The 2018 Russian March in Moscow
Several nationalist actions were held in Moscow on November 4, 2018, the Day of National Unity. SOVA Center attended four: two so-called Russian Marches, one rally and one failed procession.
"Russian March" in Lyublino
The most well-known action took place in the Lyublino District, on the outskirts of Moscow. Traditionally, younger and more radical nationalists gather in Lyublino. Three ultra-right-wing organizations put together the march: the Association of National Resistance (ANS), the Nation and Freedom Committee (KNS) and the National-Revolutionary Vanguard (NRA). SOVA Center observers counted no fewer than 150 people gathered at the march (the 2017 event drew around 200).
Before the event had even begun, police had detained eight participants, with another 14-year-old participant detained after its conclusion. All were released without charge. Meanwhile, law enforcement attempted to force entry to the apartment of one of the organizers. Police also blocked a group of teenagers from Tula, a city about 200 kilometers from Moscow, from attending the march by getting them off the bus.
Participants shouted opposition and nationalist slogans, along with demands to free famous ultra-right-wing figures from prison. The march ended with a rally.
A separate ultra-right nationalist coalition headed by the Right Bloc had fought with the organizers of the Russian March for the right to hold the march in Lyublino, but was ultimately denied the authorities’ permission. On the eve of the Russian March, the head of the Right Bloc urged followers on social media to go to Lyublino to disrupt the event, but by the time it had started, nearly none of the alternative organizers had come.
Nor did anyone go to Pushkin Square in Central Moscow to a meeting of “autonomous” far-right activists, which the Right Bloc leader had also called for.
"Russian March" at Oktyabrskoe Pole
This march was organized by small right-conservative organizations: the Permanent Council of National-Patriotic Forces of Russia (NDS NPSR), the Russian National Front (RNF), the Great Russia party and successors of the banned National Minin and Pozharsky Militia (NOMP) and Army of People’s Will (AVN). The march on Oktyabrskoe Pole has competed with the «main» march (at Lyublino) since 2013. Since 2014, the Oktyabrskoe Pole organizers distinguish themselves further from those at Lyublino by their support for Ukrainian separatists in the Donbas, opponents of whom they refer to “Banderites.”
A total of about 320-350 people participated in the march, by SOVA Center's estimates, which would be slightly less than in 2017.
Participants in the march carried pro-monarchy banners and flags of so-called Novorossiya. The march concluded in a rally, where anti-government, xenophobic (more than anything anti-Semitic) and pro-monarchy speeches were made.
Police detained one activist, who was carrying a poster depicting President Vladimir Putin and a rat and the caption "Time to poison the rats!" He was charged with "repeated violation of the established order of a rally."
LDPR Rally on Pushkin Square
The Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) also held a November 4 rally in the center of Moscow, drawing some 470 participants. LDPR deputies at the rally mostly criticized the West and called for a union between Russia and Asian nations. Party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky took to the stage accompanied by the Russian Imperial hymn God Save the Tsar. The rally was concluded by dancing and a raffle.
Failed Procession at the memorial stone of the Passion Monastery on Pushkin Square
Representatives of the Forty Forties, an ultraconservative Russian Orthodox movement, gathered at the same site slightly later. The day before, they had actively called people to gather there as November 4, the Day of National Unity, was also the day of Our Lady of Kazan. However, the organizers were not able to get permission to hold the rally. About 20-30 members of the Forty Forties gathered, surrounded by dozens of passersby, and sang akathist hymns.