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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid