Galina Kozhevnikova. Spring 2006: Skinhead Promotional Campaign

Настоящий материал (информация) произведен и (или) распространен иностранным агентом РОО Центр «Сова» либо касается деятельности иностранного агента РОО Центр «Сова».

Edited by Alexander Verkhovsky

This report continues a series of SOVA Center's analytical reviews of radical nationalism in Russia and efforts to counteract it. All materials used in this review, except where specifically indicated otherwise, can be accessed from our website at [http://www.sova-center.ru] in Nationalism and Xenophobia and Religion in a Secular Society sections.

Manifestations of Radical Nationalism: Violence : Organized right-wing radicals' activity : Gay Pride and Related Events

Counteraction to Radical Nationalism : GO Activities and Spontaneous Counteraction : Criminal Prosecution of Right-wing Radicals : Other Types of Counteraction to Radical Nationalism : Anti-fascist Rhetoric as an Instrument of Pressure against the Civil Society and Democratic Liberties

Conclusion

Appendix 1. Consolidated Statistics of Racist and Neo-Nazi Attacks in 2004-2006 (by the season, by the object of attack).

Appendix 2. Consolidates Statistics of Racist and Neo-Nazi Attacks between 1 January and 31 May 2006 (by the city)


Manifestations of Radical Nationalism

Violence

It is generally believed that the spring of 2006 was marked by a sharp outburst of racist violence. As a result, the skinheads and a broader theme of xenophobia were brought in a sustained focus of both Russian media and Russian society. Mass media reaction to the events was often hysterical, and did not facilitate a constructive discussion of the problem. Moreover, according to some observers, on many occasions media publications effectively advertised skinhead gangs and right-wing radicals.

It has become commonplace to mention a dramatic increase of racist violence and neo-Nazi activity observed this spring; however, a more detailed analysis of right-wing radicals' violence suggests a different picture from what is commonly presented.

According to statistics available to SOVA Center, in the spring of 2006, racist attacks affected 87 people, killing 14 (the overall number of people attacked by racists in the first five months of 2006 is 137, of them 18 were killed). Last spring, five people were killed by racists, and 117 more were beaten or wounded. Of course, it will take some time before we learn about many other attacks that occurred this spring[1], so we can expect the numbers to grow. For example, since the publication of our review entitled Racists are not scared of the cold - or of the United Russia Party[2] we learned about 13 other victims of the winter 2006 racist attacks.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that for the first time since the autumn of 2004, we have seen a certain decrease of casualties as compared to last spring[3]. (Admittedly, we do not include the victims of massive attacks against sexual minorities that occurred in Moscow immediately after the failed Gay Pride march. Then, on 27 and 28 May alone, at least 50 people were attacked by skinheads[4]). Whether it is a sustainable trend, or whether it is attributable to increased law enforcement pressure against skinheads, or whether it is just a coincidence due to subjective factors, such as limited freedom of information, is still unclear.

On the other hand, there is an obvious - three-fold as compared to last spring - increase of racist murders. The most prominent incidents in the spring of 2006 were an attempted killing of a 9-year old Black Russian girl, and the murders of Senegalese student Samba Lampsar in St. Petersburg, young Armenian boy Vigen Abramyants and anti-fascist punk rock fan Alexander Ryukhin in Moscow. All the three murders were explicitly demonstrative: the child was attacked immediately following a trial of the culprits charged in connection with the murder of another 9-year old girl, Khursheda Sultonova; the Senegalese was shot from a gun with a swastika symbol scratched on it; the Armenian boy was stubbed in front of video cameras in the Moscow Metro in the middle of the day; and Alexander Ryukhin and his friend were attacked without any apparent reason when they were going to a concert.

The demonstrative nature and blatancy of some of these crimes produced an impression of dramatically increased skinhead activity, while in fact skinheads may have simply abandoned secrecy for publicity. This strategy worked. To repeat, skinheads became the main focus of all news reports and analytical TV shows in Russia for a long time, and, regrettably, were allowed to participate as equals in debates about the growth of xenophobia in the country. [5] As a reflection of the new trend, Dmitry Dyomushkin's Slavic Union abandoned hacking - although in the past they saw it as a cheap and safe method of self-promotion. They do not need it any more: D. Dyomushkin, recently a frequent guest of TV talk shows, has access to a much more powerful advertising instrument.

Besides, if the Senegalese student was, indeed, killed by neo-Nazi, it was the first case, known to us, of the use of firearms by skinheads. In this connection, we could remind ourselves of the nationalist campaign for legal acquisition of firearms, started back in the spring of 2005 (since that time, not just calls to acquire firearms, but also detailed instructions on what firearms can be legally acquired and how to go about it, have been disseminated by the Slavic Union, RNE and other groups, and DPNI even launched an initiative of setting up armed "self-defense squads').

Organized right-wing radicals' activity

As opposed to skinheads, more formalized and better organized right-wing radical groups did not go beyond their usual meetings and activities over the first two months of spring. Their most common tactic was to join social protests and manifestations organized by other, more respectable movements or parties. It is true in particular of the Communist Party events - the CPRF has increasingly demonstrated an inclination to associate with DPNI. It is a radical turn-around in the policies of Communists, given that just a year ago, on the Victory Day in May 2005, they explicitly distanced themselves from rallies held by radical national-patriots in proximity to the venues of the Communist Party's V-Day events. [6] The current collaboration between the two - the Communists even included A. Potkin (Belov) among official guest speakers[7] - ruins the CPRF's credibility among leftist youth regarded by Communists as their likely 'reserve', and aggravates the already advanced crisis in the party. With very little effort and minimum participation - less than 100 activists - DPNI transforms Communists' mass events into xenophobic manifestations - as, for example, happened on 1 May, when a few dozen DPNI activists marching in a Communist column and shouting nationalist slogans transformed the entire march into an ethno-nationalist action. Notably, police made no attempt to suppress explicitly ethno-nationalist, anti-Semitic slogans.

After the "Right March' last November, right-wing radicals have been unable to organize a mass event of their own, even though they made a few attempts. We can assume that either the "March' exhausted their organizational capacity, or the organizers faced a negative reaction of municipal authorities. It does not mean, however, that nationalists have been less active in public life since. On the contrary - many Russian regions regularly witness their pickets and meetings under social justice slogans. Ironically, the national-patriots' ambitions to stage something as successful as the "Right March' sabotage their own efforts: they keep trying to present their small-scale gatherings as something more important than a local picket, as a prologue to something big. By overestimating their turnout, they often end-up looking ridiculous. Thus, a rally in Oryol 'in the memory of General Yermolov'[8] preceded by heavy promotion and co-organized by a number of ethno-nationalist groups - DPNI, Narodnaya Volya, RONS, the Union of Russian People - could not muster up more than 200 participants, together with visitors specifically brought from other cities for the occasion. [9] Alexander Potkin's involvement did not help. Even less successful was a rally organized on 21 May in Syktyvkar: four groups - the Union of National Revival, NDPR, DPNI and Doryam Asnymos[10] - were unable to bring together more than fifty people, and even some of the attending fifty were accidental passers-by. [11]

Nevertheless, participation in "other people's events' like the 1st of May manifestation or a protest against the housing reform, enable them to keep mass media interested, while sophisticated demagogy brings them new supporters. For example, few people have noticed how DPNI manipulates public opinion by adding an ethnic component to conventional internationalist slogans. They modified the traditional wording of the Soviets' victory over the Nazi Germany - "the triumph of Soviet weapons' - into "the triumph of Russian weapons', and replaced the phrase about 26 million Soviet citizens killed in World War II by "26 million [ethnic] Russians'; these manipulations with terminology resulted in a new slogan used by the right-wing radicals on the Victory Day: :Let us be true to the cause of our ancestors - rid Russia of occupants." Again, we have to admit that Alexander Potkin enjoys high popularity with the Russian mass media - and makes the maximum use of the air time and publicity to advertise his organization, facing no counter-arguments.

Besides, DPNI's anti-immigration propaganda has been adopted by similar other groups, such as The Russian Society that organized a number of ethno-nationalist pickets around Planernaya Metro Station in Moscow in end-May 2006.

Gay Pride and Related Events

While in the first two spring months, right radicals kept within the limits of their usual activity, some important changes occurred in May, triggered by the widely advertised gay festival planned in May and expected to feature the first-ever Russian Gay Pride march on May 27, 2006. [12] We will refrain from any judgment with regard to either the Moscow Government that banned the event[13], or the Gay Pride organizers Nikolay Alexeyev and Eugenia Debryanskaya, and will focus only on the actions of right-wing radicals.

Of course, it was easy to predict protests by people who are opposed to sex minorities, given the high degree of homophobia in the Russian society. However, even in end-April few people could have predicted that such protests would grow into open and organized violence. Apparently, two factors came into play here: strong opposition to Gay Pride among Orthodox Christians and a personal initiative of Igor Artyomov[14], leader of the Russian All-National Union (RONS), who led almost all of the subsequent actions. Moscow witnessed the first wave of violence in early May, when RONS, jointly with radical Orthodox activists and some unknown skinheads disrupted a number of gay events, which coincided with a fire in a Moscow gay club (which was probably not an accident, given the May events). Police behavior during the first "protest' on the night of the 1 May effectively encouraged homophobes to go ahead: instead of controlling the aggressive, but small mob, police only kept them off the entrance to the club (but did not protect the patrons coming in), and then escorted everybody out of the club. Although on the following days police actions were adequate (maybe even excessive in breaking up an attack against another club on the next day - RONS complained about it), police were already incapable of stopping the homophobes; the bashers sensed their impunity. This sense of impunity provoked an outburst of violence not only against gays - culminating on 27 and 28 May, when at least 50 people were beaten - but against anyone who did not 'appeal' to right-wing radicals. For example, they disrupted a training seminar in Kabala held at an academic establishment, and attacked "rastamans' in Kuznetsky Most in downtown Moscow - all without police interference.

Looking at the series of events in May, we would point out the following.

Firstly, a high degree of coordination among the attackers was notable. This coordination was achieved by RONS using the internet. Given that everything was carried out in the open, it is puzzling that these massive, aggressive actions designed to attract attention came as a total surprise to police.

Secondly, we note joint actions of the radical Orthodox and skinheads - a very unlikely thing in the past, because most skinheads are traditionally indifferent or even hostile towards Orthodoxy (not to mention the "blessing to a pogrom' given by a priest[15] in the homophobic mob).

And thirdly, the attacks received outside support. The attackers were joined by some left-wing SKM activists[16]; singer Yuri Shevchuk, a celebrity among young people, effectively supported the homophobes. [17]

The May events were a great success for national radicals. Most importantly, they benefited from free publicity due to linking their actions to "hot' news items, such as gay pride or DaVinci Code. Moreover, the involvement of marginal groups with a popular or potentially popular cause brings the radicals closer to the mainstream. The overall high level of everyday homophobia in the Russian society creates a favorable environment for actions which would have aroused indignation under other circumstances (Shevchuk, for example, would have never shown friendliness to someone supporting a pogrom against, let us say, an ethnic minority). As a side benefit, right-wing radicals learn to organize pogroms and find common ground with other radicals, formerly believed to be their opponents.

Counteraction to Radical Nationalism

NGO Activities and Spontaneous Counteraction

The most important event in terms of NGOs' counteraction to nationalism and xenophobia was a conference held on 14 May 2006 in Moscow, entitled, Fascism is a Threat to Russia's Future. The conference was attended by more than 150 representatives of NGOs, youth associations, democratically-oriented political parties, informal anti-fascist groups, national-cultural associations, experts, journalists, workers of culture. The participants adopted a Program of Action to serve as a basis for setting up a joint Anti-Fascist Front.

The problems of nationalism and xenophobia were discussed at the first plenary session of the Public Chamber on 14 April 2006. The Chamber's draft Recommendations for Counteraction to Extremism (unfortunately, the Chamber uses this vague term - "extremism' - open to inaccurate interpretations, instead of more specific terms) prepared for the session by Vladimir Tishkov, the Chamber's Chair of the Commission on Tolerance and Freedom of Conscience, did not raise any objections in general (we would mention in particular the recommendation to eliminate an ethnocentric approach to teaching history and similar subjects). However, the session did not adopt the draft, it was sent back to be edited, and its final version has not been published so far. [18]

So the Chamber's session mentioned above has not had any tangible consequences yet. Other initiatives voiced by the Public Chamber as a team or by its individual members hardly merit a positive assessment. They were either intended as obvious self-promotion (such as the proposal made by Luydmila Narusova and some members of the Public Chamber to sue the Karavan Istorij magazine for a photo of Irina Allegrova in a Nazi uniform, or an explicitly provocative "list of enemies' by Marat Guelman), or sought to put print media under stronger pressure (e.g. V. Tishkov's statements about imposing liability on journalists for giving print space to extremists[19], etc.), or suggested measures to fight xenophobia which already exist in the Russian law.

A new and important trend in counteracting right-wing radicals is demonstrated by youth left-wing and leftist groups who oppose the increasingly visible collaboration between CPRF and DPNI. SKM, AKM, and other youth organizations made a number of statements this spring protesting against such collaboration. The absence of response to these protests by the Communist leaders is likely to aggravate even further the existing internal crisis of CPRF. As to the lefties, of course, they did not stop at mere statements: on 1 May, right in front of the State Duma building, there was a fight between skinheads trying to join the Communists at a rally, and anti-fascist leftist youth who would not let them do so.

As before, the racist violence and the absence of adequate law enforcement response provoked spontaneous protests. For example, on the night of 24 to 25 April, members of the Armenian Diaspora blocked the traffic at the crossing of the Garden Ring and the New Arbat, protesting against the investigators' denial of racist motives in the murder of the young Armenian in the Moscow Metro. [20]

Criminal Prosecution of Right-wing Radicals

The spring of 2006 was marked by a number of high-profile trials and arrests of right-wing radicals charged with racist attacks and killings. It is possible that this increased law enforcement activity played a certain role by decreasing the number of such attacks. However, the overall trends remain mixed.

On the one hand, in the spring of 2006, courts recognized the motives of ethnic hatred in at least four convictions[21] for violent crimes. In addition to the Koptsev case, there were a number of convictions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tomsk. [22] In three other trials (including the Khursheda Sultonova murder case in St. Petersburg and the Rodoshkevich group case in Novosibirsk), the hate motive was ruled out for various reasons in the course of the trial. We have written on many occasions that both cases - in St. Petersburg and in Novosibirsk - demonstrated very poor prosecutorial performance[23]; however, we find it positive in principle that prosecutors are no longer "afraid' to bring charges involving the motive of ethnic hatred.

Similarly, we believe it a positive development that a number of neo-Nazi ideological violence cases found their way to court, including an attack against a young woman - anti-fascist in Yekaterinburg, [24] and a pogrom of a punk concert in Kursk. Although the hate motive in these crimes did not fit with the current definition of the Russian Criminal Code, the law enforcement authorities recognized the neo-Nazi ideology behind these crimes, which is important in and of itself.

On the other hand, there is a recurrent tendency to pass conditional sentences. Out of the 11 convictions for violent crimes where the hate motive was taken into account, and another 26 convictions where courts failed to recognize the hate motive, 16 defendants received conditional sentences, and two others were sentenced to short prison terms covered entirely by their pre-trial detention[25]. Once again, we should note that conditional sentences to not deter right-wing radicals from continuing their criminal activity. Out of the 10 people sentenced to actual prison terms, at least two had been convicted and received conditional sentences before.

Another important sign is that the law enforcement authorities recognized (so far only in one case) that robbery can be used as a method to finance extremist activity. This is what happened in St. Petersburg in connection with the arrest of a gang suspected of a series of high-profile racist crimes committed in the city between 2003 and 2006. Formerly, whenever skinheads took the assaulted victims' money or cell phone, this circumstance was generally used as an informal reason to deny the hate motive of the crime. We hope that this new recognition is a sign that an important psychological barrier has been overcome, and that radical nationalism is now considered an important systemic problem. We hope that this development is not a merely self-promotional gesture made on the eve of the G8 meeting.

While we can admit certain positive progress in the investigation of violent crimes, the situation with prosecution of racist propaganda has hardly changed - if anything, it has gotten worse - because 'incitation of hatred' charges are increasingly used to limit freedom of expression, rather than prevent xenophobic sentiments. [26]

In the spring of 2006, only one 'hate propaganda' trial was completed[27] - the case of Yuri Pozdeyev, editor of a newspaper in Altai, who published an anti-Semitic article Specifics of Anti-Russian Hunting-2 in April 2004. The trial ended in an acquittal - apparently, surprising even the defendant[28]. As we had expected, in Khabarovsk, a criminal case against anti-Semitic publisher Sergey Lukyanenko was dropped, as the statute of limitations had expired. The only successful prosecution targeting racist propaganda was the conviction in Saratov - in May 2006, a teenager got a probational sentence under art. 282 for vandalizing the local synagogue.

Civil society activists' numerous attempts to initiate prosecutions against promoters of ethnic hatred did not only fail, but sometimes produced rather strange results. Thus, Igor Sazhin of Memorial Society in Komi was denied a review of his complaint about nationalist RNE leaflets being distributed in Syktyvkar; moreover, the prosecutor denounced his complaint as 'intentionally false'.

In contrast, in early March 2006, in Adygeya Republic, a criminal case was opened under part 1 art. 282 of the Criminal Code against imam Nedjmedin Abazia of Adygeysk, while the only known charge against the imam was a referral in his sermons to the Fundamentals of Tawheed by Al-Wahhab, a XVIIIth century religious treatise found extremist by Savyolovsky Court in Moscow a few years ago. If a reference to this text is, indeed, the only charge brought against the imam, then it is the first case of criminal prosecution for the use of literature deemed extremist (the case is rather questionable, as is the ban of a book that is 250 years old).

Other Types of Counteraction to Radical Nationalism

As opposed to criminal prosecution of right-radical propaganda, administrative penalties appear more effective.

For the first time since the spring of 2004, an NGO was liquidated through judicial proceedings for its extremist, ethno-nationalist activity. Following numerous warning by prosecutors, on 30 March 2006, Pervomaisky District Court in Krasnodar found materials issued by the nationalist Kuban Rada - Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire extremist, and prescribed its liquidation. To remind, the Kuban Rada is a regional chapter of the right-wing radical neo-Heathen Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire that has announced its independence of the Russian Federation. Its leader has recently been referred to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation, while the Kuban branch leader who calls himself Prince Sarafanov is serving a prison term under art. 282 of the Criminal Code for nationalist propaganda.

Following two warnings for publication of extremist materials, RosOkhranKultura requested a court to order liquidation of the Duel newspaper. With the only exception of NBP's Generalnaya Liniya paper[29], this was the first liquidation of a newspaper for extremist publications since 2003.

Even though most warnings issued to mass media by RosOkhranKultura and prosecutors this spring were obviously of political nature (see below), at least one such warning was, indeed, intended to suppress xenophobic (primarily anti-Semitic) propaganda: Sergey Avdeyev, editor-in-chief of Russkoye Zabaikalye newspaper was warned on 28 April 2006. Another (although, as we believe, really strange) warning was issued in early spring 2006 to the editorial board of Sovershenno Konkretno newspaper in Udmurtia for their publication of some psychotherapist's rambling concerning "the Udmurts' tendency to take offense easily.; We need to note that the newspaper immediately apologized for the publication.

The spring of 2006 witnessed some more examples of police efforts to prevent hate violence. Thus in Bryansk, on 13 and 20 April, massive skinhead gatherings likely to have resulted in fighting were prevented. On 20 April in Novosibirsk, thanks to the watchfulness of private security and police, an attack against a Kazakh student was prevented. However, as before, these were just a couple of isolated cases, apparently due to the traditional watchfulness over skinhead activity around Adolph Hitler's birthday.

Unfortunately, some officials at various levels continue to deny the problem and dismiss the demands to investigate racist crimes as if such demands serve some 'political agenda'. An illustrative example of this denial was a series of statements made virtually simultaneously by a number of officials in St. Petersburg. On 21 April 2006, speaking to a meeting of the St. Petersburg Governor's Public Board convened to discussed ways to counteract xenophobia and extremism, Sergey Zaitsev, the city prosecutor, Mikhail Vanichkin, head of the City Department of Interior, [30] and Tatyana Linyova, chair of the Governor's Human Rights Commission, used virtually the same language to declare that public focus on a serious of outrageous racist attacks in St. Petersburg was nothing more than "provocation' and an attempt to discredit the city. Later, Governor V. Matviyenko herself, speaking about the arrests of racist offense suspects, mentioned :threads leading to Moscow.;

Anti-fascist Rhetoric as an Instrument of Pressure against the Civil Society and Democratic Liberties

There is an increasingly obvious trend in the government and some political elites loyal to the Kremlin to use anti-extremist, anti-xenophobic machinery, inbuilt in the Russian law, to tighten control over independent mass media, rather than suppress xenophobia. It was true of the broader official anti-fascist campaign started back in winter and targeting civil liberties, and it is relevant to the issues discussed here.

As an illustration, we can mention the Russian "cartoon scandal' that started early in winter and actively continued in the spring of 2006. To remind, in February 2006, the publication of a totally innocent cartoon in a municipal newspaper in Volgograd triggered protests of the local United Russia Party members, resulting in closure of the paper (but only for a while, and then it was reopened).

In March, RosOkhranKultura warned at least two media companies - the web-based Gazeta.ru an Nash Bryansk. Subbota print paper. Still another newspaper, Sovershenno Konkretno, was subjected to a review (unfortunately, we are not aware of the outcome).

On 23 March, an extremely strange incident took place. Hosting providers of the web-based Pravda.Ru approached the general director of this media company, mentioning a letter they received from the Federal Security Service, instructing them to remove the cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad from Caricatura.Ru and Pravda.Ru websites, because the cartoons were inciting religious hatred. The publisher of Pravda.Ru insisted that the website had never published the Danish cartoons with Prophet Mohammad, nor any links to them. In protest, Pravda.Ru temporarily blocked access to the website. There were no consequences to this incident, and the reasons for the authorities' action against this loyal publication are unclear. A significant detail of this story was that the FSB, as soon as they suspected a publication of extremist materials - whether it was or was not true - bypassed the editorial board of Pravda.Ru - a registered media outlet - and contacted their hosting provider directly.

A more serious episode involved criminal prosecution for the publication of the same caricatures. On 14 April, 2006, Anna Smirnova, editor-in-chief of Nash Region paper in Vologda, was found guilty under art. 282 of the Criminal Code and fined 100,000 rubles[31]. To remind, this local paper, independent of the governor, was closed by the owner back in February, immediately after the publication and subsequent events. Fortunately, in May the conviction and sentence were overruled by a court of appeal.

Along the same lines, authorities unleashed campaigns against other media independent of local governors: in the spring of 2006, Bankfax News Agency in Altai was taken to court and faced liquidation for a single, anonymous anti-Islamic posting on their web forum.

On 16 March, Zyryanskaya Zhizn paper was warned for "incitation of ethnic hatred' following a publication of an impartial report of a rally organized by local nationalists. As a result, the independent paper lost its source of funding and was closed.

Conclusion

It has been a long time since we witnessed as many diverse and even conflicting trends as in these spring months.

On the one hand, for the first time we saw a slight decrease in the number of attacks, but on the other hand, racist offenses were increasingly cruel and ostentatious.

On the one hand, right-wing radical movements were experiencing certain stagnation, but on the other hand, they took advantage of the homophobe campaign, which even brought together formerly incompatible segments of the right wing.

On the one hand, racist violence was increasingly prosecuted, and the neo-Nazi ideology underlying attacks against anti-fascists and "informal' youth groups was finally recognized; moreover, the law enforcement authorities even began to admit that racist violence is, indeed, a systemic problem. But on the other hand, violent skinheads got away with merely probational sentences, while local administrations dismissed complaints against racism as attempts to 'discredit' their communities.

Anyway, two things are obvious.

Firstly, the Russian political elites are much more concerned about suppressing political opposition and restricting democratic institutions than about counteracting the racist propaganda - many politicians denounce racism, but little is done to eradicate it.

And secondly, in the spring of 2006, Russian mass media, either due to their lack of professionalism, or because they serviced certain political interests, effectively provided free advertising to the skinhead movement, and brought even the most odious right-wing radicals with explicitly neo-Nazi agendas - such as Dmitry Dyomushkin and Yuri Belyaev - into the public focus, depicting them as significant public figures.

Translated by Irina Savelieva.

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[1] We have noted on numerous occasions that such incidents are reported in the media less and less often.

[2] The review was published in early April 2006.

[3] See Appendix.

[4] Various manifestations of homophobia, including violent ones, are probably frequent. However, homophobia is not a subject of our research, and we do not have the capacity to monitor systematically attacks against gays; besides, we assume that some of such attacks might not be linked to right-wing radicalism. This is the main reason why we do not include the series of attacks that occurred between 27 and 28 May in our statistics.

[5] See details in Galina Kozhevnikova. The TV Breed of Skinheads //SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2006. 15 May (http://xeno.sova-center.ru/213716E/21728E3/7502623).

[6] See: V-Day rallies: RNE, NDPR, Semyon Tokmakov personally, and others. // Ibid. 2005. 11 May (http://xeno.sova-center.ru/45A29F2/569A112).

[7] Here we refer to the protests against the housing reform on 4 March and 8 April in Moscow.

[8] The rally was held under ethno-centric slogans and demanded evicting "non-Russian' immigrants from the city.

[9] The organizers claimed that they had 250 participants, but judging by all published photos, it is clear that the attendance was no more than 200.

[10] Translated into Russian as "Let us Protect Ourselves'; originally founded in the 90-ies as a nationalist party regarding all ethnicities except Komi as "immigrants', later, like most similar movements that emerged in the 90-ies, they moderated their rhetoric, abandoned political ambitions, and transformed into a civil society organization positioning itself as a human rights group. See details in Igor Sazhin's Radical Nationalism in the Komi Republic // MHG, 2002 Collection of Reports (http://www.mhg.ru/publications/2357520); Nadezhda Mityusheva, Vera Nechayeva. The Komi People Facing the Tough Realities of Our Time. // Website of the Komi People. 2001. 31 August [http://kominarod.narod.ru/articles/articles3.htm]; The Legal Regulation and Practical Implementation of Ethnic Minority Rights in the Komi Republic. // Ibid. 2002. December (http://kominarod.bip.ru/php/news/archnew.phtml?id=6523&idnew=31583&start=350).

[11] Andrey Vlizkov. Nationalists Spoke about the Authorities' "Excellent Performance' // Zyryanskaya Zhizn 2006. 22 May (http://www.zyryane.ru/articles/print-4037.html). The right-wing radicals initially claimed an attendance of several hundred, but later removed this information from their websites.

[12] To be exact, the Gay Pride march was planned as a separate event, independent of the festival, and the Gay Pride proponents were in a minority in the organized gay community, while a majority insisted on limiting the events to celebrations in gay clubs; the date of the Gay Pride march had been debated for a long time and rescheduled more than once. But as long as this report focuses on national radicals, we simplify the course of events to cover only that part which was ultimately known to the public at large and to nationalists.

[13] See details in Lev Levinson. The Law Is Not Written for the Mayor or the Judges? //Human Rights in Russia. 2006. 28 May (http://www.hro.org/actions/nazi/2006/05/28.php).

[14] I. Artyomov is an Orthodox Christian nationalist, one of the earliest - since the 80-ies - participants of the national-patriotic movement in Russia; RONS leader since 1991. He has been elected to the legislature of Vladimir Oblast many times, and was once very close to being elected to the State Duma.

[15] He was the well-known radical and fundamentalist Orthodox igumen Kyrill (Sakharov). Of course, the involvement of this priest - oppositional to the Moscow Patriarchy - does not reflect the official opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church, but it was a powerful signal sent to the participants and witnesses of the event.

[16] Reports of SKM activists' involvement in homophobe attacks were published on their website on 29 May 2006 (http://skm-rf.ru/index.php/2006/05/29/pi-ory-ogrebli_lulej.html?show&idnews=203) (the text contains obscenities - Editor's Note).

[17] Yuri Shevchuk's discussion of the Gay Pride march and the video of his friendly conversation with Leonid Simonovich, leader of the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Carriers - a fundamentalist group that participated in the homophobe campaign - were televised in the Week with Marianna Maximovskaya show by REN-TV on 3 June 2006.

[18] Our judgment of the draft is based on its earlier versions and the discussion preceding the Chamber's session on 14 April. While it is possible that the delay of its publication is due to technical problems, we cannot avoid a suspicion that the authorities have not yet decided what to do with the recommendations.

[19] Rather than ethical or professional responsibility, enforceable legal liability was proposed. However, such liability would contravene the European Convention of Human Rights, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in Jersild v. Denmark.

[20] To remind, for some time, the Moscow law enforcement authorities - regardless of eyewitness testimonies - attempted to present the young Armenian's murder as an inter-personal conflict having nothing to do with racism.

[21] In end-May 2006, one of the perpetrators of the attacks against Africans in 2002 was convicted; whether his conviction included the hate motive is unknown to us so far.

[22] In Tomsk, a group of convicted perpetrators were charged, in addition to planting a mine under an anti-Semitic poster, with a number of other offenses under a total of 11 articles of the Criminal Code.

[23] For a more detailed comment, see: Expert: The fact that "incitation of ethnic strife' was not applied to the Novisibirsk skinheads is not a problem of the court - it is a problem of the prosecution. // REGNUM News Agency 2006. 29 March (http://www.regnum.ru/news/614810.html)

[24] The sentence was passed in end-February, but it was not known to the public until spring.

[25] Similarly, we do not know whether the five perpetrators convicted for "hooliganism' in connection with the attack against Khursheda Sultonova were amnestied.

[26] See the section of this review on Anti-fascist Rhetoric as an Instrument of Pressure against the Civil Society and Democratic Liberties.

[27] Except the trial and conviction of the editor-in-chief in Vologda - which we had always believed to be unfounded; the appeal court overruled the judgment.

[28] In 2005, right-wing radical media published a letter by Yu. Pozdeyev - full of panic and suggesting that he expected to be convicted.

[29] To remind, the first instance court passed its judgment on 4 July 2005, but apparently, the judgment has not yet come into effect, as the paper continues to be published. Furthermore, we suspect political motives behind RosKhranKultura's increased attention to Generalnaya Liniya.

[30] Later, M. Vanichkin made some explicitly racist pronouncements, and got away with it; there were no consequences for him. See: What is permitted to police and not permitted to skinheads. //SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2006. 25 April (http://xeno.sova-center.ru/45A29F2/735C779).

[31] The sentence and the entire situation were very similar to the incident with the Beware! Religion exhibition.