Nowadays it's harder to figure out the ethnicity of this or that person now that that part of the passport has disappeared," he said. "Certain citizens (including Jews)" deliberately hide their Jewishness, he stated.
Horrifying Statistics Released of Tajiks Killed in Russia
UCSJ, April 24, 2010
A report most likely written by the embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow states that 784 of that country's citizens died in Russia last year, including 95 fatalities as a result of hate crimes, according to an April 19, 2010 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. There are no details about the kinds of attacks that took place, what cities they occurred in, or whether or not police have made any arrests in connection with the murders. A large percentage of the adult male population of Tajikistan works in Russia, where the economy is considerably stronger. In addition to racist violence, they routinely face economic exploitation and police brutality.
Russia Will Continue Opening Soviet Repression Archives Medvedev
Interfax, April 28, 2010
COPENHAGEN. April 28 (Interfax) - The public will receive broader access to documents addressing Soviet-era mass repression, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a joint news conference with Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen in Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Medvedev also confirmed he had ordered the Russian authorities to declassify the archives linked to the execution of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet secret police organization (NKVD) in Katyn in the
"It is good that we already have this summed-up version. We will continue working on this issue. This is our duty," the Russian president said.
"The Katyn archives are open. Another thing is that there are certain materials that have not yet been forwarded to our Polish partners. I have ordered that appropriate work be carried out and materials that are interesting to our Polish colleagues be handed over to them," he said.
Russia gave its assessments of the Katyn tragedy a long time ago, Medvedev said.
"Recently I issued instructions to continue this work and to publish the results that have already been reached," he said.
"But it does not mean that these materials are unknown and have appeared on our archive website in such a consolidated version for the first time. Let everyone take a look at what happened at that time, who made decisions and ordered the execution of Polish officers. All this is written there. There are all signatures. All these people are known," he said.
Poll: Russian people's role crucial in defeating Nazism
Interfax-Ukraine, April 28, 2010
Russian citizens' understanding of the role each nation played in defeating Nazism is quite uniform with an absolute majority of them (91%) saying the Soviet Union's role was largest, according to a recent opinion poll.
The role of Allied Nations looks far less impressive to Russians, VTsIOM pollster told Interfax, citing figures obtained in a poll, conducted in late April.
Only 3% of those polled said the U.S. was the main contributor to victory and 1% each - Britain and France.
Most of those who see the Soviet Union's role as the most important are citizens aged over 45 (93%). The percentage of citizens, aged 18 to 24, who share this view, is a little smaller - 87%.
The same unanimity was demonstrated by respondents, when asked which nation suffered the worst from Nazi invaders, with 90% saying Russians suffered the worst, 38% -Belarusians, 37% Jews and 35% Ukrainians. Twelve percent of those surveyed claimed Poles were hit the hardest. Only one percent each said Britain, France and the United States were worst hit by World War II.
Ninety-seven percent of respondents, polled in 42 Russian regions see the Russian people's role in the common victory in World War II as significant, or very important. Ukrainians and Belarusian are in second place (79%, each), Poles in third (54%), followed by French (45%), Americans (40%), Britons (37%), Jews (36%) and Bulgarians (33%). The role of Serbs and Chinese is seen as less important (25% and 11%, respectively).
Thirty-seven percent of those questioned said that the Soviet Union's commander-in chief Josef Stalin played the leading role in the defeat of Nazism, but 44% said his contribution was significant. Only 8% of respondents said Stalin's role was insignificant, while 3% said he did not play any significant role ay all in the victory.
Russian citizens are unanimous in naming the nation, which unleashed World War II, with 88% stating it was Germany. Only 4% of respondents said it was the Soviet Union and only 1% each - France, Britain and the United States. Just 22% of those polled knew that World War II broke out in 1939.
Russia's Public Chamber Welcomes NATO Units To Moscow VE-Day Events
Itar-Tass, April 28, 2010
MOSCOW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's Public Chamber supports the participation of military units of the countries, which used to make up the anti-Hilter coalition, in the May 9 VE-Day festive events in Moscow, says a statement the Chamber published at its official website Wednesday.
It believes that the invitation of the military from these countries to the festivities in Moscow will be an important step towards developing the relations of partnership between different countries.
"Victory was won at a dire price," the statement says. "Heroism and courage of the Soviet soldier has been acknowledged wordlwide and the sacrifices made by the Soviet people are irreparable. Along with this, we will always remember our brethren-in-arms fromt the allied countries who fought together with us and lost their lives on the frontlines."
"Their contribution to victory measures in the millions of human lives they saved," the document said.
The Public Chamber dismissed as unpatriotic the statement published by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation under the title 'Red Square not a Place for NATO's High Boot', saying the Communists' claims are unfair.
The CPRF and a number of other leftwing and nationalist organizations voiced strong objections to the participation of American, British and French units in the VE-Day parade on Red Square.
"We would like to recall once again we won over Nazi Germany in cooperation with these countries," the Public Chamber said.
"A meeting of Soviet and U.S. troops on the Elbe River, the 65th anniversary of which was marked April 25, symbolized this combat brotherhood," the statement said.
"We are confident that the 'spirit of the Elbe' and the atmosphere of mutual trust mean much more than reciprocal prejudices or injuries," it went on saying. "The Cold War era has long become a thing of the past and we are confident that the participation of military units of the former allies in the jubilee events in Moscow will become an important step towards partnership relations with these countries."
"Genuine patriotism always lies in an unbiased assessment of history," the Public Chamber said.
Russian Orthodox Church calls to prohibit religious extremism by analogy with the Nazism prohibition at the international level
Interfax-Religion, April 29, 2010
Moscow, April 29, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church considers Nazism and religious extremism to be similar phenomena and insists to prohibit them both at international law level.
"I am sure that Russia should procure the prohibition of religious extremist ideology to be treated equally with the Nazi prohibition law through its participation in international organizations, the Council of Europe and OSCE," Head of the synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said Thursday at a press conference in Interfax.
According to him, this situation should be set forth in the international law, and Russia may win strong support from other countries, such as Poland and Italy.
"Nazism and pseudo-religious extremism are phenomena of the same category. Many countries of the world, including Russia, have prohibited the propaganda of Nazism and its symbols, and the same should be done about pseudo-religious extremism, if it justifies coup de force, not to mention civilians killing," Father Vsevolod said.
The Church claims to punish those "who calls for killing civilians or justifies such killing with any ideas whatsoever," he said. Father Vsevolod believes that such proclamations "must not be made public - reported by mass media, posted in Internet, or mentioned at any public events."
Stalin museum founder 'murdered'
BBC News, April 30, 2010
A Russian businessman who set up a Josef Stalin museum in the city once named after the Soviet dictator has been beaten to death by attackers.
Vasily Bukhtienko was attacked by three men on a tennis court in Volgograd (formerly known as Stalingrad), in southern Russia, officials said
They say the men used electric shock devices and then repeatedly hit Mr Bukhtienko on the head.
He later died from his injuries. The motive for the attack is not known.
In 2005, Mr Bukhtienko founded a Stalin museum near an imposing monument commemorating the 1942-43 Battle of Stalingrad, which is considered by many historians as a turning point in World War II.
RUSSIAN SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS MEMORIAL'S APPEAL TO OPEN KATYN FILES
Bigotry Monitor-UCSJ's weekly newsletter, Volume 10, Number 16, April 30, 2010
On April 19, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the Memorial Human Rights Center's challenge to the Moscow City Court's refusal to recognize the illegal classification decision of the Main Military Prosecutor's Office's resolution that stopped the investigation of the execution of Polish servicemen in Katyn in 1940, Interfax reported on April 22.
"The Memorial complaint has been upheld, and the Moscow City Court ruling has been overturned," Memorial representative Yan Rachinsky told Interfax. "The Moscow City Court will hear the case merits again. That is good news. We hope that the problem, which has been darkening Russia-Poland relations for a long time, will be resolved in the foreseeable future."
Earlier, Rachinsky told the news agency: "It is of paramount importance to disclose documents connected to the Katyn crime. The majority of 180 volumes of the Katyn case are still classified, but that is senseless. This situation does enormous harm to modern Russia."
April 2010. Monthly Summary
SOVA Center, April 30, 2010
In April 2010, at least 18 people, including 3 fatalities, became victims of racist and neo-Nazi attacks. Beside Moscow (1 dead, 6 injured) and St. Petersburg (5 injured), incidents of violence were recorded in Nizhny Novgorod (1 dead), Orel (1 dead, 1 injured), Saratov (1 beaten), and Ryazan (2 beaten). In April 2009, 3 people were dead and 27 more beaten or injured.
In all, during the first four months of 2010, 15 people were dead and at least 103 injured in 24 of Russian regions. (From January to April 2009, 30 people were dead and 149 injured.)
In April 2010, at least 9 guilty verdicts (in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan and Sverdlovsk regions, Krasnodar Krai, Chuvashia, and Tatarstan) were issued for racist hate crimes. 29 people were convicted, 10 of them received suspended sentences without any supplementary sanctions.
In all from the beginning of the year, at least 18 guilty verdicts have been issued for racist violence. 74 people were convicted, 25 of them received suspended sentences.
In April 2010, 4 sentences were passed for xenophobic propaganda in Karelia, Astrakhan and Arkhangelsk regions. 4 people were convicted; two of them was released from punishment for the statute of limitation had expired. On the same ground, the trial of a racist policeman from St. Petersburg region failed. In this case, the defense apparently slowed down the proceedings till the expiry of the statute of limitation.
In April 2010, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated twice (on April 2 and 22). It grew from 574 to 592 items. Thus, as of April 30, 2010, the list contains 592 items of which 33 are included twice and 5 are put in the list inappropriately for the court decisions on banning them as extremist are cancelled; one entry is annulled.
Perhaps the most striking event of April 2010 was the Moscow city court ruling to ban Dmitry Dyomushkin's Slavic Union as an extremist organization. It is noteworthy that the proceedings were extremely short: the first hearing took place on April 13 and on April 27, the ruling on the ban was passed. If Dyomushkin will not succeed in appealing, the Slavic Union will join the Federal List of Extremist Organizations that now contains 11 items (including the National-Socialist Society, NSO, and the Ryazan department of the Russian Nationalist Unity, RNE).
II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
Nashi Celebrates Fifth Year With Kremlin Support
By: Alexander Bratersky
Moscow Times, April 16, 2010
Pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi, best known for harassing ambassadors and opposition leaders, celebrated its five-year anniversary Thursday with a major show of support from the Kremlin, which said the activists remained a vital force in Russia.
Kremlin first deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov who is widely believed to have organized the group while an adviser to then-President Vladimir Putin in 2005 spoke to the raucous crowd of 2,000 delegates, as did Nashi's founding father, Vasily Yakemenko.
Created to resist revolutions like those in Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004, Nashi has taken a back seat to other youth groups in recent years as the threat of widespread public unrest dwindled.
But Surkov told members Thursday that he "would always support" them.
"If we all go on vacation, the consequences won't wait. We see what's happening in Kyrgyzstan that means we're needed and have to be at our posts. ... Those who chose for themselves the political fight will never be able to relax again," Surkov told the crowd. "I'm calling on you to remain in that fight," he said, before conveying greetings from Medvedev.
Putin said in a letter to the congress that the movement "unites people who love their motherland and are trying to make a serious contribution to the resolution of the current problems of the state and society."
Yakemenko, now director of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, restated the group's allegiance to Russia's two leading politicians.
"The Nashi movement is the movement of those who feel outraged and mad by the things they see around them. Our movement knows no authority except the authority of the policies of Medvedev and Putin," Yakemenko said.
The congress, held in an ornate Moscow business center, also elected a new ruling board, in which a previously low-profile activist, Marina Zademidkova, 25, collected three times more votes than her nearest competitor, Anton Smirnov.
The State Duma's youngest member, Robert Shlegel of United Russia, known for his initiatives to restrict media freedoms, was also elected to the five-member board. Nashi will elect its new formal leader from the group on May 15.
Incumbent leader Nikita Borovikov, 29, did not run for a spot on the board.
Political expert Stanislav Belkovsky said the movement's future would depend on financing from the Kremlin. "The movement doesn't have a solid ideological base," he said.
Ilya Yashin, a member of the Solidarity opposition movement who is a frequent target of Nashi attacks, said the group would still come in handy as the state tries to deflect the growing "protest mood."
"It's possible that the experience of movement's managers would be needed when people hit the streets," the former Yabloko youth leader told The Moscow Times.
While Nashi members in the regions have also been involved in less political activities, such as charity work, the group's radical fight against the Kremlin opponents will continue to be its focus, members said Thursday.
"We thought that we have defended our sovereignty, but we shouldn't forget that they are trying to occupy us," Borovikov said, referring to Western powers and the "agents of the ideological influence."
He said they were behind Russian opposition leaders and liberal-leaning media, which he accused of "promoting drugs and providing a tribune to terrorists."
Before Borovikov's speech, the group was shown a 15-minute film about Nashi, highlighting its opposition to the "organizers of color revolutions" and "liberals and fascists."
To illustrate the message, the film showed former chess champion Garry Kasparov and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov both members of the Solidarity movement.
Without naming names, the film also attacked "losers" in government and the media who are trying to block the country's modernization, a key initiative by Medvedev to close Russia's technological gap with the West.
"The task to create civil society has been completed. The new task is to defend modernization and sovereign democracy," the film narrator said in a robotic voice.
But not all of the delegates said they supported the hard-hitting ideology, which has discredited the movement with some of the public.
"We often don't have concrete ideas to express," said Artyom, who asked that his last name not be used because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Moscow's `Symbiotic' Ties with Radical Russian Nationalists Worrisome, Analyst Says
By: Paul Goble
Window on Eurasia, April 16, 2010
Vienna, April 16 Yesterday, "Novaya gazeta" was given a warning by Russian media officials concerning the publication of an article on "legal nationalists" that explored the "symbiotic" relationship between the powers that be and radical Russian nationalists and that the officials said violated the law by provoking "social, racial and national" tensions.
That is just the most recent example of "the paradoxical situation" Moscow commentator Tatyana Stanovaya says, "when an independent and liberal publication which raises the issue of the `legalization' of nationalists turns out to be more dangerous [in the minds of] the powers that be than the penetration of [such] nationalists into the powers that be."
Despite the murders of Federal Judge Eduard Chuvashov and journalists that Russian law enforcement officials have linked to radical nationalists, Stanovaya says, "the powers that be do not see for themselves a political threat in the Nazis, focusing instead on the extra-systemic opposition" against whom the radicals work (www.politcom.ru/9956.html).
Human rights monitors in Russia have noted that there has been "a certain reduction" in the number of nationalist crimes but have pointed out that "at the same time," the crimes the radical nationalists do commit are often more violent a view that both the courts and the law enforcement agencies appear to share.
But the powers that be, Stanovaya continues, do not appear to agree. Over the last decade, as many have pointed out, Vladimir Putin has played with the nationalists not only by his comments about Chechnya and his actions against migrant workers and Georgia but also by his apparent desire to find allies against a possible "orange" threat in Russia.
One such example, the Moscow analyst continues, is provided by the NASHI movement which, even though "few remember it now," was set up as part of the broader "anti-fascist movement" but directed not against "the right radicals but against liberal groups like SS and Yabloko.
Not surprisingly, Stanovaya says, "the liberals in turn always have accused the powers that be of being fellow travelers to the real nationalists," pointing out that the anti-Yabloko "Svobodnaya Rossiya" Party included "Yegor Kholmogorov, one of the ideologues of the Russian nationalists" and that the loyalist LDPR has among its deputies Nikolay Kuryanovich.
These links between the powers that be and the Russian extreme nationalists have become the focus of more media attention recently. Two months ago, "Novaya gazeta" launched a series on this, Stanovaya says, and now the powers that be have decided to go after that liberal publication precisely because of that.
This action by the regime, she continues, suggests that the powers that be continue to view "the nationalists as their political allies," as individuals and groups "who do not represent a threat, and who even more than that offer alternative possibilities and instruments for the struggle with the extra-system threats" that the powers that be see coming from elsewhere.
But that policy, which Stanovaya calls "symbiosis by inertia" is "leading to the growth of major crimes and the radicalization of methods of struggle of the nationalists which for the first time have gone after a high status individual in the system of government administration, a federal judge."
That in turn, the Moscow commentator says, raises an even more disturbing question not only for liberals but for Russia as a whole: "What price is the Kremlin prepared to pay for the existing symbiosis of nationalists and the powers that be?" Clearly she hopes, along with others of good will. that the powers that be will decide they are paying too much.
Russian journalist comments on relations with Poland, extremism, corruption--Excerpt
Ekho Moskvy, Radio BBC Monitoring, April 17, 2010
. Extreme nationalists becoming "unmanageable"
"Another piece of horrible news this week has been the murder of judge (Eduard) Chuvashov," Latynina said. Chuvashov presided over several cases involving nationalist organisations and had received death threats.
According to Latynina, there is a link between the murder of Chuvashov and the forthcoming trial of the suspects in the murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasiya Baburova in Moscow in January 2009.
"We can see that these two events are linked. On the one hand, the judge who presides at such trials is murdered. On the other, an active PR campaign for (Nikita) Tikhonov and (Yevgeniya) Khasis (defendants in the Markelov and Baburova case) is getting under way... I really believe that this PR campaign and the murder are linked," she said.
"We can see a very frightening picture emerging here. We can see that there was some project to have manageable nationalism which was encouraged by those who are usually responsible for these issues and organizations in the presidential administration. And this project has proved to be completely unmanageable. It turns out that these people can murder Markelov and Baburova, that they can murder antifascist Ivan Khutorskoy and that during an attempt to arrest them these people can open fire on the FSB (Federal Security Service)," Latynina said .
The Georgian Times, April 19,, 2010
Vano Merabishvili's interview with Kommersant and the anniversary of Stalin's death have brought the question of history as memory back to the forefront of Georgia's political and popular discourse. Unveiling it as a less than homogenous society, Georgia's vacillations are reflective of similar sentiments in other post-Soviet states, including Russia and Ukraine.
In the interview with Kommersant, a Russian daily, Vano Merabishvili, Georgia's Minister of the Interior, said that during the August 2008 war Givi Targamadze, currently Head of the Defence Committee of the Georgian Parliament, offered the Russian troops $50,000 to destroy the Stalin Monument in Gori, a city heavily attacked by the invading army during the war. "At that time the contacts were unofficial," Merabishvili said. "And it was possible to buy something with money from the Russians. So it was decided to exchange money for an opportunity to get rid of Stalin. But they bombed Gori [to shreds,] and left the monument to Stalin intact."
Merabishvili also said that the Russian side was offended by the offer. "They were willing to take money for anything else, but not this," he said. While Merabishvili appeared to have been hinting that Russia still has a positive attitude toward its former leader (discussed below), Georgians are also equivocal about their allegiance.
"I went to Gori after the war and my friend told me how people had clung to the pedestal of Stalin Monument like bees to a hive," said Chairman of the Stalin Society Grisha Oniani in an interview with GT when asked to comment on the possibility of the monument's removal. "The Government is afraid and does not dare [remove the monument] but if that happens I will request political asylum from Russia and move to Tskhinvali. Since the monument is still in place I will not hurry to resettle in Tskhinvali."
After the war young Georgians held protest actions demanding the relocation of Stalin Monument to his museum, also located in Gori. Some of the older generation also supported the idea but not many. Stalin for them is a symbol of the victory over fascism and they are still proud of his Georgian heritage.
Ghia Nodia, philosopher, believes that such a rift in society, coupled with mixed messages from the Government, shows that Georgians have yet to decide why the country is aiming to join the West: whether it is because we want to embrace Western values and responsibilities, or because Stalin's Russia was bad and dangerous and the West can protect Georgia from that ghost. This dissonance also demonstrates that Georgia has yet to adequately evaluate its Soviet past, something most Eastern European countries have accomplished. "This is why I believe the monument is still standing there and this is why it is still creating confusion among many people, including those in the Government and independent intellectuals," Nodia said.
Similarly, according to a study on "Uses and Abuses of Stalin's Image" conducted by the Levada Center, which has been monitoring Russian attitudes to Stalin for years, Russians continue to have fluctuating and divergent attitudes towards the infamous leader. The study's conclusion, published by Alexei Levinson on the Open Democracy website, states that the difficult post-Soviet transition of the 1990s saw a resurgence of support for Stalin's memory as people became dissatisfied with nascent steps towards democracy. According to the study, in 1994 20 percent of Russians surveyed classed Stalin as a "great man", a figure rising to 35 percent by 1999. This trend continued under Putin, with Stalin moving into third place on the list of "great people" until in 2008 he was only 1 percent lower in the ratings than Peter the Great.
Notable divisions over the memory of Stalin remain evident, however. While over 30 percent of the older generation believe that with Stalin's death the country lost a "great leader and teacher", only 9 percent of the younger generation share that view. The most likely demographic group to be supportive of Stalin's memory and the principle of "victory at any cost" are, according to the study, men of an economically active age who live in cities of medium size. Women and people living in Moscow are more likely to express regret for his existence.
The memory of Stalin and his image continue to provide political capital for the Russian Government serving as a continual, unifying reminder of victory in the Great Patriotic War. The Russian public does not however appear to be under any illusion about the Government's use of Stalin's image. 18 percent of Russians believe that authorities "try to use the cult of Stalin to justify their abuse of power", another 20 percent believe that "the present Stalin cult serves to compensate for the lack of a national idea", whilst 23 percent believe that the authorities use it "to strengthen their own position".
A debate around a monument to Stalin and his legacy is also spurring in Ukraine. The Communist Party wing in Zaporizhya wants to erect a monument before Victory Day this coming May. Reportedly, the Government of Ukraine is not doing anything about this initiative. In an opinion piece published by The Kyiv Post, Inna Sukhorukova, Deputy Chief Editor of Human Rights Bulletin, a publication of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, said that "to erect a monument to Stalin in Ukraine is to rape its history." Furthermore, she argued that if Ukraine's leadership wanted to "move closer to a true Ukrainian state," its attitude towards the possibility of a monument to Stalin being constructed on Ukrainian soil should radically change.
Russia Society Dominated by `Baptized Godless,' Mitrofanov Says
By: Paul Goble
Window on Eurasia, April 19, 2010
Vienna, April 19 At the end of the Soviet period, many Russians believed that theirs was an "Orthodox" people which simply lacked churches, but now, a leading Orthodox educator says, they recognize that this was an illusion and that Russian society consists of "baptized godless" people who have numerous "magical and pagan prejudices."
Still worse, Father Georgy Mitrofanov of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy tells "Ogonyek" this week, they are increasingly forced to admit that the new generation of priests is incapable of changing that situation for the better. Indeed, they may be making the situation even worse (www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?fromsearch=e9045ade-c37e-44bc-9a0c-ecdea1abf4e6&docsid=1353453).
Ever fewer young men are training for the priesthood, he continues, the result of the country's demographic problems and the decline of popular interest in the Orthodox Church. There is no longer any competition for places in seminaries, and "the social and educational level of those enrolled leaves much to be desired."
That is especially true, Mitrofanov says, in the 37 new seminaries which have opened in Russia's provinces since 1991. Only five or six of these correspond in any respect to the standards of the St. Petersburg or Moscow seminaries, and in the capitals, the size of classes is half what it was ten years ago.
Much of what is wrong now, he argues, began at the end of Soviet times when the state ceased to be involved in this process and handed over complete power to the hierarchy. The hierarchs "received the chance" as a result to approve "all who wanted" to become priests, as long as another priest recommended them.
Today, that has led to a situation in which "only a little more than a third of priests [in the Russian Orthodox Church] have a seminary or academic education, and a large part has made do in general without any theological training." That has led to "a catastrophic decline" in the level of the priesthood, but the Patriarchate has not done anything about it.
Indeed, Mitrofanov says, "the clergy of the post-Soviet period is now not only more numerous but qualitatively it is frequently worse than that of the Soviet period." Because the Soviet system destroyed so many priests, there are not the sons of priests anymore who often helped maintain the system.
The new priests who entered church life in the 1990s and since, Mitrofanov continues, "brought with them a specific conglomerate of ideas" which gives one a headache just to think about. A "significant part" of these priests are "disorganized" and confused young people who "dream of acquiring [in the church] their accustomed totalitarian ideology and organization."
Their minds are full of "mystical literal and totalitarian anti-human politicized ideology" and having become priests, they quickly project this on their flocks, encouraging "the search for enemies" like "Jewish Masons, ecumenists, Protestants, and the like" as if "all problems of church life were somehow connected with external `dark' forces."
Believe it or not, Mitrofanov says, those values are very different than the ones which animated their Soviet-era predecessors. The priests in earlier times had to pass through a much more difficult school, including obligatory theological training, and face many more obstacles from the regime. Those who did so were often among the most committed.
"The final decision as to whether an individual could attend seminary was taken by a special figure from the organs, the plenipotentiary of the Council of Religious Affairs of the USSR Council of Ministers." He placed as many obstacles as he could on the path of future priests, especially those from urban areas.
At the end of the Soviet period, "more than half" of the Orthodox churches in the USSR were in Western Ukraine, and Soviet officials ensured that the largest portion of new entrants to the seminars came from rural areas in that part of the country, places where religion still had an active role among the population.
And priests in Soviet times could not count on big incomes. But now, at least some of them are able to use the churches as a business to such an extent that "certain girls specifically seek to marry future priests: there is money, and a certain status in society, and even assumptions about definite moral qualities" of those who enter that profession.
In large measure, Mitrofanov says, this reflects the drive in the church to rebuild churches, something that attracts to the church not former Soviet people but "people who are still Soviet now." And he adds, communists deceived everyone about everything, but "they did create a new type of man, a poor envious individual who believed the main values are material."
"For the present-day generation of priests, the church at least in part is not the body of Christ and not a community of people united by Christ but above all a church in which it is possible to actively be involved in business relations with commercial people and build a profitable system of ritual services."
Such people, Mitrofanov concludes, are not able "to talk with people including the intelligentsia on their level," they lack the live experience" and knowledge to be "the bearers of the highest Orthodox culture." Only if that is changed, he suggests, will Orthodoxy be able to fill "the greatest commandment go and teach all peoples."
Neither Moscow, Nor Dushanbe Interested in Ending Skinhead Violence Against Migrants, Tajik Diaspora Leader Says
By: Paul Goble
Window on Eurasia, April 19, 2010
Vienna, April 19 A bombing by persons yet unknown of a slum apartment in Moscow where a group of Tajik gastarbeiters that left many of them injured and some near death was probably the work of Russian nationalist skinheads, Karomat Sharipov, the president of the All-Russian Social Movement Tajik Labor Migrants, says.
But he says, such actions do not take place in a vacuum. On the one hand, Sharipov points out, there are "smart people" in the Russian government who are fully capable of stopping the skinheads but "for some reason or other they do not want to," preferring instead that "the murders and explosions continue," even if local Russians are among the victims.
And on the other, the government of Tajikistan, whose citizens the gastarbeiters are, "closes its eyes to all of this," rather than taking a pro-active role, sending officials to protect its citizens and pull them out of Russia if there are no jobs or if the Tajiks here are mistreated in one way or another (svpressa.ru/accidents/article/24114/).
Such a sense of abandonment by officials both Russian and Tajik appears likely to generate support for calls by diaspora leaders for the gastarbeiters to take responsibility for their own defense by organizing armed guards, a development that almost certainly would lead to more violence both between them and the skinheads and between the Tajiks and the regime.
In his interview with Dmitry Treshchanin of "Svobodnaya pressa," Sharipov said that he like other Tajiks in the Russian capital believe that "radical nationalists" like the skinheads were behind this and other attacks, but they are not prepared to make any final judgment given that the cases are now in the hands of government investigators.
One of the reasons many Tajiks are convinced that the skinheads were behind this bombing, Sharipov continued, is that people in Moscow "recently witnessed the fact that they killed a judge. If they deal with a judge in this way, then with labor migrants, the situation is much easier."
The Tajik leader said that the skinhead problem should have been addressed and solved a long time ago. "Today, the powers that be are strong, and there are intelligent people in power, but somehow they do not want to stop it. Instead they without difficulty find someone who doesn't have registration and confine him for 20 days in a special detention facility."
"Confine in the same way all the skinheads for 20 days," Sharipov said, "and they will give testimony and it will be possible that those who ordered and organized these acts can be found. Apparently, the powers that be are interested that these murders and explosions continue," even when "citizens of Russian die."
The problems of the Tajik gastarbeiters are not limited to such violence, he continued. Most of them live in horrific conditions, but this "fits the needs of the employers. One employer without the help of the powers that be cannot do anything. We must understand that this takes place as a result of corruption against which President Medvedev struggling personally."
The laws are on the side of the Tajik workers, Sharipov pointed out, but "nothing is done without the approval of the local powers that be" and they "are always ready to do anything for money." The interconnectedness of corruption among employers and the interior ministry thus works against the law and against the Tajiks.
Sharipov points out that "it is written in the Koran that anyone who loves money too strongly should not go to a mosque or read prayers. For me," the Tajik labor leader said, "those [who conduct such actions against their fellow men] are not people, they are all godless" and think they can get away with anything because the militia will do nothing.
Asked what he would do to address the situation, Sharipov said that in Moscow's eastern district were many Tajiks work, it is "time" to name a Tajik to head certain key offices. "What are you afraid of?" he asks. "I can tell you that [such a Tajik] will steal less" and the laws will be enforced.
In addition, he suggested, "it is possible to put popular militias [druzhinniki] composed of the Tajiks themselves around the houses of migrants so that there will be security not only for their place of residence but also for adjoining houses with Russian citizens." The powers that be, he continued, "do not want this because it would not be profitable" for them.
The situation of the Tajiks in Moscow is especially bleak, he said, because their own government "closes its eyes to all of this." If Dushanbe were to send officials to ensure that their rights were protected or they were withdrawn if they are not, Tajik gastarbeiters would be much better off. But that has not happened, and it does not appear likely.
In a comment appended to this interview, the "Svobodnaya pressa" journalist says that the conditions in which Tajik workers now live in Moscow resemble those of "slavery." In some cases, there are as many as 40 Tajiks living in a single one-room apartment. But he added that most Russians are openly hostile to the Tajiks, an attitude that limits the possibility of change.
And Treshchanin recalls that this weekend's bombing is only the latest in a long string of violence against foreigners and especially gastarbeiters from Central Asia. During the first quarter of 2010, he notes, there were 45 attacks motivated by xenophobia, as a result of which 43 people were injured and 12 killed.
April 20 holiday of homebred Nazis or black date in Russian calendar?
Review of MBHR, April 2010
The ministry of home affairs does not exclude a possibility of extremist manifestations and attempts to destabilize the situation on the dates forthcoming in April and May Hitler's birthday on April 20, Day of spring and labor on May 1 and Victory Day on May 9. In this connection first deputy minister of home affairs Mikhail Sukhodolsky called upon the law-enforcement bodies to paying special attention to aggressive manifestations on the part of participants of nationalist-extremist and neo-fascist groups.
The tradition to mark the birthday of fuehrer of Nazi Germany Adolph Hitler with public actions in the USSR and then in Russia goes back to early 1980s.
In April 1980 a small group of followers of Nazi ideology arranged a picket near Moscow choral synagogue. In two years, on April 20, 1982, the demonstration of a group of neo-Nazis at Pushkin square in Moscow took place. And though there were no demonstrations like this till 1987, there was a rumor every year before April 20 that "there would be a demonstration of fascists at Pushka". The most active students gathered near the monument to the poet "to beat the Nazis" but did not find them there.
The next public demonstration took place in Leningrad on April 20, 1987 when two columns of young people aged 17-22, with black shirts on and with swastikas on their sleeves, marched along Nevsky avenue and surroundings of underground station "Ploshchad vosstaniya". On the same day similar demonstration took place in Peterhof. Simultaneously mass desecration of Jewish graves at Preobrazhensky cemetery in Leningrad took place.
In 1998 representatives of radical nationalists disseminated an appeal where they promised to kill one African or Asian a day starting from April 20. In 2002 the embassy of Japan in Moscow received an e-mail message from some "skinhead Ivan" who announced that the skinheads would kill all the foreigners they would see in the streets of Moscow on April 20.
As a result some embassies addressed the Russian authorities with request to secure the safety of their citizens due to the threats from skinheads. On April 17, 2002 the mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov stated to the journalists that the law-enforcement bodies of Moscow are ready for the most abrupt rebuff to any actions of extremists. Luzhkov called upon the members of extremist organizations to not participating in any actions. On April 16 the general public prosecutor of RF Vladimir Ustinov stated at the meeting with representatives of human rights organizations that he "kept the situation connected with possible provocations on the part of youth extremist organizations under his control on the threshold of Hitler's birthday". And deputy minister of home affairs of Russia colonel-general of militia Alexander Chekalin informed that on the morning of April 19 the minister of home affairs Boris Gryzlov signed an order about holding of special operation "Vortex-anti-extremist". During the operation 399 teenagers were detained and 195 persons among them suspected of involvement in extremist groups were registered by militia.
On April 21, 2007 a meeting took place at Slavyanskaya square in Moscow devoted to Hitler's birthday. It was participated by such right-radical organizations as NSO, "Format-18", Natstech, "Russian will". The formal permission for the meeting was received by the "Party of protection of Russian constitution" (PZRK) "Rus" the backbone of which consists of former members of Russian National Unity (RNE) according to the data of nationalists themselves. The meeting was participated by about 150 persons, and NSO followers were one third of them. The leader of this organization D. Rumyantsev praised the leader of German Nazism in his speech as he "had armed himself with ideas of national-socialism, fought for his people and his state and made it liven up in several years". He also called for "throwing the morals of hypocrites away, throwing the pity away" and actually threatened with transfer of national-radicals to terrorist activity. Actually after every speech the meeting participants raised their hands in Nazi salutation.
On the same day another meeting of nationalists took place at Pushkin square participated by the leader of organization "Slavic union" D. Dyomushkin.
During "black" April days of 2002 Perm synagogue and office of Jewish community in Ulyanovsk were put to desecration.
In 2004 the skinheads killed a worker-Tajik in Kirov during this period. Nizhniy Novgorod mosque "Tauba" was put to desecration. On April 22, 2004 the skinheads arranged a pogrom again in the Jewish community center in Ulyanovsk. The attack took place literally in half an hour after withdrawal of intensified militia patrol that was on guard near the building for several days due to the threat of neo-Nazi attack on Hitler's birthday.
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