In January 2016 we are in the know regarding at least three individuals, who have been victims of racist and xenophobically motivated attacks. In Moscow, in a commuter train going from Kievskiy train station to ‘Aprelevka’ station, a group of young people beat up a migrant from Azerbaijan. In Alexandrov, a city in Vladimir oblast’, two unknown men, armed with a knife, assaulted parishioners of the Christian Evangelical church of ‘Emmanuel’ (Pentecostal denomination).
In the last month we have also acquired information about at least three acts of xenophobic vandalism in Vladimir and Saratov oblasts and in Crimea.
The rallying activities of nationalists has been low in January.
It is worth taking note that an unannounced picket of the Russian National Front (RNF) in support of the arrested Kirill Barabash (“For a responsible government!”) took place on January 3. Six arrests were made at the demo, among them Andrey Savel’yev and Nikolay Tishin (Great Russia), Yelena Rohlina, Kirill M’amlin (leader of the Institute of High Communitarianism). Aside from Moscow, three one-man pickets took place in Kaliningrad.
Only 4 people came to the yearly event in commemoration of deceased Russian soldiers – that took part in the conquest of Groznyy on New Year’s Eve of 1995 –, which took place in Yekaterinburg at the Black Tulpan on New Year’s Eve. The participants lit candles and held one minute of silence.
In Moscow, with a difference of one day, two rallies took place at the same location and under the same slogan – at the Donskoye cemetery in memory of the Cossack atamans, given over by the English to the USSR and executed in 1946-47 for collaboration with Nazis. The rally, organized by activists of the Committee of ‘Ethnicity and Freedom’ (of Vladimir Basmanov) as well as by the Uncompromising League, took place on January 16. 6 activists laid flowers on the grave of unclaimed ashes, where the remains of the Krasonvyy brothers, Helmut von Pannwitz, Andrey Shkuro, Timofey Domanov and Kılıç Sultan-Girey. The role of the initiator was attributed to Denis Romanov-(Russkiy). On January 17, a similar event was organized by the supporters of the RONA (Russian Liberation Army) movement with Oleg Filatchev at the head.
In January, the hottest and most discussed topic in the extreme-right web were the events that took place on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. The happenings were interpreted in an even more exaggerated way than in the official medias and were accompanied by a massive number of anti-migrant statements. To attract attention to the situation and in an attempt to transfer the discussion from the European events to the Russian realities, numerous surveys of diverse types with xenophobic hidden meanings were conducted. The data concerning the number of migrants to Russia were communicated, as well as how in a number of European countries, the sales of firearms “for protection from migrants” are increasing, whereas in Russia the right to carry firearms has become substantially limited.
Traditionally, nationalists continue carrying out a variety of raids and try to attract new activists. For example, in January 2016, in Saint-Petersburg, members of the ‘Lion vs.’ movement assaulted a group of teenagers that were drinking alcoholic beverages. They took away the beverages by force and poured them out. Afterward, the young people started a row, which gradually transformed into a brawl. The whole incident was filmed by one of the members of the organisation. Radical right-wing websites stress the fact that the youth, which are being called “drunk devils” and that are drinking in public are of Caucasian origin.
In January 2016, no less than two verdicts of guilty for racist abuse, of which four persons in Astrakhan’ and Tula oblasts were being accused.
For xenophobic propaganda no less than 9 sentences were given out in 8 regions. 9 persons were judged in these trials.
The federal list of extremist materials has been updated three times (on January 11, 13 and 21). Items 3230-3258 were added. These updates include a diverse variety of ultra-right materials; a speech at a rally of a deputy of the Suoyarvskiy urban settlement’s Soviet, Vladimir Zavarkin, previously fined for public calls for separatism; parody music clips of the group “Ensemble of Christ the Saviour and the Mother Earth and Cheese”’; songs of the group “Warriors of Zion”; videos associated with Right Sector activities, a flyer of the Will party; a fragment of the latest book of K. Petrov ‘The Secrets of Controlling the Humankind’; diverse Islamist video files.
On January 19, 2016, the yearly All-Russian rally in remembrance of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova took place in 6 Russian cities. According to the estimations of the ‘Sova’ centre observers, in Moscow, the rally had a participation of no more than 470 persons. Orthodox activists from the movement ‘God’s Will’, along with their leader Dmitriy (Enteo) Tsorionov, were actively trying to stop the event from taking place. They were arrested and loaded into police busses “with the goal of preventing provocations toward sexual minorities”.
Originally published on 01.02.2016 by ‘Sova’ Informational Analytical Centre.