The 2019 Russian March in Moscow
Since November 4, 2005, nationalist organizations have annually held marches and meetings (the so-called “Russian March”) in various cities of Russia and the CIS, timed to coincide with National Unity Day, a public holiday in the Russian Federation.
On November 4, 2019, several nationalist events were held in Moscow.
The Russian March in Lyublino
Two organizing committees competed for the right to hold the Russian March in Lyublino: the coalition of the Nation and Freedom Committee (KNS) and the Association of National Resistance (ANS) and the Third Alternative (the Right Bloc). Both organizers submitted their applications for permission to hold the march to the Moscow City Hall. On 24 October 2019, the joint application by the KNS and ANS was refused; later, the Right Bloc’s application was rejected as well. Eventually, the KNS managed to appeal the decision in court and obtain approval; the Right Bloc followers and those who were going to join them refused to participate in the march.
As a result, the Russian March in Lyublino attracted a record low number of participants; SOVA Center’s estimates put their number at 100-120. A year earlier, a mere 150 people gathered for the same event. In addition to the KNS and ANS, representatives of the Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers (SPH) and the recently formed organization We Are Moscow Youth participated in the march.
A well-known nationalist and a former leader of The Russians association, Dmitry Dyomushkin, joined the first part of the march; walking separately from the main column of the march, he was eagerly answering interviewers’ questions.
The march followed the traditional route along Pererva and Lyublinskaya streets.
– popular slogans, such as “Russians Forward,” “Down with the Occupation, Freedom to the Russian Nation”;
– slogans targeting the current political regime: “Down, Down, Down with the Chekist System,” “To Hell with Putin/Medvedev/Government/Officials,” “Siberia is not China,” “The Kuril Islands are not Japan”;
– slogans in support of political prisoners involved in the Black Bloc and Novoe Velichie (“New Greatness”) cases, and the Moscow Case;
– anti-migrant and racist slogans “Power to the White,” “Russia for Russians, Moscow for the Muscovites,” “An Illegal Immigrant is a Foreign Occupier,” “No to Immigrants on Russian Soil.” Racist slogans were chanted primarily in a disorganized manner. During the rally, the march organizers announced that they did not agree with all of the slogans voiced in the course of the event.
“Death to the liberals!” was shouted in the face of the correspondent of the opposition cable news channel Dozhd (“TV Rain”).
The march ended at the monument to the Soldier of the Fatherland, where a rally was held in the pouring rain.
According to the organizers, ten people were detained during the march. As OVD-info reports, before the beginning of the march, police detained a member of the SPH Dmitry Antonov, presumably because of the symbols on his uniform. A banner with the words, “No to replacement migration, we are against the distribution of citizenship, ethno-crime, and china-isation” was not allowed at the march, and neither was the construction of a stage.
The Russian March at Oktyabrskoe Pole
The march was organized by the Permanent Council of the National-Patriotic Forces of Russia (NDS NPSR) and followed the usual route from the Oktyabrskoe Pole metro station to the Shchukinskaya metro station.
In total, at least 800 people joined the march; according to the SOVA Center observers’ estimates, this is 2.5 times higher than in 2018. Participants included NDS NPSR, Colonel Kvachkov supporters bearing flags with the inscription “Russian Christian Socialism,” representatives of the Right to Arms movement, the Russian Carriers Association, the Great Russia Party, the Russian Imperial Movement, the Cossack association Udarny Ortyad (“Strike Force”), the Association of the Defrauded Investors, the Black Hundred with a group of people bearing the Novorossiya and Confederate flags, Movement For Nationalization and Deprivatization of the Country’s Strategic Resources, Stalinsky Polk (“Stalin’s Regiment”) movement that united individual members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the Left Front and other Stalinists, and the Other Russia Party.
The participants carried the flags of their respective organizations and banners that said “Crimea – Russia, Kosovo – Serbia,” “Feminism and lewdness is against the Russian law,” “The government official is the servant, the people are the employer,” “Execute the scum, death sentence to the drug dealers,” “Donetsk and Lugansk are Russia” and others.
The marchers chanted slogans “Russian March,” “As long as we are united, we are invincible,” “We are the Russians,” “The will of the nation – nationalization,” “The will of the nation – decommunization,” “Fascism will not pass,” “Russia from Warsaw to Port Arthur,” “Russia will be free,” “Freedom to the political prisoners,” “Odessa, Kiev, Kharkov, Riga, Tallinn, Bishkek, Tiraspol are Russian cities,” “For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” (Russian People’s Front), “Down with Zionism,” “Zionism will not pass” (the Black Hundred), “Today’s migrants are tomorrow’s occupants,” “We are for the united Rus: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus”, “Occupants get out of Russia,” “More nationalists – fewer terrorists.”
Toward the end of the march, Andrei Savelyev (The Great Russia Party) announced that his organization would not be joining the rally as it had been “desecrated” by the Communist symbols. Following this statement, his supporters have indeed left the procession. It is worth noting that at the time of the preparation of the event, Savelyev had stated that his party would only take part in the Russian March if “the procession were to remain Russian, the rejection of any Communist symbols were total and complete, and the Imperial flag remained the designated common flag.”
The march was followed by a rally that included anti-government, xenophobic (mostly anti-Semitic), and pro-monarchist speeches.
The LDPR Rally
The Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) for the first time in many years, decided against holding an open-air rally and instead held a Grand Meeting/Rally at the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions. The Pillar Hall, with the capacity for a little over 840 people, was nearly full, the only unoccupied space being the balconies.
Leader of the LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky made a speech in which he “drew historical parallels and offered an assessment of the current developments on the international scene.” While in the first part of the speech, devoted to history, Zhirinovsky criticized, above all, the Bolsheviks, he spoke primarily about Ukraine when it came to the international situation, complaining that Ukraine’s “national consciousness has been murdered” and blaming the Bolsheviks. Zhirinovsky did not fail to mention his favorite target of criticism, the United States, which, with the help of the Dulles’ plan and capital infusion, was planning to “obliterate all sense of national consciousness in the Russian people.”
A customary concert and dancing party, attended by the party leader himself, followed the rally.