News / Europe

    Russian Nationalists March Under Heavy Police Presence

    About 7,000 Russian nationalists marched, waving Czarist flags, and chanting such anti-immigrant slogans as 'Migrants Today, Occupiers Tomorrow,' in Moscow, November 4, 2011.
    About 7,000 Russian nationalists marched, waving Czarist flags, and chanting such anti-immigrant slogans as 'Migrants Today, Occupiers Tomorrow,' in Moscow, November 4, 2011.
    James Brooke

    Russia’s National Unity Day was celebrated Friday by nationalist groups who would like to break majority-Muslim regions away from Russia’s Christian geographic core.

    About 7,000 Russian nationalists marched in Moscow, waving Czarist flags, and chanting such anti-immigrant slogans as “Migrants Today, Occupiers Tomorrow.”

    With parliamentary elections only a month away, nationalism is a political force the Kremlin fears.

    Nationalist happenings

    Seeking to defuse nationalist anger against Muslim migrants from the Russian Caucuses region, a judge gave stiff jail sentences last week to six Muslim Russians convicted of participating in the murder last year of an ethnic Russian football fan.

    On the other hand, a blogger published 1,000 pages of personal emails of Alexander Navalny, a new, charismatic leader of the nationalist movement. On the morning of the march, another leader was arrested at home and charged with promoting inter-ethnic discord.

    For Friday’s parade, the nationalists were only allowed to march in a suburb far from Moscow’s center

    Two police helicopters hovered overhead, filming marchers, mostly young men, many with bandannas covering their faces. Police stood shoulder to shoulder for almost one kilometer. Long lines of gray windowless steel trucks ready to take detainees to jail were parked in full view.

    Police surveillance

    One middle-aged couple said the police display of force intimidated them from joining the marchers.

    Natalia said she lived nearby and came with her husband to support what she called the ‘boys.’ Like many onlookers, she did not want to give her name.

    While the Kremlin likes to define nationalism as anti-Western, the protesters focused inward, denouncing the flow of workers to Moscow from Russia’s Muslim South and Central Asia.

    Marchers chanted: “Free Russia, Russian Power.”

    Potential for instability


    Russia’s state-controlled television ignored the march. Vladimir Ryzhkov, an opposition politician, said the Kremlin flirted with using nationalism in the parliamentary election campaign, then backed away.

    “We have Tatars, Bashkirs, Mordovs, Chuvash, Yakuts  we have hundreds of ethnic groups inside Russia, and we have ethnic republics. And if Russian politicians use this idea that subject politics is ethnic group, Russia could explode. Because Russia is multicultural, multinational country.”

    Ryzhkov, a historian, said nationalism tore apart the Russian Empire in the early 20th century, and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    “If Russian leadership, or serious politicians in Russia, use this ethnic Russian nationalism as an instrument, they will destroy Russia for a third time in one century,” said Ryzhkov.

    For now, he said, Russia’s ruling politicians understand that the nationalist card is a far too dangerous one to play.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora