Galina Kozhevnikova. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2007
Manifestations of radical nationalism : Violence : Anti-Semitism : Islamophobia : Other Incidents of Xenophobic Vandalism : Activity of Right-Wing Radical Organizations : Xenophobia on Behalf of the State
Counteraction to radical nationalism : Public Opposition : Lawmaking : Criminal prosecution of right-wing radicals : Extremist Materials : Other Measures of Suppression
Excessive and unfounded actions against extremism : Extremist Materials : Persecution of Civil Society Activists : Persecution of Organizations : Persecution of Mass Media : Anti-fascist Rhetoric Used to Discredit Political Opponents
APPENDIX 1. Overview of the Amendments Introduced in the Anti-extremist Legislation in 2007
APPENDIX 2. Crime and Punishment Statistics (Word)
APPENDIX 3. Materials Found by Russian Courts to be Extremist
APPENDIX 4. Organizations found by Russian courts to be extremist
The 2007 results are disturbing.
Racist violence continues to grow at a high rate, including, in addition to neo-Nazi skinhead attacks, numerous everyday violent conflicts triggered by ethnic and racial hatred. In contrast, criminal prosecution of individuals who have commited violent crimes has decreased for the first time since 2003.
Right-wing radical groups are consistently active. In addition to organizing numerous, well-coordinating actions, they are actively provoking ethnic conflicts and riots and often appear in the public focus as major newsmakers winning over media airtime. They are coming under little pressure from law enforcement and other government agencies responsible for monitoring their activity, while a certain :loss of momentum; among the ultra-right in the second half of 2007 was due to internal conflicts, rather than the government's efforts to keep the ultra-right under control.
Not infrequently, government agents, pro-governmental political parties, and groups themselves provoke massive xenophobic sentiments. In 2007, these included the anti-Estonian campaign, a series of xenophobic and often explicitly racist public actions staged by pro-Kremlin youth movements, etc. Indeed, they effectively competed with the ultra-right groups.
As before, the government sought to discredit political opponents using anti-fascist and anti-extremist rhetoric and suppressed dissent through abusive enforcement of anti-extremist legislation. Authorities built and refined this abusive practice with more effort than they sought to suppress truly dangerous manifestations of xenophobia.
Positive outcomes were few in 2007, but there were some. In particular, the definition of extremism was substantially streamlined and thus rendered more useful. However, the anti-extremist legislation remains full of defects, with new ones emerging in 2007. The main positive development in 2007 was serious progress in suppressing xenophobic propaganda; currently the enforcement practices are more effective and increasingly target regional leaders of right-wing radical groups. It remains to be seen whether this trend will sustain itself.
This report is based on the SOVA Center's monitoring efforts. See our website http://sova-center.ru for more details.
Please, note that this report contains only a partial coverage of issues related to religious xenophobia and the use of xenophobic slogans in election campaigning, because these issues are covered in detail by separate report. . This report also does not contain usage of xenophobic slogans in electoral campaigns, these issues will be covered by another report which the Center is currently working on.
MANIFESTATIONS OF RADICAL NATIONALISM
Unfortunately, the year 2007 did not bring about any improvements in the situation with regards to racist and neo-Nazi violence. As of the time of writing this report (mid-January 2008), we know of 653 victims of such violence, including 73 deaths. In 2006, we knew of 564 victims, including 62 deaths. As such, the number of victims of xenophobic attacks in 2007 was 16% higher than the year before, and we certainly expect the absolute number and percentage of victims to grow as new facts are uncovered.
To remind the reader, we can only provide a minimal estimation of the actual violence, which excludes the events in the North Caucasus (such as Ingushetia, where a series of attacks against ethnic Russians were reported between 2006 and 2007), massive fights, attacks where the main motive was robbery and/or where firearms were used (except cases where the police explicitly found racist motives). Furthermore, we do not include victims targeted for being sexual minorities or homeless. We should also bear in mind something that we observed, but could not explain: for a few months between mid-May and mid-September, Russian mass media did not report any incidents of hate crime.
There were many high-profile cases related to criminal ultra-right attacks last year. Just as in the past, virtually anyone could be a target and a victim of aggressive neo-Nazi: women and men, Russian nationals and foreigners, civil servants and migrant workers alike. In some cases, the victim would be targeted just because :in the nighttime, due to lack of natural and artificial lighting," he or she was simply "mistaken for a non-Slav; - as read the indictment in a trial over a racist murder committed in January 2007 in Yekaterinburg.
In the past year, high-profile cases included the killing, in the spring of 2007, of Stanislav Korepanov, a teenage skater in Izhevsk (the victim was accidentally targeted by neo-Nazi who had planned to attack the local antifa), the attack against Valentina Uzunova, a prominent expert in hate crime (she was cruelly beaten and robbed in the summer of 2007 on the eve of a trial where she had been asked to testify, and the attackers took the materials she had planned to submit to the court), and the beating of journalist from Tuva Sayana Mongush and a bystander who came to her defense in St. Petersburg.
It appears that racist violence is increasingly more cruel, with more attacks resulting in victims' deaths. While in 2006, there were 44 fatal racist attacks, in 2007 this number increased to 68!
Racist attacks were better organized than before, the most illustrative example being the infamous neo-Nazi "raid" on Moscow city streets on 20 October. Notably, the perpetrators belonged to more than one group: the Moscow Prosecutor's Office admitted that a number of separate neo-Nazi groups had acted simultaneously in different districts of the city under a prior arrangement. According to official (and presumably underestimated) reports, the :raid; resulted in at least 27 victims, including 4 deaths. The St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office admitted at least two such "raids; resulted in at least 10 victims, including at least one death. An attack against an ecologists' camp in Irkutsk Oblast on 21 July elicited a huge public response. To remind the reader, the attack was well-planned: early in the morning the attackers who had come to Angarsk from several neighboring cities armed with metal rods and other weapons reached the camp located outside the city and beat the campers while shouting neo-Nazi slogans. One of the ecologists, Ilya Borodayenko, died a few hours later; another victim spent more than six weeks in hospital. Although the local law enforcement authorities arrested most of the suspected attackers, some of whom were open about their membership in ultra-right gangs, the same ecologists have come under neo-Nazi attacks several more times since.
The high :terrorist potential; of neo-Nazi skinheads is increasingly obvious. In St. Petersburg alone, they are suspected of arranging and/or executing at least three blast attacks, namely an explosion of a flower kiosk outside Vladimirskaya Metro Station, a blast in one of St. Petersburg McDonalds restaurants, and an attempted terror attack in the Rocks Club. In Moscow, neo-Nazi are suspected to have been involved in at least two similar incidents. Furthermore, followers of :Cherkizovo shot-firers; Nickolai (Nikola) Korolev took responsibility for other two explosions and two arsons committed in November-December 2007. Nevertheless, the so-called :military patriotic clubs; where the ultra-right are trained in martial arts and in handling various explosives and weapons, including grenade guns, remain outside the law enforcement authorities' scope of attention. In the meantime, such clubs seek to raise their status by alleging patronage by authorities and the Russian Orthodox Church, and by associating with prominent athletes. For example, in 2007, neo-Nazi groups such as the Slav Union and NSO advertised their links with the Russian mixfighters (:fight without rules; participants) - such championships have gained particular popularity in Russia since President Putin attended one of them in April 2007.
The aforementioned attempt to block media coverage of hate crimes served to disprove the widely held assumption that a lack of publicity could discourage neo-Nazi skinhead activity. It is possible that the assumption could have been accurate a few years ago, but currently the reverse is true, and a lack of publicity provokes neo-Nazi, in addition to their "regular" attacks (which are unfortunately perceived as facts of everyday life), to commit (or fake) other events that are simply impossible to ignore. Besides the attack against the ecologists' camp outside Angarsk, such actions included the posting of a video on the web in end-August showing a double murder. One could argue indefinitely as to the purpose of the video and whether the killing was real, but the authors succeeded in engaging public debates for at least two weeks and caused a comeback of the ultra-right into the limelight.
At the same time, the ultra-right are taking advantage of the media failure to report xenophobic violence. Given the perception of skinheads in the Russian public opinion as dangerous and powerful, and a lack of official reports of their crimes, not to mention punishments, various rumors are easily spread. Thus, shortly before 20 April (the anniversary of Hitler's birthday), at least three cities in Russia - Belgorod, Ryazan and Izhevsk - were struck by panic amidst rumors of forthcoming skinhead invasion, massive fights and riots (the neo-Nazi themselves were spreading many such rumors). Similar situations had occurred in previous years, but never before had they produced such a massive hysteria, that parents did not allow their children to go to school. Teachers supported the precautions, while the police were overwhelmed by anxious calls.
As before, in addition to violence by neo-Nazi skinheads, in some cases the perpetrators were non-affiliated xenophobic individuals. We know of at least 10 such attacks in 2007. These are likely to show a real growth (we had observed around 3 or 4 such incidents in previous years), even though this type of violence is rarely identified as racially motivated and rarely reported as such. The most outrageous examples included the beating of an elementary school student in Voronezh Oblast for his refusal, being a Protestant, to participate in an Orthodox religious service (notably, the teacher watched and explicitly condoned the beating), and a fatal gun attack by a drunk General of Rosspetsstroi (the federal service for military construction)  in early September in Archangelsk Oblast. As opposed to the previous years, there were few if any reports of racist fighting during the Navy Day celebration, which is traditionally accompanied by xenophobic violence at the hands of drunk ex-Navy servicemen.
We should also mention spontaneous ethno-nationalist conflicts involving entire communities. In fact, most such incidents in 2007 had assumed an ethno-nationalist dimension largely due to involvement of right-wing radical groups eager to replicate the Kondopoga model (see below). However, at least one such conflict was, apparently, spontaneous without external influence.
We refer to a massive nationalist attack against ethnic Russian villagers of Kytsygirovka, Irkutsk Oblast, by visitors from neighboring communities, apparently ethnic Buryats, in August. At least 26 people were injured as a result of the hour-long attack. Unfortunately, as what usually happens in this type of situation, the local administration and law enforcement authorities denied the xenophobic aspect of the conflict except in the initial reports of the riot and blamed the media for stirring up anxieties. The lack of reliable information about this type of incidents, however, only aggravates existing tensions and leads to panic and/or xenophobic rumors.
As before, anti-Semitism was not a dominant manifestation of xenophobia; however, a few alarming trends were observed in 2007, primarily related to violence against Jews.
We have noted on numerous occasions that Jews are rarely targeted by racist violence just because in most cases they are not easily identifiable in the crowd. But last year, the occurrence of violent incidents targeting Jews increased dramatically. While in 2004 three Jews were affected by racist violence, four in 2005, and four in 2006 (besides the synagogue attendance (nine persons) affected by A. Koptsev's attack), in 2007, nine violent incidents - of which the most known was the attack against religious Jews in Ivanovo in summer - affected at least 13 people. Moreover an incident was noted about an aggressive anti-Semite who sought to provoke a fight onboard a plane, but was overpowered. We should emphasize that the occurrence of violent attacks increased without any obvious reasons. It is also worth noting that at least three incidents were due to individual "everyday" xenophobia: a teenager in a village outside Volgograd was beaten by an anti-Semitic neighbor, a police officer in Irkutsk Oblast threatened a woman with a pistol, because he disliked her Jewish last name, and the violent anti-Semitist who attempted to provoke a fight on a plane described himself as a "Cossack of the Don.;
Another trend observed in 2007 was an increased reliance of DPNI (Movement against Illegal Immigration) on anti-Semitic rhetoric. For the first time, their leader Alexander Belov publicly pronounced anti-Semitic slogans during the 2006 Russian March, and other members of the movement made anti-Semitic statements throughout the year.
We should mention two other anti-Semitist incidents which occurred in 2007 during international sports events. Fans were reported to be chanting anti-Semitic slogans during a basketball game between Dynamo Moscow and Hapoel Jerusalem, and during a football game between Alliance Vnukovo and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Racist and neo-Nazi hooliganism during football games is nothing new in Russia and it is rarely (if ever) punished. We note these two incidents because, firstly, sports fans rarely use anti-Semitic rhetoric (focusing mostly on "classical" racism), and secondly, racist fans are not visible at other sports competitions.
We wish to note that the :xenophobic potential; of the new Duma elected on 2 December 2007 relies on anti-Semitists, signatories of the infamous Letter of Five Hundred (see below).
However, in most cases, anti-Semitic sentiments were manifested, as before, in acts of vandalism and dissemination of anti-Semitic materials.
Anti-Semitic vandalism was the type of hate-motivated vandalism prevailing in 2007, accounting for 32 out of the 90 incidents observed in 18 Russian regions. But its occurrence was less than in 2006, when we observed 36 such incidents.
Besides, just as in 2006, no scandalous anti-Semitic publications were found in mainstream media in 2007; anti-Semitism remained localized in marginal publications with a small circulation.
Moslems - i.e. persons sharing this religious identity, rather than just "people of non-Slav appearance" - are rarely targeted by xenophobic violence. At least such incidents are difficult to separate from the rest of xenophobic attacks. In 2007, however, we know of three violent assaults targeting Moslem believers, resulting in at least five victims (three of them women). These included an attack in Kostroma affecting the local imam and his pregnant wife; an incident in Perm on 2 August where a group of drunk Navy servicemen destroyed a butchery attached to the local mosque, beat the butcher and hit a saleswoman; and an assault against a Moslem woman in Yekaterinburg in autumn.
As before, Moslems and Islam were usual targets of xenophobic publications in mainstream print media. Such publications do not usually trigger any reaction; the only exception in 2007 was a scandal around Yekaterina Sazhneva's article titled The Russian Wound of the Koran: They Abandoned Their Names and Their Home Country, and Adopted the Enemy's Faith. The article was about Russian expats currently living in Egypt who have adopted Islam. It was perhaps the year's most scandalous publication and elicited a tremendous protest among the Russian Moslems, so large that the Russian Council of Muftis made an official statement of discontent. Apparently, it was strong enough to force Pavel Gussev, editor-in-chief of Moskovsky Komsomolets - the paper where the offensive article was published - to offer a public apology (notably, it may well have been the first time he has ever apologized in this type of situation).
We observed fewer acts of vandalism against Moslem buildings and installations in 2007 as compared to the previous year; we know of seven incidents of vandalism in four regions (as opposed to 11 in 2006).
Other Incidents of Xenophobic Vandalism
In 2007, we registered at least 90 acts of xenophobic and neo-Nazi vandalism, which was somewhat higher than in 2006 (70 incidents). In most (66) cases, vandals targeted religious installations and objects of worship belonging to various faiths and denominations.
We also observed a decreased occurrence of attacks against Jewish, Orthodox and Moslem property, which used to rank high among vandals' targets - 32, 6, and 7 against 36, 12 and 11 in 2006, respectively. In contrast, attacks against buildings and installations used by Protestants of various denominations increased, with at least 16 incidents in seven regions, as opposed to 8 incidents in 2006. This may well be the result, at least partially, of the consistent vilification campaign against these faiths in the media.
It is also worth noting that while the occurrence of :targeted; neo-Nazi vandalism - such as desecration of memorials to Soviet soldiers killed in WWII, the drawing of swastikas and the Star of David on communist monuments, etc. - did not increase significantly, with six incidents as opposed to eight in 2006, the drawing of :untargeted; neo-Nazi graffiti appeared to have grown into an organized campaign. Thus, in 2007, a large-scale drawing of xenophobic graffiti was organized in at least two cities, Volgograd and Vladimir. In the last days of 2007, the ultra-right attempted to organize an even broader graffiti painting action (possibly, on a national scale) over the Internet.
Just as with violent crime, vandalism was increasingly demonstrative and/or organized. Thus, for example, in Izhevsk, the building of the local Jewish community center was covered with neo-Nazi graffiti on the night following the verdict against the murderers of Stanislav Korepanov. A Jewish school in Bryansk Oblast was attacked five times over six weeks, while in Saratov Oblast, within a period of 24 hours, vandals attacked a cemetery in the village of Rybushka, an Adventist prayer house in Engels, and made an attempt to blow up a synagogue in Saratov.
Apparently, right-wing radicals were confident of their impunity - as, for example, the Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) activists who attacked the office of the Russian Family Planning Association in Orenburg and the Mormon Church office in Samara. ESM claimed responsibility for the attacks saying that they would continue their pressure against the :sectarians;, because, they claimed :acts of vandalism are extremely important for the building of a sovereign democracy and a healthy civil society in Russia". Nevertheless, none of ESM's pronouncements prompted the law enforcement agencies to investigate the organization which is totally loyal to the current political regime and sees its mission in preventing "an orange revolution" in Russia.
Activity of Right-Wing Radical Organizations
Preparation for Elections, Coalitions and Splits
Throughout the year, except for the last month, the ultra-right declared their intentions to take an active part in the election campaign. This did not come as a surprise: election campaigning, even without a slim chance of success, gives campaigners an opportunity to promote themselves to a broader public than usual and to reach audiences which are normally inaccessible to the ultra-right.
In recent years, it has become a tradition for nationalists to be actively involved in local election campaigns, which appear to be less regulated than regional and federal-level campaigns. In particular, in the spring of 2007 a few ultra-right candidates ran for regional elections in Moscow Oblast. However, we cannot estimate with any degree of accuracy how effective their xenophobic messages may have been: firstly, it is unknown to what extent the candidates relied on this type of rhetoric, and secondly, we should adjust for other factors contributing to the candidates' success or failure. However, we reiterate that the mere possibility of xenophobic agitation as part of election campaigning is even more important than its effect. Therefore, the ultra-right are not in the least prepared to stay away from regional and local elections in the future.
Understandably, the federal State Duma elections were the main focus of 2007. At the end of 2006, when the ultra-right held a series of major conferences, their serious approach to the federal elections was already clear. In 2007, they continued along the same lines by making two (failed) attempts to get ultra-right political parties registered for the State Duma elections; the first attempt was largely unnoticed, but the second one had a broad public resonance. In the winter of 2007, organizers filed for the registration of the Rus' Party in Defense of the Russian Constitution (Rus' PZRK), based on the remaining active fragments of the Russian National Unity. In March, they were denied registration, and after a series of litigations and appeals, by early May the organizers lost hope of getting it registered. Notably, it was after the final denial of registration that Rus' PZRK engaged in public activities and explicit collaboration with D. Rumyantsev's National Socialist Society (NSO).
Almost immediately following the failed attempt of former members of Barkashev's group to establish a political party of their own, the same attempt was made by their competitors in DPNI, the Russian All-National Union (Igor Artyomov's RONS), fragments of Rodina, the Russian National Bolshevik Front (RNBF), and other ultra-right groups. The Great Russia Party held its founding congress on 6 May and elected MP Andrei Savelyev the party chairman. Whether the Great Russia Party would be allowed to register for elections was the main intrigue of the pre-election period for a few months. Eventually, just like the Rus' party, they were denied registration on formal grounds, such as falsified membership and the inconsistency of their founding documents with the effective legislation. The latter reason for denial of registration to the Great Russia was rather cynical, given that the organizers had copied the founding documents, word for word, from those of the (already registered) Fair Russia Party.
As a result, by September 2007, Sergey Baburin's party was the only remaining political party of the ultra-right wing. At the end of March, it was reorganized and renamed from the Popular Will into the Popular Union; at this point, it brought together a wide range of ultra-right groups, mostly of Orthodox and monarchist orientation (RONS being the largest and most significant one). In addition, Gennady Semigin's Russian Patriots Party offered to include ultra-right candidates in its list. This rather obscure party - a spin-off of the Communist Party chaired by the former leader of the Popular Patriotic Union of Russia, a broad left-wing nationalist coalition formed around the Communists - signed a General Agreement with the Great Russia Party about establishing an electoral coalition (electoral blocs of any type are prohibited by law) .
The candidate lists of theses two parties contained most of the campaign's "xenophobic potential.; While the Russian Patriots' list of candidates only included the Great Russia Party functionaries, the Popular Union' list contained a broad mix representing virtually all active ultra-right groups, from RONS to Rus' PZRK to unaffiliated neo-Nazi skinheads.
This "dispersion; of the ultra-right forces between the two party lists aggravated already existing conflicts among them, triggered mutual blame for the split, and provoked a certain degree of jealousy and competition in preparing for the Russian March. The Great Russia supporters were on one party list, while RONS and Baburin's supporters were on the other list, so they found it inappropriate to share the Russian March, because each side suspected the other one (and rightly so!) of seeking to use the march to advance their own election campaign.
On 28 October, the Popular Union was denied registration of their candidate list, because some of the signatures were found to be faked. It had been expected that the ultra-right members of Russian Patriots would do their best to engage those voters who shared in their xenophobic sentiments, but it never happened. Neither Andrei Savelyev, nor some of the lesser known radicals were visible in the pre-election month. The Great Russia website was stagnant, there was virtually no campaigning, and towards the end of the election campaign period, A. Savelyev, alongside other ultra-right activists, urged his supporters to stay away from voting booths. Apparently, Savelyev and others were aware that they would not achieve any visible successes, not to mention crossing the 7% barrier. Indeed, on 2 December, the Patriots scored a negligible 0.9% vote. (Admittedly, this number reflects the situation with party politics in the country, rather than public support of certain parties and their messages, because all political parties which were not supported by the Kremlin - except the Communist Party - scored similar or even lower results).
In parallel with active pre-election organizing, the established ultra-right coalitions sank deeper and deeper into conflicts and quarrels in 2007.
Serious conflicts were observed among right-wing radicals in winter - an outsider may find it difficult to understand the underlying reasons. A visible portion of these conflicts related to Alexander Potkin (Belov), leader of the Movement against Illegal Immigration (DPNI); he came under criticism for being an agent-provocateur, collaborating with the opinion engineers in the Kremlin, and for spreading lies which discredited right-wing radicals. By spring, the under-the-carpet wrangle had moved into the public domain, and after NSO leader Dmitry Rumyantsev publicly hit Belov in the face, accusing him of financial dishonesty, NSO and Format 18 effectively discontinued all joint activities with DPNI. Even on landmark dates for the Russian ultra-right, they preferred to organize separate events (e.g. on 21 April two separate rallies were held in Moscow to mark the anniversary of Hitler's birthday, and on 26 May, two separate homophobic meetings were organized).
Besides financial squabbles and power struggles for the führer position, digression from :framework; slogans was behind some of the conflicts which came into the public eye in 2007. For example, an unexpectedly stormy conflict was triggered by a program of the 9 May - WW II Victory Day - celebration posted on an ultra-right blogger's site. The program included placing flowers on a memorial to the White Guard officers who had fought on the side of Nazi Germany in WW II. The controversy around this program graphically demonstrated that firstly, not all right-wing radicals - by far! - are neo-Nazi and supporters of Hitler, and secondly, a split of this ostensibly monolith movement is imminent every time they need to define their ideological positions in more detail than merely generic slogans.
In May, the split in the Union of Russian People (SRN) was formalized. The group was originally established in 2005 to bring together a broad spectrum of Orthodox and monarchist nationalists, some of them more radical than others. A serious conflict broke out in the Union immediately following the death of their leader Vyacheslav Klykov in June 2006. Even though the group's second congress in November 2006 avoided a formal split, very soon radicals led by Konstantin Dushenov (St.Petersburg), Mikhail Nazarov (Moscow) and Alexander Turik (Irkutsk) refused to accept the new leader, General Ivashov, and dismissed his election as :a provocation staged by security agents; and "a takeover.; A shadow (third) SRN congress was convened in Irkutsk in May formalizing a split of the radical branch from General Ivashov's :moderate; SRN.
Similarly, the National Bolshevik Front split when the more radical group led by Ivan Strukov and sharing neo-Nazi ideas left NBF. Currently, the spin-off group call themselves RNBF and act in a coalition with DPNI.
By September, one of the best known neo-Nazi groups, the National Socialist Society (NSO), had formalized their split. Power struggles escalated in NSO in the summer of 2007, following the arrest of Maxim Martsinkevich, Format 18 leader who had closely collaborated with NSO. These developments led to a split between supporters of NSO leader Dmitry Rumyantsev (who retained control of the organization's official website) vs. supporters of Sergey (Malyuta) Korotkikh.
By the year's end, the Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) was in a serious crisis. Having declared its mission as :the fight against orange revolutions,; ESM made Ukraine its main focus. In addition to their own chapters in Ukraine, they enjoyed the support of a few local ultra-nationalist groups, the best known of them being Dmitro Korchinsky's :Brotherhood.; On 18 October, ESM activists staged an anti-Ukrainian action on the Goverla mountain and vandalized the state symbols of Ukraine. As a result, they not only lost the support of their Ukrainian allies, but caused their Ukrainian nationalist members to leave the organization. Very soon, more troubles followed: ex-members, apparently using what they had learned from ESM against their former comrades, hacked the ESM website, inactivating it for a few hours, and probably were behind an attack against the organization's office a few days later.
Legally Permitted Mass Events
The ultra-right's street activism evolved in two directions, which had received a powerful boost back in 2006, namely the organization of legally permitted mass events and the provocation of xenophobic riots. Except that in the past they had been making headway and showing a strong potential of right-wing radical consolidation, whereas in 2007 the situation appeared more complex.
The ban on the 2006 Russian March, the way authorities treated its participants, and the smart use of the situation by the ultra-right propagandists lifted the right-wing radicals' enthusiasm. Apparently, this enthusiasm was the main reason behind the success of their nation-wide action "in support of political prisoners; held on 28 January. In a sense, it was the most successful public event organized by the ultra-right last year. In addition to being nation-wide (rallies and other activities were held in at least 15 regions), it demonstrated the ability of ethno-nationalist groups of different ideological affiliations to coordinate their actions on a national scale and to agree on shared slogans and formats of public events. Never again throughout the year were the ultra-right able to achieve the same degree of coordination. Even the 2007 Russian March, with all the efforts invested in its organization, failed to demonstrate the same degree of visible unanimity and agreement. The preparations to the Russian March unfolded amidst numerous clashes, of which only a small fraction was obvious to outsiders. As a result, in October, the event had two separate Organizing Committees, with as many as three separate actions by the ultra-right scheduled on the Fourth of November (DPNI, Nikolay Kuryanovich and Sergey Baburin), two of them named The Russian March. All the three gatherings were permitted by the Moscow City Government.
A truce was made for the period of the main march (under the aegis of DPNI): the event brought together, in some form or another, all active ultra-right groups in Moscow, even those in a state of confrontation between them (e.g. NSO and the Slav Union) - a total of 2.5 to 3 thousand people.
However, the mere fact that the event was officially permitted and the authorities never attempted to prevent or stop it, and also the venue (a fairly isolated embankment) reduced the impact of the event and weakened the aura of sacrifice and heroism felt in the pervious year.
Just as in 2006, the right-wing radicals celebrated the Fourth of November on a national scale. In addition to Moscow, rallies, pickets and marches were organized in at least 22 other regions, and in two more regions the events were prevented as the organizers came under strong administrative pressure. The scope was wider than in 2006, when around 15 regions joined the event. We should note, however, that firstly, just as in Moscow, in some cities the events were organized by groups competing for supporters or audiences, and secondly, the ultra-right, contrary to their normal practice, have not yet published a full list of cities where the actions were held.
Of course, legally permitted public activism of the ultra-right groups in 2007 was not limited to these two events; pickets, rallies, and marches, some of them quite numerous, were held throughout the year. For example, the First of March Walk held by DPNI on the VDNH exhibition grounds was the first legally organized march of the ultra-right since 4 November 2005. We need to note that in contrast to previous years, they almost totally abandoned any "public benefit" camouflage. While previously rallies and pickets had been held under the slogans of fighting drugs, protesting against the installation of ugly monuments, etc., in 2007 their slogans were solely political and ethno-nationalist.
However, the key difference was not so much the frequency and strength of the gatherings, but the authorities' increased tolerance of them. This issue is not about banning rallies and marches; we have stated on many occasions that a preventive ban would be unlawful. That said, the right-wing radicals increasingly give the police every reason to intervene lawfully: they flash the Nazi salute, use offensive language both in the crowd and from the podium, and explicitly encourage riots. For example, during the 2007 Russian March the crowd of some 1500 people chanted "Death to Yids!' for several minutes, and NSO's homophobic rally on 26 May featured "Russia will be Russian or unpopulated... Good hunting, wolves; pronouncements from the podium.
At the same time, actions by the political opposition - "Dissenters' Marches" in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and some other cities - were banned or suppressed with excessive cruelty. This emphatically different treatment of peaceful oppositional demonstrations and neo-Nazi provocative gatherings underscores the authorities' unwillingness to live up to their numerous declarations and suppress unlawful ultra-right manifestations, confirming a popular assumption (maybe false) that the ultra-right groups enjoy top-level political support.
Provocation of Mass Disturbances
In 2007, the ultra-right (particularly DPNI) continued their attempts to replicate the Kondopoga riots. Having discovered a working model, the nationalists seek to apply it whenever and wherever they find appropriate, taking advantage of any conflict ending in serious injuries or death and involving persons of different ethnicities.
The fight is then presented as an interethnic conflict and just another manifestation of :the outrage of non-Russians who seek to exterminate ethnic Russians." The community is flooded by right-wing radical activists (particularly DPNI members) from neighboring cities and even from Moscow, walls of buildings are covered with provocative, discriminatory leaflets (anti-Caucasus, anti-immigrant, etc.). The nationalists organize a "popular gathering; which does not require official permission, unlike a meeting or a rally. In case of a death, they link the "popular gathering" to the funeral ceremony, where they fuel their propaganda by the emotions of loss and grief. They use the DPNI web forum to coordinate their actions. They get the :popular gathering; to adopt a pre-written resolution, followed by clashes with police and riots.
However, we note that they have not been able to implement this entire scenario since the Kondopoga events, because the police and administrations now expect and prevent the violence.
In 2007, at least three conflicts with a high :riot potential; occurred: two in Stavropol Krai (in February and June), and one in Saratov Oblast (in March).
The biggest incident of this type occurred in Stavropol Krai in early summer. On 24 May, a common fight broke out in one part of the city and rapidly led to a mass conflict and interethnic tensions, panic and rumors alleging that "dozens of Russians were killed by natives of the Caucasus,; and that attempts were made to set fire to buildings and sites whose owners were from the Caucasus, etc. The situation became worse after two ethnic Russian students were killed on 3 June, allegedly by :Caucasian men.; The rumors around the killings were similar to those in Kondopoga at the time of the conflict: in Kondopoga; they alleged that the victims' :ears were cut off as a ritual.;In Stavropol, the rumor had it that the victims' heads were cut off. Local ultra-right groups mobilized, supported from the outside, in particular by DPNI and RONS, whose leaders Alexander Belov and Igor Artemyev headed for Stavropol to participate in a popular meeting scheduled on 5 June. The gathering was held without A. Belov who was preventatively detained by the authorities when he was entering the city. As a result, on the one hand the riot-prone crowd missed a powerful impulse from the DPNI leader - undoubtedly, a strong motivational speaker who knows how to handle his audience - and on the other hand, the local police anticipated disturbances and were able to prevent riots. A few cars were damaged, but otherwise serious harm was avoided.
The Stavropol authorities, to give them credit, did their best to prevent :a Kondopoga scenario.; They mobilized the city's emergency services, temporarily limited the opening hours of the city's restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment facilities. That said, they made a number of mistakes which, in the short term, added to the tensions already existing in the community, and in the longer term may have paved the way for recurrence of similar incidents in the future. Firstly, as in most such incidents, the authorities attempted to withhold information about what was coming, which immediately caused panic and rumors. When official information about the conflict became available, it was too late - the rumors persisted. The level of panic was so high in the community that a university in Stavropol imposed a curfew on the students to protect them from "massive killings and rapes of young people." Secondly, the police obviously lacked clear guidance on how to respond to the ultra-right's :unusual; conduct, particularly at the peak of the conflict. As a result, the situation was exploited by two competing local ultra-right groups active in the community at that time: while the authorities suppressed the local RONS chapter, their competitors, the Stavropol Union of Slav Communities (an ultra-right neo-pagan group) partnered up with the city authorities, ostensibly to assist them in resolving the conflict. At the same time, there was an attempt to present the Stavropol events to the public as actions of "a professional hand which has done a lot of evil deeds in Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, and now seeks to "help" Russia."
The above story raises a suspicion that the real reasons and masterminds behind the riots will never be identified, and therefore similar events may occur in the future. Moreover, :voluntary patrols; introduced as a by-product of the conflict may result in the emergence of ultra-right paramilitary units closely collaborating with law enforcement authorities. We note that the local authorities in Saratov Oblast responded to a similar situation in the same way by mobilizing all their resources at the peak of the conflict, refusing to identify the agitators and suggesting the establishment of lay patrols to protect ethnic Russians.
In addition, the authorities' tendency to deny conflicts not only leads to rumors and panic, as was the case in Stavropol. In a situation of governmental control over mainstream media and the authorities' tendency (which is probably a knee-jerk reaction) to withhold information about events with a xenophobic component, DPNI increasingly acts as the only newsmaker, but rather than just report an event, they construct their own version of it. Common fights and interpersonal conflicts, even failed ultra-right attacks are presented by DPNI and associated communication channels as "major interethnic clashes"; :terror acts targeting the Russian people; etc. In absence of alternative coverage it creates a certain informational context which persists even after the truth is revealed. The nationalists' attempts to win over the media space and use it to disseminate their messages will be successful as long as officials withhold information about conflicts.
The June 2007 events in Stavropol were perhaps the biggest :success story; of the ultra-right groups seeking to transform a local conflict into ethnic riots. Similarly to Kondopoga, a lack of accurate official reporting provoked a xenophobic hysteria in mass media, which the right-wing radicals used to their benefit.
Soon after the above events, on 21-22 June, a minor (probably, interpersonal) conflict was exploited in an attempt to provoke a mass fight in Manezhnaya Square in the center of Moscow. Even though police tried to stop the fighting, it broke out elsewhere - outside the Presidential Administration offices (we are not aware of the exact number of victims, but at least one man was hospitalized). At the same time, rumors were spread about alleged interethnic clashes in Omsk. Three weeks later, as the activity dwindled, there was a failed attempt to provoke mass fighting in Zelenograd outside Moscow.
One may find it interesting to follow the geographic spread of such provocations. Whereas back in 2006 they were focused on smaller cities and communities, today the agitators aim for regional capitals and even Moscow. Ironically, this development may have been enabled by the authorities' efforts to prevent riots. DPNI has never had and does not have sufficient resources available to it for organizing riots; the only thing they can do - as they did in Kondopoga - is to exploit a spontaneous public protest and coordinate its progress, but their attempts are virtually doomed every time the authorities offer genuine resistance. In any case, they feel that even a failure is more :honorable; in a big city than in a small rural community. For example, DPNI exploited the June 2007 events in Stavropol to their benefit, as opposed to their disgraceful and weakening previous failure in February 2007, also in Stavropol Krai, when they attempted to provoke a riot after the killing of Cossack ataman Andrei Khanin: not only had DPNI failed to attract people to their meeting, but failed to show up having announced the date and venue of the gathering.
The June 2007 events in the center of Moscow provoked a strong hysterical reaction, even though they could never have catalyzed anything more serious. The law enforcement agencies' reaction to the ultra-right activity was strikingly inappropriate: not only had they failed to prevent a series of violent clashes in the city center, but they detained random bystanders who looked like natives of the Caucasus, rather than identify and arrest the agitators or fighters (Belov did whatever he could to make people believe that the Moscow police favored his organization; in fact, some alternative evidence suggests that he was at least partially right).
But regardless of the Moscow police attitudes towards the events in the Moscow center, fighting in front of the Presidential Administration windows was clearly off limits. Even if it is true that on the following few days police selectively stopped young natives of the Caucasus to prevent more clashes, the right-wing radicals also faced consequences, although somewhat later. The best known consequence was the arrest of the Russian skinheads' idol, leader of Format 18 group Maxim 'Tesak' Martsinkevich, even though he may not have been directly involved in the fighting. His arrest showed that the right-wing radicals' conduct was pushing the limits of what the authorities were willing to tolerate: Tesak was on the federal list of wanted suspects for his appearance in Bilingua Club in February, where he attempted to disrupt a political discussion by yelling neo-Nazi slogans. However, as it is usually the case, for a while no one cared to search for him: during the trial of the anti-fascist Alexander Ryukhin murder case Tesak was seen outside the court building; some people identified him to the police, asking to arrest him, but the officers refused. However, the authorities found and arrested him promptly - within a few days - after the fighting on the 22 June. Access to his website and to blogs of some people involved in the fighting in Manezhnaya Square, was blocked.
By end-July, this type of right-wing radical activity dwindled altogether. In early September, they attempted to organize public meetings to mark the Kondopoga events, and in October, planned a rally in support of Kharagun rioters; however, the meetings either failed, or their attendance was sparse. Then the right-wing radicals apparently shifted their focus and resources to the preparation for the Russian March and the election campaign.
Xenophobia on Behalf of the State
Xenophobia as electoral resource
In 2007, most Russian political parties, as well as ultra-right organizations, showed their preparedness to using xenophobic sentiments as an electoral resource - most notably, Fair Russia and United Russia, being the parties of the ruling bureaucracy.
The former was involved in scandals throughout the year for welcoming more or less (in)famous xenophobes into its ranks. The case involving Oleg Paschenko, an anti-Semitist from Krasnoyarsk, was particularly illustrative. The scandal broke out in the spring of 2007, when Paschenko was running for the Legislative Assembly of Krasnodar Krai (by then merged into one federal region together with a number of Autonomous Districts). In February, Fair Russia leader Sergey Mironov personally pledged to oust Paschenko from the party, but this statement did not prevent Paschenko first from being elected to the regional legislature, and a few months later from being on the list of Fair Russia candidates for the federal parliamentary elections. In fact, Fair Russia was plagued by numerous "nationalist" problems besides Paschenko. In particular, a strange incident was reported in the spring of 2007, involving an investigation against Mayor of Stavropol Alexander Kuzmin, a Fair Russia member running for the State Duma. A search conducted as part of the investigation into his alleged official misconduct found Nazi symbols in his office. We do not have in-depth knowledge of Kuzmin's actual attitudes and values - even though of course, he benefited from the support of nationalist groups (in particular, Dmitry Rogozin supported him on behalf of the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO) at the regional elections in March). There is no doubt that the investigation against Kuzmin was triggered by tough confrontation with the regional (Krai) administration and his party's competition with the United Russia. But we cannot imagine how the Nazi paraphernalia could have been :planted; in the Mayor's office, and it is even less clear why anyone would want to keep such objects in their office. Anyway, out of a dozen nationalist candidates on the Fair Russia party lists only one was elected to the Duma - Anatoly Greshnevikov, a signatory to the Letter of Five Hundred.
United Russia was far more subtle. In February 2007, they announced the launch of a so-called Russian Project, an obscure - even to the party members - discussion of what being an ethnic Russian should mean. Even then, regardless of the party's claims that the new project would serve to promote responsible citizenship, etc., experts suspected that the Russian Project would serve to stimulate and legitimize ethnocentric and ethno-nationalist rhetoric, taking it to the level of official policy. After the Russian Project website was launched on 16 May, the suspicions were replaced by certainty: the project's information partners included, inter alia, Konstantin Dushenov's Orthodox Rus' (even though Dushenov at the time faced charges under art. 282); Russian Spetsnaz, a right-wing radical paper (in December 2007, the Prosecutor's Office in Pskov Oblast challenged some of their content in court as extremist); Zolotoi Lev (Golden Lion) magazine whose editorial board was headed by the Great Russia leaders Andrei Savelyev and Sergey Pykhtin; websites of the Eurasian Youth Union and Eurasia group associated with Alexander Dugin (currently in the role of a respectable expert, but better known as an ideologist and promoter of proto-fascist, fascist and :new right; ideas in Russia); and other, equally odious resources. Eventually, the Orthodox Rus' and the Golden Lion were ousted from the project's partners, but the overall xenophobic pathos of a website whose contributors include, in particular, known nationalist ideologists such as Yegor Kholmogorov, Konstantin Krylov, Vitaly Averyanov, and others, remained intact.
CPRF and LDPR caught up with the party in power. The former announced at a conference in March its intention to :raise the [ethnic] Russian issue in a broad aspect." Incidentally, in addition to some signatories of the Letter of Five Hundred, the CPRF's list included even more exotic figures, e.g. their second candidate from Kamchatka was ex-RNE member Nikolay Fatnev.
LDPR learned the lesson of the previous election campaign (where their slogan We Are for the [Ethnic] Russians, We Are for the Poor cost them a substantial number of votes in constituent ethnic republics), and rephrased their campaign slogan into a more positive one - If [Ethnic] Russians Are Happy, Everybody Is Happy. However, the campaign materials disseminated by the party carried conflicting messages: e.g. in one of them, Zhirinovsky argued for the necessity to welcome immigrants to Russia and proposed a program of social adaptation for newcomers, while elsewhere he appealed to xenophobic Russia-centric stereotypes.
Certain SPS representatives did not avoid being less than politically correct (we refer to Boris Nemtsov's extremely offensive statement about Moslems and a rather clumsy performance by Alexander Byalko, a star of What, When, Where show, during K Barieru TV debates in May. We should add that in the latter case the SPS party offered apologies and condemned the anti-Semitist phrases dropped by Byalko during the debates).
Of all the major parties, Yabloko was the most cautious one. They genuinely refrained from tapping into nationalists sentiments in their election campaign. Nevertheless, we note that outside the parliamentary election campaign, the Yabloko Party, as opposed to SPS, never officially condemned the nationalist behavior of its members. In 2007, failure to respond placed the party in a dubious position twice. Firstly, in summer a scandal broke out when part of Yabloko's chapter in Krasnoyarsk, including the local party leader Vladimir Abrosimov, migrated to Great Russia. To remind the reader, Vladimir Abrosimov came into the public focus on a number of occasions for his ethno-nationalist and ethno-centrist pronouncements, none of which were officially disowned or commented on by Yabloko. Explaining his migration from Yabloko to the Great Russia, V. Abrosimov stated publicly that the latter suited his beliefs more than any other political party. We also note Yabloko's response to another member's conduct - we refer to Alexey Navalny, a leader of the Narod [People] movement, part of The Other Russia. To remind, Navalny's comments on the 2006 Russian March provoked a serious scandal. Alexey Navalny was ousted from the party on 14 December, some time after the Duma elections, reportedly :for causing political damage to the party, in particular, for nationalist activity." However, to be fair, we should admit that Navalny had not been nominated to run for the Duma.
The appeal to voters' nationalist sentiments was not as prevalent as it had been expected earlier in the year, while the number of xenophobes in the new Duma is far less than before. Some of the anti-Semitists - signatories of the Letter of Five Hundred - retained their seats in parliament, but they are now five as opposed to 19 (out of the 11 who had run for these elections). Just two MPs in the new Duma are open about their contacts with the neo-Nazi - LDPR members Sergey Ivanov (collaborating with NSO) and Ivan Mussatov (member of the 2006 Russian March Board). We note that the new Duma membership weakens the ultra-right positions, since they had enjoyed the support of many more MPs in the previous parliament. Formerly, MPs, by their status alone, had helped the ultra-right in many ways - from facilitating their gatherings under the pretext of "meetings with the voters" to using political pressure - such as parliamentary enquiries and advocacy - to influence investigations and trials involving right-wing radicals. .
Since the anti-Georgian campaign in the autumn of 2006, Russia went through a similar anti-Estonian campaign, although with less tragic consequences. It unfolded in the spring of 2007 and was triggered by the relocation of a memorial to Soviet soldiers from the center of Tallinn to a military cemetery. We will not discuss here any ethical or political issues concerning the preservation of World War II memorials in Russia, Estonia and other countries, but we note that just like in the autumn of 2006, the political campaign promptly developed into a campaign of ethnic xenophobic propaganda and discrimination - fortunately, without human casualties, unlike the previous anti-Georgian campaign.
The picketing, or, rather, the siege of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow did not only involve vandalism and threats to foreign diplomats, but nearly resulted in violence when the Estonian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Marina Kaljurand was attacked at a press conference on the 2 May by pro-Kremlin youth groups - the Locals, Nashi, the Young Russia, and the New People - who broke into the office of the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper hosting the press briefing.
In end-April, offensive and discriminatory signs could be seen on the walls of some Russian cities. In Yaroslavl, a local cafe put up a sign that read :Estonians and dogs not allowed.; In Murmansk, a poster ad inviting the public to the Victory Day celebration in a local club read :Balts and Poles need not bother; - and it was displayed at bus stops all over the city. Similar posters were reported in Moscow and Kostroma.
In April 2007 in Stavropol, Cossack ataman (leader) Mikhail Serkov published a statement in the local media saying that :Cossacks will campaign to identify Estonians in Stavropol Krai and create extremely unfavorable conditions for them to stay in Russia, engage in business or other activity."
In early May, Dukhovnoye Nasledye (Spiritual Heritage) news agency in St. Petersburg (Director Anton Vuyma) announced a contest to create a monument to the Dumb Estonian and a transnational PR campaign "to discredit the Estonians' intellectual abilities around the world." The statement (which was not published on the agency's website) invited :any ideas of a monument showing the low intellectual ability of Estonians and the extreme sluggishness characteristic of Estonians as a nation."
In Murmansk, Stavropol, Yaroslavl and St. Petersburg, community activists complained to the law enforcement authorities demanding that such conduct should be suppressed and assessed from the legal perspective, but in all instances the prosecutorial offices either refused to open criminal proceedings or failed to respond altogether.
Activities of Pro-Kremlin Youth Groups
Pro-Kremlin youth groups raised increasing concerns due to their xenophobic and sometimes explicitly racist practices.
We refer in particular to The Locals - :Mestnye; - a group which was behind a series of scandals in the course of a few months.
In end-June, they announced an Illegal Taxi campaign ostensibly to suppress illegal private taxis. But their campaign - from visual images contrasting a Slav woman against an arrogant "native of the Caucasus" to references invoking the Ivannikova case - was explicitly racist.
The xenophobic aspect of the campaign was so obvious and striking that in June a few high-ranking officials independently urged the prosecutor's office to review Mestnye's campaigning for incitement to racism. However, three days later one of the applicants, speaker of the Moscow City Duma Vladimir Platonov, withdrew his complaint, allegedly because the campaigners had adjusted their messages to make them more appropriate. It was blatant disinformation, because the campaign visuals and texts remained intact on the Mestnye's website for a few months afterwards. The law enforcement agencies' failure to respond to an explicitly racist campaign, as well as V. Platonov's maneuvers, confirmed once again that suppression of xenophobic propaganda in Russia has little to do with its public danger, but everything to do with the authors' loyalty to the current government.
On 29 August, Mestnye staged another campaign - No to Sects in Our Land - resulting in at least one violent attack motivated by religious hatred. A few hours after their action, on the night of 29 to 30 August, an Orthodox Cultural and Educational Center - which the attackers mistook for Jehovah's Witnesses' Center - was broken into, and two staff members were beaten.
Still another scandal was reported in September when the Federal Migration Service used Mestnye for provocation, reportedly, to detect illegal immigrants: allegedly, some Mestnye activists :hired; 80 immigrants and reported them to the FMS, which then arrested 72 of the immigrants. Mestnye displayed a banner in the market, depicting airplanes and a caption: Time to Fly South! But even more revolting than their action was the statement made by the FMS Director Konstantin Romodanovsky two days later. He made it clear that FMS intended to collaborate with the group and to encourage their racist conduct in the future.
In the summer of 2007, another pro-Kremlin movement - Georgievtsy, co-chaired by the State Duma staff member Stepan Medvedko - came into the limelight. Before June, this small group had not been involved in xenophobic actions and had operated as an Orthodox Christian youth club. However, inspired by the authorities' obvious encouragement of homophobic violence after the failed gay pride march in May, the movement announced that they would :purge; Ilyinsky Square in Moscow by ousting gay men from the square. This self-appointed :patrol; was immediately joined by the ultra-right (in particular, members of the Slav Union) whose assistance was welcomed. Even though their conduct was obviously illegal, the police failed to respond to the homophobes in any way. It was obvious from the start that the :patrol; would not observe the declared non-violence, but would engage in numerous provocations instead. At least one violent attack by a Slav Union member against a gay man near the Plevna Heroes Monument was documented. There is no doubt that at least part of the self-appointed anti-gay patrol were involved in the fighting between the right-wing radicals and young Caucasus natives in Slavyanskaya Square on 22 June. It was only after this fight that the Georgievtsy picket was stopped, and access to the square blocked for months under the pretext of repairs.
The launch of Fair Russia's youth wing - the Pobeda (Victory) movement - in the spring of 2007 ended in a scandal. Its leader Yuri Lopussov gave a long interview where he broadly quoted from Hitler's Mein Kampf - without reference to the source, but immediately noticed by observers. As the scandal unfolded, Lopussov's links (even though indirect) with KRO and DPNI activists were revealed.
We should make a separate mention of the Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) - an ultra-right and ideologically cohesive group (as opposed to artificially manufactured "mass movements" such as Nashi etc.), which is also a pro-Kremlin organization, one of the selected youth groups regularly invited to meetings at the Presidential Administration, and a member of the same coalition as Nashi, Young Guard, and others.
As noted above, ESM openly engages in xenophobic vandalism, claims responsibility for such acts and remains, just like other organizations of the same type, totally immune. In 2007, ESM organized a number of explicitly nationalist rallies (even though encouraging the crowd to "eat the Germans who have not been drowned in Chud Lake" sounds more exotic than the usual "Russia for the Russians!"). In addition, at least once during the 1st of May rally ESM members made a (failed) attempt to attack AKM activists, reviving their past (and somewhat forgotten since a couple of years) role of "political stormtroopers".
COUNTERACTION TO RADICAL NATIONALISM
Generally, the efforts of NGOs and civil society activists to counteract xenophobia and radical nationalism in 2007 remained within the scope of their traditional projects.
Perhaps the most remarkable activities were organized in St. Petersburg. In March, different local groups held a series of events, often independently of one another. Put together, these events evolved into a festival of public actions against xenophobia for diverse target audiences. These included a public discussion of hate speech, an international interdisciplinary conference on right-wing radical trends among youth, Open Your Eyes! anti-fascist film festival, a series of photo exhibitions, and some other events.
In autumn, the fourth (and already traditional) March Against Hatred was held in St. Petersburg, which attracted between 500 and 800 participants. Unfortunately, the organizers failed to make it a non-partisan event, which gave rise to a series of conflicts - caused, in particular, by the pro-Kremlin Young Guard's attempt to get involved in the march and confronted with a ban on using their party symbols - as opposed to SPS and Yabloko participating in the rally under their symbols. As to the Meeting Against Fascism and Xenophobia organized by Yabloko on 4 November in Bolotnaya Square in Moscow, it could not have been non-partisan by definition.
The summer of 2007 was marked by increased public activity of anti-fascist leftist youth, largely in response to the attack against the ecologists' camp outside Angarsk. Pickets and other events in the memory of Ilya Borodayenko - a young man killed by the attackers - were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Tyumen, Vladivostok and other Russian cities. Of course, radical antifa continued to engage in street violence against neo-Nazi, but we need to note that in 2007 we did not observe any attacks as serious as those in the autumn of 2006 in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
A landmark event in 2007 was the first-ever in the history of professional football in Russia punishment imposed on a football club for the racist conduct of their fans. On 11 August, during a game in Samara against the local Krylya Sovetov, Spartak fans displayed a racist banner offending Spartak's player, dark-skinned Wellington Soares Moraes. Even though racist offences are common during football games in Russia, this incident, for some reason, stirred an enormous public reaction (possibly, because a video of double racist murder was posted on the web at the same time). The Moscow Spartak was fined 500,000 rubles. It was the first known sanction for racism enforced by the Russian Football Union, although the RFU has been a member of FIFA for years, bound by an obligation to punish teams for such conduct.
We do not see any reasons for anti-racist practices to continue in a systematic manner. For example, in November, the Khimki Football Club was just warned - without any additional sanctions - for racist chants of their fans. However, even these limited sanctions mark some serious progress as opposed to previous years, when even formally documented racist conduct of football fans was ignored by the RFU.
We need to note that the Russian Anti-Fascist Front, which was in 2006 in the hope of bringing together different forces and coordinating their anti-racist activities on a non-partisan basis did not appear to make any difference in 2007.
The Public Chamber made virtually no difference either. In August 2007, the Subcommission for Counteraction to Extremism and Xenophobia (chaired by Mavlit Bazhayev) prepared a report on counteraction to radical nationalism, approved in November by the PC Commission on Tolerance and Freedom of Conscience (chaired by Valery Tishkov), but the fate of this document, just like the Chamber's other recommendations, remains unknown.
In 2007, Russia's anti-extremist legislation was amended again. The new developments, increasingly distant from efforts to counteract racism and xenophobia per se - in particular a package of changes effective since 12 August 2007 and the amendments of the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses concerning vandalism and the display of Nazi symbols - are reviewed in detail in Appendix 1 below. We will only mention here some of the less significant draft laws launched in 2007.
The anti-extremist amendments of electoral legislation were merely technical and designed to harmonize it with other, formerly amended laws.
Three other legislative proposals, one of them eventually signed into law, show clearly that the fight against extremism serves as a good pretext for some political and public figures to flaunt their loyalty to the current government. Few, however, are genuinely interested in putting machinery in place to make existing laws work.
We are referring to the amended Laws on the Public Chamber and on the Media, and about a law with a long and obscure title: on Amending Certain Legal Acts of the Russian Federation for Better Administration in the Sphere of State Registration (Concerning the Government Agency Responsible for the State Registration of Certain Types of Legal Entities)."
The first proposal, designed to bar :extremists; from the Public Chamber, had been launched by the United Russia andwas passed into law on 3 July. The new law makes no sense whatsoever, because the Chamber is appointed by authorities, rather than elected by the population.
A second draft law was proposed, designed to prohibit any mention of ethnicity in crime reports published by the media, and it was definitely one of the most scandalous legislative proposals of the year. At the end of 2006, when the Moscow City Duma decided to launch this draft law in the State Duma, few people took it seriously; the proposal itself appeared so absurd. However, it was introduced in the federal parliament on 18 March 2007 and was scheduled to be debated in the first reading in autumn. By that time, negative opinions of the draft had been expressed by virtually everyone available for comment (from the Public Chamber to the United Russia parliamentary party). Nevertheless, the fate of the draft law has not been decided yet; its first reading has been postponed four (!) times, and now the new State Duma will have to resolve the issue. Incidentally, the year 2008 began with a campaign in support of this draft law.
However, another draft law, which might really have been useful, launched in the State Duma by the President at the end of April 2007, got dragged down in parliament. The draft would make Rosregistration officially responsible for maintaining a register of extremist materials and organizations and issuing warnings to the latter. The problem is that before 2004, Rosregistration, as part of the Ministry of Justice, was legally "a body of justice," but since 2004, Rosregistration - or the Federal Registration Service (FRS) - has been a separate governmental department and formally not "a body of justice." FRS interpreted this to mean that they were no longer empowered to issue warnings or maintain a register of extremist materials. The proposed amendments would restore these functions to FRS and by doing so, establish a practical mechanism for the enforcement of the Law on Combating Extremist Activity. However, by the end of 2007, the draft law had only passed the first reading. That said, the technical problem caused by one Presidential Decree had been partially resolved by another decree issued in May 2006, which made FRS responsible for maintaining a register of extremist materials and Rossiiskaya Gazeta paper for publishing these lists.
Criminal prosecution of right-wing radicals
Unfortunately, the main visible outcome of 2007 in criminal prosecution of racist violence was a considerable decline of the rate of such prosecution. While in the years prior to 2007 we saw the number of convictions taking into account the hate motive doubling each year, in 2007 the trend discontinued. This fact is alarming, given the fact that racist violence has been growing at the same fast pace.
We know of only 24 trials of racist violence cases ending in convictions in 2007. Held in 17 Russian regions, such trials sentenced at least 68 people. In 2006, 33 trials sentenced 109 people.
In 2007, high-profile trials included: a student from Congo murder case, Timur Kacharava murder case, and the Grozny-Moscow train blast attack case. It took a jury court two attempts - and one change of the jury composition - to find a guilty verdict against the killers of a student from Congo. The initial non-guilty verdict returned in 2006 was subsequently overruled by the Supreme Court, and we have reasons to believe that threats against the jurors were the reason behind the Supreme Court's judgment. So this case, once again, raised the issue of security with regard to participants of such trials in St. Petersburg. The trial of the anti-fascist Timur Kacharava murder case in St.Petersburg was remarkable, because the court officially recognized the neo-Nazi motives of the perpetrators. While the court could not yet apply the aggravating circumstance of "ideological hatred,;  a solution was found in recognizing the anti-fascists to be a social group and qualifying the motive behind the attack as social hatred. As to the Grozny train blast, it was the first :anti-terror; trial where members of ultra-right groups were found guilty.
It is important to note that the proportion of violent crimes under art. 282 part 2 and other articles of the Criminal Code where hatred may be recognized as an aggravating characteristic remained the same as before. Article 282 was applied in 8 of 23 convictions, which, as we have argued on many occasions, is almost always inappropriate (as compared to 13 out of 33 convictions in 2006, so the legal qualification of such cases, unfortunately, has not improved). The number of cases where the racist motive was recognized alongside the acquisitive motive dropped from nine in 2006 to two in 2007.
As regards to punishments, their distribution was as follows:
- Two convicted offenders got off with monetary fines;
- Probational sentences were meted out to 19 offenders;
- Five offenders were sentenced to a maximum of two years of prison;
- Nine were sentenced to a maximum of five years of prison;
- A total of 22 were sentenced to a maximum of 10 years of prison;
- A total of 7 were sentenced to a maximum of 15 years of prison;
- Three were sentenced to a maximum of 25 years of prison;
Compulsory treatment was prescribed by the court in one case, and we do not know the sentences of two other offenders. In addition, three offenders were relieved from criminal responsibility, because they were under the age of 14 at the time of the incident.
Unfortunately, the above list reveals that the Russian courts have not abandoned the tradition of releasing aggressive racists on probation: in 2006, at least 20 of 96 violent offenders got off with probational sentences, and in 2007 probational sentences were meted out to nineteen out of 67 perpetrators. We have to reiterate that probational, rather than real, punishments serve to reinforce the impunity felt by neo-Nazi skinheads.
However, we should also note a few positive developments.
Firstly, the Moscow City Prosecutor's Office made a visible progress in its treatment of racists violence. While in 2006 four of the five trials of such cases in Moscow were for high-profile crimes which the authorities could not possibly ignore or let go unpunished, in 2007 at least five trials ended in convictions, but none of them were high-profile cases. Another piece of evidence revealing that the Moscow Prosecutor's Office might have changed its treatment of violent hate crimes was that they did not only admit that the events on 20 October were a "raid,; but also admitted the well-organized, racist nature of the attacks and revealed the number of victims - 27. Such a degree of openness was unprecedented for prosecutors in Russia. It is possible that consistent efforts of the Moscow City Prosecutor's Office along the same lines may curb the spread of ultra-right violence in the city.
Secondly, courts did not take long to apply the August 2007 amendments of the Criminal Code. We have stressed repeatedly that the time lapse between the adoption of anti-extremist amendments and their enforcement is usually long in Russia. In 2007, however, the first conviction under a criminal code article, where the hate motive was added as an aggravating circumstance in August 2007, was passed just four months after the amendment came into effect. In December, a court in Stavropol Krai convicted a local resident for starting a xenophobic fight in a restaurant in September. The defendant was found guilty of battering and intentionally inflicting minor damage to the victim's health out of racist hatred (par. a, 'b', p. 2, art. 115, 116 of the Criminal Code). At least one other case is under investigation in Ivanovo Oblast under the amended Criminal Code articles.
The fact that investigators and prosecutors are willing to recognize the hate motive where they can apply it as an aggravating circumstance under certain articles of the Criminal Code makes us wonder why they fail to apply the same aggravating circumstance, as provided in art. 63 of the Criminal Code, to any article of the Criminal Code. To the best of our knowledge, this provision of article 63 was never used in 2007, just as it had not been in previous years.
We would also like to mention a few convictions for violence motivated by ideological (i.e. neo-Nazi) attitudes of the attackers. We are aware of three such convictions in 2007, including the attack against a Tyumen journalist covering the Food Instead Of Bombs public event, the killings of anti-fascist Alexander Ryukhin in Moscow and skater Stanislav Korepanov in Izhevsk. We find that the hate motive is absent from all the three verdicts for a good reason: it was added to the Russian Criminal Code as an aggravating circumstance in August 2007, whereas the crimes in question had been committed earlier. However, a court in St. Petersburg invented a solution in the trial of Timur Kacharava's murder by considering hatred of anti-fascists a characteristic of belonging toa social group.
In addition, little is known about sentences for obviously racist crimes where the investigators and the courts failed to find a motive of hatred. In 2007, we are aware of just one obvious example where a court failed to find a hate motive in the case of attack against a student from Sudan in Krasnodar. However, it is possible that similar cases are not revealed by out monitoring just because the courts fail to recognize racist motives of the crimes.
Positive developments of the year 2007 also included two sentences for cemetery vandalism, where the hate motive was recognized: in Voronezh and Samara Oblasts. They are worth mentioning if only because the hate motive is hardly ever recognized in this type of cases (for example, in 2005 only one sentence was meted out with this qualification, and in 2006 there were none).
Propaganda and Campaigning
The prosecution of xenophobic propaganda, as opposed to racist violence, improved significantly in 2007.
Most importantly, such prosecution was generally much more active as compared to previous years; we know of 28 trials in 22 regions, resulting in 42 convictions. For the sake of comparison, in 2006 a total of 17 trials resulted in 19 convictions.
However, the legal quality of judgments showed only a slight improvement. In particular, nine (=39%) of the 28 convictions in 2007 led to probational sentences without any additional penalties. In 2006, six (=35%) of the 17 sentences were probational. The proportion of real prison sentences was 29% of the total (eight sentences) in 2007, as opposed to 24% (four sentences) in 2006. This proportion is high, suggesting that punishments for propaganda may be excessively tough, but we should note that in our opinion, five of the nine prison sentences were tough for a reason: either for a repeat offence or for propaganda linked in some way to a violent crime. Back in 2006 only one of the four sentences was understandably tough.
Punishments for hate propaganda were as follows:
Probational penalties without additional sanctions - 12 people;
Monetary fines - 5 people;
Correctional labor - 3 people;
A ban on activity/occupation (membership in an organization ) - 5 people;
Prison terms of a maximum of 2 years- 11 people;
Prison terms of a maximum of 4 years- 2 people;
Prison terms of a maximum of 5 years- 5 people.
Often the people who get convicted under art. 282 of the Criminal Code are little known or completely unknown to the public, whereas high-profile hate promoters escape punishment. This is easy to observe, in particular, by looking at a regional distribution of sentences: in 2007 in St. Petersburg no one was convicted for hate propaganda, while only one conviction, resulting in a probational sentence, was reported in Moscow.
However, there were a few honorable exceptions - appropriate punishments meted out to xenophobes. Thus, in August two leaders of RNE chapter in Ryazan were banned by court from being members of RNE or taking leadership positions in the group, even though the Prosecutor's Office had requested one year of probation for each, without additional sanctions.
Incidentally, a ban on certain occupations or activities (or, as was the case with the Ryazan RNE, a ban on membership in an organization) was imposed by four judgments in 2007 (as opposed to two judgments in 2006).
Another example of legally sound and appropriate punishment for ultra-right offenders was reported at the end of November in Obnink, when eight neo-Nazi skinheads faced trial and were convicted for posting videos of racist attacks on the web. This trial was unprecedented, because for the first time of all such cases known to us, the attackers (or those who faked the attacks) were found, rather than simply those who uploaded the videos on the web (very often, the latter do not share the attackers' attitudes). But the investigation failed to identify the victims. Apparently, they never reported the attacks, or they may have been rejected when they tried to complain, which is a common practice. In absence of victims, the Prosecutor's Office could not charge the youngsters with a violent offence, so they prosecuted (and the court agreed) under an article - which, we believe, was the only appropriate thing to do given the circumstances - criminalizing the incitement to ethnic hatred perpetrated by a group or involving violence. All defendants were sentenced to real, rather than probational, prison terms of 18 months each.
On 19 September 2007 in Cheboksary, members of the local Hizb ut-Tahrir chapter were convicted in what was the first and so far the only conviction known to us where Hizb ut-Tahrir members were charged with xenophobic propaganda, rather than alleged terrorist attacks or just membership in the organization (under art. 282-2 of the Criminal Code). We are not aware of the exact content of the leaflets which, as the indictment said, the defendants had disseminated, but we know that many of Hizb ut-Tahrir's materials, indeed, contain incitement to hatred. However, we find prison terms of around 4.5 years for the dissemination of leaflets and membership in a banned organization to be an excessively tough punishment.
We believe that another substantial positive change in the prosecution of xenophobic propaganda was the fact that some regional leaders of ultra-right groups faced charges. Prosecution of leaders and ideologists, even on the regional scale, substantially affects the activity of right-wing radicals. For example, after the arrest and imprisonment of Yuri Yekishev, the activity of his followers (in addition to the local Union of National Revival, he also led the local DPNI and NDPR chapters) progressively dwindled. At least 11 of the 37 offenders convicted for hate propaganda in 2007 were leaders of regional organizations - including regional chapters of DPNI, the National Imperial Party of Russia (NDPR), Alexander Ivanov's (Sukharevsky's) People's National Party (NNP), Yedinenie Conceptual Party (KPE), and SRN.
Some of the ultra-right idols also came under pressure. In October, M. Martsinkevich, leader of Format 18 group, faced trial for incitement to hatred; in the autumn, a criminal investigation was opened against NSO leader Dmitry Rumyantsev. However, neither of the cases looks particularly promising.
Thirdly, the law enforcement authorities began to prosecute for xenophobic propaganda on the web. Five of the 27 convictions were for the web-based propaganda, such as the websites of the Kaliningrad DPNI and the Kurgan Skinheads Nazi group. It confirms that there is no need for specific legislation in order to suppress web-based hate propaganda. However, a review of these cases also reveals that in prosecuting xenophobia (even where such xenophobia is real, rather than imagined as in Savva Terentyev's case), rather than suppressing explicitly racist and neo-Nazi web resources used sometimes to coordinate violent actions, authorities target individual participants of web forums, who rarely make any real impact on the audience. This practice suggests selective enforcement.
In addition, while the authorities fail to prosecute owners and contributors of major ultra-right websites, it appears plausible that multiple, well coordinated DDoS attacks against DPNI servers and related websites in the first six months of 2007 were either implemented or facilitated by Russian security agencies: the timing of such attacks was linked to public events involving DPNI (however, in the second half of 2007 there were hardly any attacks of this kind against right-wing radical web resources) . Ironically, it means that the State avoids taking legal action against right-wing radicals, but prefers to :hinder; their activity by hack attacks, legitimizing both the ultra-right activity and the hacking.
In 2007 the legal requirement concerning official publication of materials found extremist by courts was finally complied with: on 14 July, Rossiiskaya Gazeta published the first official list of 14 banned materials, subsequently updated on 24 October, 15 and 29 December. By the end of 2007, the list contained 79 materials banned by courts between April 2004 and October 2007.
Most of the items are what we can describe, with certain reservations, as "Moslem" materials found extremist by trials of Islamic fundamentalists. Almost two thirds, 49 of the 79 items on the banned list belong to this category. We believe, however, that the ban is legally unfounded with regard to at least 15 items (see below). In addition, the list includes religious/political materials which may be described, also with some reservations, as neo-pagan (anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, a total of 14 items), and "ideological; - including (neo) Nazi texts.
Even though the grounds for finding some of the materials extremist are questionable, the official publication of this list is a positive development, providing at least some guidance to the law enforcement agencies and lay public.
However, it is unclear how the authorities are going to restrict access to these materials - in fact, some reports suggest potential problems with this. In May, a district court in Novosibirsk found the materials posted on four Islamist and separatist websites to be extremist and ordered the local hosting providers to block access to these materials, as it was impossible to block the websites. By the Law on Combating Extremist Activity, such activity also includes :assistance such as ...provision of phone, fax and other communication facilities and information services...; However, we do not see how this applies to internet access providers who cannot be held responsible for the content of websites on the internet (some of which is, indeed, extremist). Similarly, finding a website extremist should not automatically oblige all internet providers to block access to such a website: the law prohibits dissemination of extremist materials, but providers do not disseminate them - just as a telephone company does not disseminate the content of what is said over the phone. Consequently, by law, providers cannot be held responsible for ;extremist; content. Therefore, specific rulings by courts with regard to specific providers (we can assume, those within the court's jurisdiction) may be the only legal method, even though cumbersome, to enforce a judicial ban on extremist materials on the web. Admittedly, this practice contradicts the Law on Communication which establishes contractual relations between providers and their customers, but we assume that in case of conflict, the political, rather than the technical, provision will prevail.
Other Measures of Suppression
Other ways to suppress radical nationalism were used in 2007 more than in previous years - again, we refer primarily to xenophobic propaganda.
Authorities continued to enforce administrative liability for the demonstration of Nazi and similar symbols. Unfortunately, no statistics of such cases are maintained, and as long as this is not criminal prosecution, media reports are rare. But even the few available reports reveal that efforts to suppress such offences continued at least at the same level as before (we know of about two dozen such administrative rulings in 2007).
Last year, two newspapers were banned by courts after numerous :anti-extremist; warnings. Za Veru, Tsarya i Otechestvo (For the Faith, Tsar, and Fatherland) in Buzuluk, Orenburg Oblast, was closed on 4 October, and Duel, Moscow, headed by well-known anti-Semitist Yuri Mukhin, was closed on 14 November following 18 months of litigation (notably, while litigation was underway in 2007, the paper received two more warnings from Rossvyazokhrankultura; and by decision of Moscow city court by February 28, 2008 the trial on Duel was started again). In fact, it was just the second and may be third of this type of judgment over the entire period since the anti-extremist legislation was adopted, if we do not count the controversial judgment concerning Generalnaya Liniya paper in 2005 and another clearly unfounded judgment concerning Pravo-Zaschita paper in 2007. In Oryol Oblast, the right-wing radical paper Dozor, published by local Popular Union activist Yevgeny Shilin, was closed on formal grounds (failure to provide founding documents to Rossvyazokhrankultura).
Also in 2007, Rossvyazokhrankultura issued at least 43 :anti-extremist; warnings to mass media (seven were issued by the agency's central office, and 36 by its local offices). This number is about the same as in 2006 (42 warnings). Even though not all of the warnings were legally well-founded (see below), most of them, as we believe, were appropriate.
Unfortunately, information about "anti-extremist; warnings by prosecutors remains virtually secret.
On the other hand, some regional prosecutorial offices began to publish reports (though very superficial) on local administrations' compliance with the anti-extremist legislation. Of course, without in-depth knowledge of the local circumstances it is difficult to judge whether the prosecutorial inquiries were effective and their warnings well-founded. However, it is important that such inquires are carried out and their findings made public, and the local administrations are reprimanded for inaction leading to xenophobia and breeding conflict likely to grow into ethnic riots. We cannot but complement the Chita Oblast Prosecutor's Office for not only taking the Kharagun Azeri riot case to court, but insisting that the court should find a violation in the local administration's inaction under the circumstances - the first precedent of this type in Russia that we know of.
Bans on merely formal grounds persist.
In particular, in December the right-wing radical paper Dozor was closed for failure to provide founding documents, while in the spring a blanket inspection of political parties for compliance with the amended Russian legislation on political parties resulted, inter alia, in the liquidation by the Russian Supreme Court of two parties of nationalist-patriotic orientation: the Popular Patriotic Party of Russia (NPPR) headed by ex-Minister of Defence Igor Rodionov and formerly well-known nationalist patriot Vladimir Miloserdov) and Konstantin Petrov's Yedinenie Conceptual Party (KPE). Anyway, NPPR was not active at the time, while KPE, as provided by the law, was soon transformed into a non-governmental association.
EXCESSIVE AND UNFOUNDED ACTIONS AGAINST EXTREMISM
The year 2007 was marked by increasingly abusive enforcement of the anti-extremist legislation along the same lines as had been observed in 2006, including the finding of materials extremist, persecution of civil society activists, NGOs, and mass media. The practice of harassment against dissenters seems to be adopted much faster than that of counteracting racist crime.
The long (79 items) list of materials banned as extremist contains at least 15 titles where we find the ban unfounded. We refer, first of all, to the Fundamentals of Tawheed by Al-Wahhab, an 18th century theological treatise banned in what we believe was an absurd decision. Also in 2007, a judgment finding extremist 14 Russian translations of books by Turkish theologian Said Nursi came into force. The ban has been challenged before the European Court of Human Rights, but pending the Court's judgment all Nursi's followers in Russia (notably, peaceful citizens) face administrative liability or worse for distributing books written by their teacher.
Furthermore, we note inappropriate negligence observed in the most recent published update of the banned list (29 December). In 2007, a court in Buguruslan found 17 materials extremist (at the moment we cannot comment on whether the ban had been well-founded, but some members of the Council of Russian Muftis have publicly expressed their disagreement with the judgment concerning some of the books on the list). However, only the titles were added to the federal banned list, without any other details. This omission makes space for abusive enforcement, because it may well be that some publications other than the :Buguruslan banned books; have similar titles, such as Fundamentals of Islam or Fundamentals of Islamic Teaching.
Persecution of Civil Society Activists
In 2007, authorities continued their persecution of civil society activists and organizations critical of the current political regime.
The conviction of Mari pagan priest Vitaly Tanakov in late 2006 was upheld on 21 March 2007. The case of Pyotr Gagarin, a retired resident of Oryol Oblast who had been strongly critical of the Oblast governor Yegor Stroyev at a public meeting, was taken to court. The elderly veteran was charged under art. 319 (offending a government official) and art. 280(1) (appeals to extremist activity) of the Russian Criminal Code. Eventually, the charges of extremism were lifted, but P. Gagarin was fined 10,000 rubles for offending the governor.
Perhaps the most odious incident of anti-extremist enforcement was the criminal prosecution of Savva Terentyev, a blogger in Syktyvkar. He commented on a news report about police abuse by making a very negative statement about the Russian police, which triggered criminal charges under art. 282 for incitement to hatred against :police as a social group.; Even though the charges were clearly absurd, the case is still pending; apparently, the authorities have requested another expert opinion.
No one doubts the absurdity of such accusations; however, the :anti-extremist; judgments are issued and their targets suffer the consequences. In particular, courts in Nizhny Novgorod twice (in August and November) ordered a tougher punishment to Stanislav Dmitrievsky, unlawfully convicted in 2006 on charges of incitement to ethnic hatred. The court ruled that Dmitrievsky's probation would be replaced by imprisonment should he commit any administrative violation. This judgment meant that he could no longer participate in any public action unsanctioned by authorities. Fortunately, both rulings were successfully appealed and overruled.
Persecution of Organizations
Persecution targeting organizations continued and even increased in 2007 as compared to 2006.
The most important development was the ban of the National Bolshevik party as an extremist organization. The ban was imposed on 19 April and upheld by the Russian Supreme Court on 7 August 2007. The ruling was based on three episodes, none of which, in our opinion, could have warranted the ban.
Even before the ruling came into force, some NGOs had faced "anti-extremist" warnings for permitting NBP activists to attend their events. Some of the warnings referred to the court ruling of 2005 which revoked NBP's registration and was misinterpreted by bureaucrats as a ban.
Still other warnings referred to the fact that NBP's flag resembled the Nazi flag, and as such was treated under art. 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Linked to this allegation was the case of Dmitry Isusov, NBP leader in Arzamas, who was fined in the spring of 2006 under a number of administrative articles, including art. 20.3 (propaganda and public demonstration of Nazi attributes or symbols) and 19.3 (defiance of police orders). In 2007, Dmitry Isusov appealed and had the ruling reversed, i.e. obtained a court finding that NBP's flag was not "similar to a Nazi flag to the point of confusion,; as the law says. Moreover, in April 2007 he claimed compensation for moral damage and was awarded 2,000 rubles.
At the end of May, the Yabloko party branch in Krasnodar was targeted for anti-extremist enforcement: the party was warned for distribution of books by prominent political scientist Andrei Piontkovsky. The party challenged the warning in court, and in June 2007 the first instance court overruled the absurd prosecutorial warning. However, on 14 August a higher (Krai-level) court upheld the original warning and by doing so, potentially could have stopped the Krasnodar Yabloko from running for local elections (which had been scheduled on 2 March 2008, but following a voluntary dissolution of the regional Duma, were held on 2 December) . On 25 September, in Moscow, proceedings were launched to find Piontkovsky's books extremist.
However, the method most frequently used by authorities to hinder the activities of dissenting political organizations and associations was massive confiscation of promotional and informational materials without a court order, ostensibly :to review them for extremism." Such confiscations always followed the same pattern: on the eve of the planned event (regardless of its political, social, or any other nature), all or most of the printed materials prepared to be used during the event (newspapers, posters, leaflets, etc.), were confiscated :for an expert review.; The amount of confiscated printed materials varied from dozens to tens of thousands copies. As soon as the event was over and the confiscated materials were no longer needed, the authorities returned them to the owners stating that :no evidence of extremism; had been found. Particularly illustrative was the confiscation of the SPS election campaign leaflet in tens of millions (!) of copies a weak before the end of the election campaign, to be returned to the party on 3 December. Even though in some cases courts have found such confiscations unlawful, we do not know of a single case where the bureaucrats responsible for the violation were punished. The impunity, of course, encourages the administrators and law enforcement officials to continue this abusive practice.
In addition to confiscations, public events organized by the political opposition were systematically banned on the pretext that extremist statements might potentially be pronounced there.
During the Duma election campaign (in September and November 2007), print media refused to publish campaign materials of some parties, alleging that the texts and visuals contained "incitement to social hatred." In particular, they found a CPRF video to be extremist, because it showed a poster saying "Put Chubais on the Electric Chair," while SPS and Fair Russia parties were found extremist for urging the prosecution of corrupted bureaucrats.
Besides political persecution, some examples of arbitrariness were totally inexplicable.
In particular, in end-December 2006, the local department of the Federal Registration Service referred to the Law on Combating Extremist Activity to deny registration to The Rainbow House, a gay and lesbian group in Tyumen; the government agency argued that :the group's activity involves promotion of non-traditional sexual orientation and may threaten the security of the Russian society,; because persons of such sexual orientation do not help to solve demographic problems. The organization made a few attempts to challenge the ruling in 2007, but failed, even though since the 2007 amendments of the anti-extremist legislation :undermining the state security; is no longer part of the definition of extremist activity.
Persecution of Mass Media
Mass media outlets also came under pressure.
In particular, at least eight of the 43 :anti-extremist; warnings issued to mass media by Rossvyazokhrankultura were, in our opinion, unfounded. The local Rossvyazokhrankultura office in Middle Volga was particularly zealous: four of the five warnings they issued to media were clearly unfounded. In addition to obvious political motives, some of the warnings are just silly. Warnings triggered by political considerations included, for example, those issued to the Saratov Reporter paper for their publication of a collage featuring V. Putin as Von Schtirlitz [a character from a very popular mini-series Seventeen Moments of Spring from the 1970s about a Soviet spy in the Nazi high echelons of power] - Rossvyazokhrankultura considered it a demonstration of Nazi symbols and initiated proceedings in court to close the paper, based on a combination of absurd claims. Another example was a warning of the Novy Peterburg paper for an unpublished article about the Dissenters' Mach. The Novy Peterburg case, where the newspaper was unlawfully suspended after three warnings (one of them clearly unfounded) issued to the paper within a very short period of time, was particularly illustrative. The paper is a mouthpiece of right-wing radicals in St. Petersburg, regularly publishing xenophobic texts, many of which have been unsuccessfully reported to the Prosecutors' Office by human rights activists in St. Petersburg. However, the authorities sanctioned the paper when it was about to invite its readers to attend an event of the political opposition.
A non-politically motivated inappropriate warning was issued by Rossvyazokhrankultura to Echo Nedeli - 33 paper in Kovrovsky District, Vladimir Oblast. The newspaper had been engaged in a long-standing conflict with Kovrovo Mayor Irina Tabatskova, formerly a National Bolshevik Party member, and many publications in the paper were highly (and often quite offensively) critical of the Mayor. One of their articles exposed Tabatskova's links with the Eurasian Youth Union. The paper expressed concern about the growing xenophobia in the country, and argued that xenophobia was encouraged, in particular, by government officials' - particularly Tabatskova's - patronage of the ultra-right. This material alleging the Mayor's connections with "fascists; was illustrated by a swastika. The anti-fascist article illustrated by a swastika triggered a warning.
Fortunately, in the summer of 2007 the threat of liquidation faced by Zyryanskaya Zhizn in the Komi Republic was resolved. To remind the reader, between 2005 and 2006 the paper received two unfair warnings from Rossvyazokhrankultura, followed by liquidation proceedings in court. On 5 June 2007, however, the Komi Republic Supreme Court cleared the paper of all charges.
Anti-fascist Rhetoric Used to Discredit Political Opponents
In the first half of 2007, the administrative and judicial pressure against activists critical of the current regime in general or certain officials in particular was accompanied by a blame campaign unleashed by Nashi movement describing opposition as "fascists' accomplices.; 
The United Russia Young Guard added their voices to Nashi's "anti-fascist" campaigning, followed by several :adult; political parties. We refer to Edouard Limonov's inverview to Gazeta in early April 2007 and the related scandal. Shortly after the publication, the websites of United Russia, SPS, LDPR and (Mikhail Barschevsky's) :Civil Force; publicly criticized the interview as :giving column space to an extremist.; Even though eventually all the above parties except United Russia took back their statements explaining them as errors of their press officers, only LDPR actually removed the "anti-Limonov" statement from their website. However, a parliamentary enquiry urging the Prosecutor General's Office :to look more closely into, and take appropriate measures" with regard to the interview published by Gazeta was launched by an MP from LDPR, Sergey Abeltsev.
In the spring and summer of 2007, police joined in the efforts to discredit political opposition. In particular, their allegations that the Dissenters Marches had been organized by skinheads or the dissenters who had provoked xenophobic riots in Slavyanskaya Square on 22 June added a new, innovative twist to the anti-oppositional propaganda.
Whereas the Russian public is used to these propaganda tricks, it was somewhat unusual to see the anti-extremist hysteria spill over to the international arena. We refer to the Russian officials' strong reaction to the support of the Russian Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) by international organizations. It started on 29 March 2007, at the OSCE Meeting on the Freedom of Assembly, Association and Expression in Vienna, where the Russian Government's representative expressed official indignation at the presence of the RCFS, which the diplomat described as "an extremist organization.; In addition, well-known Russian political scientist Sergey Markov who came to the meeting with the official delegation strongly criticized the RCFS's attendance, claiming that the group was not just :extremist,; but also :maintained links with terrorists.;
The scandal was fueled by the fact that OSCE meetings are open to all NGOs which apply, as long as they are not involved in political violence (as the EU spokesman noted). Moreover, even though RCFS had been liquidated, it had not been formally found an :extremist; organization; plus, allegations that it had any :links; with terrorists totally lacked legal grounds.
Nevertheless, Russian officials continued along the same lines throughout the year, with the scandal escalating. In particular, on 28 September 2007, at the OSCE annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, the Russian delegation left the room in protest, when the chair announced an RCFS speaker. Apparently, Russia had launched the campaign against RCFS within the OSCE in order to justify its own and some other CIS countries' subsequent move to change the rules and require relevant States' endorsement for NGO attendance of OSCE conferences.
APPENDIX 1. Overview of the Amendments Introduced in the Anti-extremist Legislation in 2007
Alexander Verkhovsky, for the NGO Bulletin Lawmaking in the State Duma: a Human Rights Analysis
APPENDIX 2. Crime and Punishment Statistics (Word)
APPENDIX 3. Materials Found by Russian Courts to be Extremist
In addition to materials on the banned list officially published by the Russian Federal Registration Service (as of 29 December), our list includes those where we already know of relevant judgments.
I. The federal list of banned extremist materials as of 29 December 2007
1. Music of the White Album, authored by Order Music Group, judgment by the Pervomaisky District Court, Omsk, of 23.11.2006;
2. The Book of Monotheism by Muhammad Ibn Sulayman At-Tamimi, published by Badr Publishing House, judgment by Savelovsky District Court, Moscow, of 02.04.2004;
3. Letters of the Kuban Rada of Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire, authored by N.M. Lozinsky and V.M. Gerasev, judgment by the Pervomaisky District Court, Krasnodar, of 20.03.2006;
4. Materials printed in the newspaper For the Russian People, issues №1(1), June 2002; № 2 (2), August 2002; № 3, October 2002; № 4, November 2002; № 5, December 2002; 2003, № 6, 7, judgment by the Tikhvin City Court, Leningrad Oblast, of 25.05.2004;
5. The Eternal Jew film, judgment by the Tikhvin City Court, Leningrad Oblast, of 25.05.2004;
6. Mother Earth: a Wonderful Miracle, a Marvelous Wonder. An Introduction to Geobiology brochure, authored by A.A. Dobrovolsky, published by Kotelnichsky Printing House, judgment by Kotelnichsky District Court, Kirov Oblast, of 09.03.2005;
7. Paganism as Magic brochure, authored by A.A. Dobrovolsky, published by Kotelnichsky Printing House, judgment by Kotelnichsky District Court, Kirov Oblast, of 09.03.2005;
8. Who Is Afraid of the Russian National Socialism brochure, authored by A.A. Dobrovolsky, published by Kotelnichsky Printing House, judgment by Pervomaisky District Court, Kirov Oblast, of 29.07.2005;
9. The Judeo-Christian Plague brochure, authored by A.A. Dobrovolsky, published by Kotelnichsky Printing House, judgment by Pervomaisky District Court, Kirov Oblast, of 29.07.2005;
10. Svyatoslavye brochure, authored by A.A. Dobrovolsky, published by Mayak Plant Printing Shop, judgment by Leninsky District Court, Kirov, of 19.05.2005;
11. One Day We Will Come with Rotten Tomatoes article, authored by A.A. Nikolaenko, published by Belovskaya Kopeika newspaper, issue № 1 of 11 November 2002, judgment by Belovsky City Court, Kemerovo Oblast, of 26.12.2006;
12. SS Is Knocking at Your Door, Bastards article, authored by A.A. Nikolaenko, published by Kurs newspaper issue 49 of 6 December 2002, judgment by Belovsky City Court, Kemerovo Oblast, of 26.12.2005;
13. The Acting Mastermind article, authored by A.A. Nikolaenko, published by Kurs newspaper, issue 8 of 21 February 2003, judgment by Belovsky City Court, Kemerovo Oblast, of 26.12.2006;
14. The Most Constructive Party article, authored by A.A. Nikolaenko, published by Kurs newspaper, issue 43 of 22 October 2004, judgment by Belovsky City Court, Kemerovo Oblast, of 09.09.2005.
15. Through the Prism of Islam, authored by Abd al Hadi ibn Ali, B.m. B.d., judgment by Naltchik City Court of 15.01.2004
16. Materials printed in Ya Russkii (I Am Russian). Nizhneye Povolzhye paper, № 1-2, 2005, judgment by Znamensky City Court, Astrakhan Oblast, of 03.07.2007
17. The Cerberus of Freedom brochure, № 11, 2005, judgment by Znamensky City Court, Astrakhan Oblast, of 03.07.2007
18. Information materials, responses to the coverage of events in Kharagun on Narodny Control website, page 4, published in Russkoye Zabaikalye paper, issue of 11.09.2006, judgment by the Central District Court, Chita, of 18.04.2007
19. Vikhr. National Socialist Publication, Vyatka № 1 magazine, judgment by Shabalinsky District Court, Kirov Oblast, of 19.07.2007
20. Printed materials, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, in Vest Newspaper of the Russian State, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
21. The Russian State brochure, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
22. The State Is Ourselves brochure, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
23. Kabbalah brochure, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07. 2007
24. Kabbalah - 2 brochure, authored by A.A.Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
25. The Truth about the Origins of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary brochure, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
26. The Russian People and the RF Constitution brochure authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
27. Every [Ethnic] Russian Must Know This brochure, authored by A.A.Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07.2007
28. What Should Be Done... brochure, authored by A.A. Vostryagov, published by Sanders (mass media company), judgment by the Zavolzhsky District Court, Ulyanovsk, of 12.07. 2007
29. Saryn' na Kichku brochure, authored by A. Dobrovolsky, published by VYATKA Publishing House, judgment by Leninsky District Court, Kirov, of 22.08.2007
30. The Fall and Rise of Paganism brochure, authored by A. Dobrovolsky, published by VYATKA Publishing House, judgment by Leninsky District Court, Kirov, of 22.08.2007
31. Divizia № 1 - Newspaper of the Russian Prikamye, 2001, judgment by the Industrialny District Court,Izhevsk, Udmurtia Republic, of 26.07.2007
32. Izhevskaya Divizia № 2, 3, 4, 5 - Newspaper of the Russian Prikamye, 2001, judgment by the Industrialny District Court,Izhevsk, Udmurtia Republic, of 26.07.2007
33. A Call to the Islamic Ummah. How Long Must We Wait? DVD, judgment by Leninsky District Court,Ufa, of 10.10.2007
34. The System of Islam by Takiuddin an-Nabohoni, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
35. The Islamic State by Takiuddin an-Nabohoni, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
36. Democracy Is a System of Faithlessness by Takiuddin an-Nabohoni, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
37. The Political Concept of Hizb ut-Tahrir by Takiuddin an-Nabohoni, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
38. Al-Wayi Magazine № 215, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
39. Al-Wayi Magazine № 221, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
40. Al-Wayi Magazine № 230, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
41. Al-Wayi Magazine № 233, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
42. Al-Wayi Magazine № 234, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
43. Al-Wayi Magazine № 235, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
44. Al-Wayi Magazine № 236, judgment by Tuimazinsky District Court, Republic of Bashkortostan, of 05.09.2007
45. Belief and Man, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD [Central Administrative District], Moscow, of 21.05.2007
46. The Foundations of Sincerity, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translator not indicated, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
47. The Immortality of Man's Spirit, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translation by M. Sh. Abdullaev, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
48. The Truths of Belief [The Key to Belief], Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translator not indicated, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
49. A Guide for Women, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translation by M. Sh. Abdullaev, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
50. Fruits of Belief [Fruits from the Tree of Life], Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
51. On Ramadan, Thanks, and Frugality, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2000, translator not indicated, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
52. Munadjat [A Supplication] The Third Ray, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2002, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
53. Thirty Three Windows, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2004, translated by M. Irsal, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
54. The Foundations of Brotherhood, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2004, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
55. Mirkat-us Sunnet [The Way of Truth], Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2004, translation by M. Sh. Abdullaev, M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
56. The Staff of Musa, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, year of publication not indicated, translated by T. N. Galimov, M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
57. The Short Words, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, year of publication not indicated, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
58. Message for the Sick, Risale-i Nur Collection by Said Nursi, published in 2003, translated by M.G. Tamimdarov, judgment by Koptevsky District Court, CAD, Moscow, of 21.05.2007
59. Materials published in Za Rus'! newspaper, 2005, № 4(49), publisher and editor S. Putintsev, judgment by Leninsky Court, Novorossiisk, of 21.06.2007
60. Materials published in Za Rus'! newspaper, 2006, № 1(50), publisher and editor S. Putintsev, judgment by Leninsky Court, Novorossiisk, of 21.06.2007
61. Materials published in Za Rus'! newspaper, 2006, № 2(51), publisher and editor S. Putintsev, judgment by Leninsky Court, Novorossiisk, of 21.06.2007
62. Information materials in the article Let Us Croack, PARA BELLUM newspaper № 9, December 2005, judgment by Sovetsky District Court, Chelyabinsk, of 25.09.2007.
63. Information materials in the article Apotheosis of Preludes, PARA BELLUM newspaper № 9, December 2005, judgment by Sovetsky District Court, Chelyabinsk, of 25.09.2007.
64. Usus Al-Akida (Fundamentals of Islamic Teaching) , judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
65. Islamic Akida According to the Holy Qur'an and Authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
66. As-Salafia (Truth and Falsehood) brochure, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
67. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) , judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
68. Islam Today brochure, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
69. Words on the Unity, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
70. Establishing Allah's Law, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
71. Programs of Shariah Studies, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
72. Explanation of the Basics of Faith, a brief essay on the Islamic dogma, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
73. The Personality of a Muslim: the true Islamic personality as defined in the Qurran and Sunnah, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
74. Dispelling Doubt, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
75. A Book of Monotheism, Salih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
76. Explanation of the Fundamentals of Faith: Notes on the True Teaching, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
77. The Life of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
78. The Fundamentals of Islam, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
79. Following the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) is Indispensable brochure, judgment by Buguruslan City Court, Orenburg Oblast, of 06.08.2007, determination by Buguruslan City Court of 19.10.2007.
II. Materials not on the federal list, but found extremist by courts, where the judgments are known to have taken effect
1. Andrei Boikov, Reflections after a Failure (article). Found extremist by the Federal Court of Leninsky District, Makhachkala, of 20 June 2004
2. Cyclon B music group, 12 songs:
- The Vasts of Europe
- The Crystal Night
- In the Memory of Heroes
- Yo Yo Rap is Rotten
- My Day Off
- This Is War
- A Unit of Patriots
- Death to Enemies",
- Every Day under the Death Flag
- My Stigma
- Children of the Hills
- This Is Our Century
Found extremist by Nagatinsky Court, Moscow, in October 2007
3. Leaflets Appeal to the Law Enforcement Authorities of Dagestan and In the Name of Allah, Mighty and Merciful. Found extremist by the Federal Court of Leninsky District, Makhachkala, of 12 May 2004
4. Yuri Petukhov. The Fourth World War. Intrusion. Chronicles of the Eastern Hemisphere Occupation. M.: Metagalaktika, 2004, 416 pp.
Same author. Genocide. Society. Extermination. Russian Holocaust. -M.: Metagalaktika, 2004, 384 pp. (Another version of the title: Genocide. Extermination Society (Writer's Diaries 1999-2003)
Found extremist by Perovsky District Court, Moscow, 5 February 2007.
5. Russia Stabbed in the Back. Jewish Fascism and Genocide of Russian People. Film (St. Petersburg, 2005). Found extremist by the Leninsky District Court in Kirov (unfortunately, we do not know the date of the ruling)
- Kavkaz Center
- Chechen Press
- Alani (Karachaevo-Balkar) News Agency.
Found extremist by Sovetsky District Court of Novosibirsk on 23 May 2007.
III. Materials found extremist by courts, where we are not sure whether the judgments have taken effect
1. Georgy Znamensky. The Orange Retort // Severny Rabochii (Severodvinsk, Archangelsk Oblast). 2006. 8 July. The article was found extremist by Severodvinsky City Court on 15 January 2007.
2. Materials published in newspapers Russkaya Falanga ((№ 14 (42) of 25 December 2004), Respublika № 4 (18-24 April 2004) and Nash Narodny Nabludatel № 1 (November 2003). Found extremist by Octyabrsky District Court, Izhevsk, in October 2007.
APPENDIX 4. Organizations found by Russian courts to be extremist
The following is a list of organizations found by Russian courts to be extremist over the period between 2002 and 2007. This is not an official list; it is based on the findings of our Center's monitoring.
1. Organizations found by Russian courts to be extremist
1. RNE regional chapter in Omsk.
Found extremist by Omsk Oblast Court on 10 October 2002.
2. The Asgard Slav Community of the Belovodye Asgard Ves' Spiritual Department, Old Russian Ingliistic Church of Orthodox Old-Rite Inglings.
Found extremist by Omsk Oblast Court on 30 April 2004.
3. The Kapische Vedy Perun Slav Community of the Belovodye Asgard Ves' Spiritual Department, Old Russian Ingliistic Church of Orthodox Old-Rite Inglings.
Found extremist by Omsk Oblast Court on 30 April 2004.
4. The Male Sprirtual Seminary - Establishment of Professional Religious Education, Old Russian Ingliistic Church of Orthodox Old-Rite Inglings.
Found extremist by Omsk Oblast Court on 30 April 2004.
5. RNE regional chapter in Tatarstan.
Found extremist by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan on 21 May 2003 (effective as of 5 June 2003).
6. The Kuban Rada of Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire (regional chapter of the Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire organization)
Found extremist by Pervomaisky District Court of Krasnodar on 27 April 2006 (effective as of 16 May 2006).
7. The Krasnodar Orthodox Slav Community VEC RA (Vedic Culture of Russian Aryans) of Rassenia Skythian Ves'. Found extremist by Krasnodar Krai Court on 5 October 2006
8. The National Bolshevik Party.
Found extremist by Moscow City Court on 19 April 2007 (effective as of 7 August 2007).
2. Organizations liquidated before the Law on Combating Extremist Activity, but included in Rosfinmonitoring list of extremist and terrorist organizations
1. RNE regional chapter in Prymorye.
Banned by Primorsky Krai Court on 21 October 1999, in accordance with art. 16 of the Federal Law on Public Associations (prohibition of establishment and activity of non-governmental associations, whose goals or activities involve a forcible change of the foundations of the constitutional system and violation of integrity of the Russian Federation; undermining the state security, establishment of armed units, incitement to ethnic, racial or religious hatred).
2. The Slav World NGO in Kuzbass.
Liquidated by Kemerovo Oblast Court on 27 November 2001 pursuant to art. 43 of the Federal Law on Public Associations (failure by a non-governmental association to correct violations of the law within the established timelines). However, we do not know what violations were committed by the organization and whether they involved actual xenophobic activities or mere non-compliance with formalities.
3. Organizations found by the Russian Supreme Court to be terrorist since 14 February 2003
1. High Military Council Majlisul Shura of the United Mujahedeen Forces of the Caucasus
2. Ichkeria and Dagestan People's Congress
3. Al Qaeda (The Base)
4. Asbat al-Ansar
5. Holy War (al-Jihad, or Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
6. Islamic Group (al-Gamaa al-Islamia)
7. Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ihwân al-Muslimûn)
8. Party of Islamic Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami)
10. Islamic Group (Jamaat-e-Islami)
11. Taliban Movement
12. Islamic Party of Turkistan (formerly Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan)
13. Society for Social Reform (Jamiat al-Islah al-Ijtimai)
14. Society of the Revival of Islamic Heritage (Jamiat Ihya at-Turaz al-Islami)
15. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation
16. Islamic Jihad - Jamaat of the Mujahedeen
17. Junj ash-Sham.
 A. Verkhovsky, O.Sibireva. Problems with the Exercise of the Freedom of Conscience in Russia in 2007 // SOVA Center. Religion in Secular Society. 2008. February 20 (/religion/publications/2008/02/d12697/). Here and later - texts are in Russians, if it is not mentioned, that they are available in English. English translation of that report is coming soon.
 Reports about the 2006 victims continued to surface throughout the year 2007. Cf. reports of victims in 2006: by March 2007, we knew of 54 people killed and 485 wounded in 2006. By mid-January 2008 we learned about 62 people killed and 502 wounded. i.e. since the publication of the year 2006 report, the number of known 2006 victims increased by 22 persons, including 7 deaths. (cf.: Galina Kozhevnikova. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2006// SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 1 April (http://xeno.sova-center.ru/29481C8/8F76150).
 For example, by estimates of the Tadjik diaspora representatives, 40 of the 60 Tadjik nationals killed in 2007 were victims of racist attacks. Cf. this with the SOVA Center's information, Appendix 3.
 This gap in reporting is particularly noticeable if we look at the dynamics of this type of crime: before May, we had documented 10 or 11 new victims each week, after mid-September around 12 or 13 victims, while in summer (except the two massive battering incidents outside Angarsk and Irkutsk) the average number was 5 victims each month, in most cases reported by eyewitnesses.
 As of this writing, the St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office is investigating all attacks of December 1, where one person was killed and at least four were beaten, under one criminal case.
 To remind, in 2006, a single incident - a blast in Cherkisovo market - killed 13 people. It explains why the number of fatal incidents in 2006 was far less than the number of deaths.
 The ultra-right websites claimed half a hundred casualties.
 A blast in Manezhnaya Square in end-2007 and a false warning of a mine allegedly planted in Cherkisovsky District Court on the first day of :Cherkisovo bombers; trial.
 In particular, the website of an association of military patriotic clubs, where one of the board members is from the Russian Order group, while the association is a member of the Ring of Patriotic Resources (a webring of more or less radical national-patriotic sites), displays letters of thanks from various government officials and the Moscow Patriarchy. We should emphasize: it does not mean that the authorities or the Russian Orthodox Church offer any real support to such clubs, or that all clubs of this type are ultra-nationalist. We only wish to stress that the ultra-right clubs and groups in particular are likely to exploit any contacts, acquaintances, and especially any official rewards or thanks to promote themselves to young people who do not yet share any specific ideology, as well as appear influential in the eyes of potential stakeholders.
 After the SOVA Center published a report on alleged links between Russian mixfighters and ultra-right groups, the club of the fighters mentioned in the report made a statement denying any ideological aspects of their cooperation. Soon afterwards, some neo-Nazi websites published an interview with mixfighter Roman Zentsov where the latter explicitly spoke about protecting :purity of blood; from foreigners. The club was informed of the interview, but never responded.
 In our opinion, if not the video per se, at least its publication and subsequent related statements (a mythical National-Socialist Party of Rus' claimed responsibility for the killings and made a rather far-fetched declaration of being :the combat unit; of Dmitry Rumyantsev's National Socialist Society - followed by the latter's statements denying any links with the group) revealed internal conflicts and competition among the ultra-right - a rather heterogeneous community.
 See, for example, Leonid Sedov. Opposition. Criticism of Authorities. Extremism (findings of December surveys) // Levada Center. 2007. 15 January (www.levada.ru/press/2007011504.html).
 See, for example, Residents Concerned over Skinhead Gang Rumors// BelMedia.ru. 2007. 20 April (belmedia.ru/newspage/id/7579.html); Ivan Loginov. Big Panic Raised by a Small Hoax // Golos Belogorya. 2007. 26 April (golosbelog.livejournal.com/5472.html); Lessons of the :Skinhead Case; // Den News Agency (Udmurtia). 2007. 26 April (www.dayudm.ru/lenta.php?id=20092).
 See details in: Drunk General Commits a Racist Murder // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 16 October (/racism-xenophobia/news/racism-nationalism/2007/10/d11782/).
 By our data, in addition to the single officially reported incident in Perm, attacks occurred on the same day in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Tyumen. However, we were not able to find out any details.
 She was probably targeted specifically for being a Moslem believer, because the attackers did not only beat her, but forced vodka down her throat.
 To remind, this report does not cover incidents of vandalism in general, but only those where we have no doubts as to the hate motive.
 The Protestants' attempts to sue journalists usually fail. For example, in 2007, as in 2006, we know of just two warnings issued by Rossvyazokhrankultura to media outlets for their xenophobic :anti-sectarian; publications.
 The action began on 24 December 2007. During the first decade of January 2008, the website used by the vandals for coordination was blocked for :incitement to vandalism and to overthrowing the legitimate government; and :promotion of racial hatred and Nazism.; Later, however, the site was active again.
 The elections were held on 11 March 2007.
 In particular, it is known that at least one ultra-right candidate will run for the Moscow municipal government on 2 March 2008.
 Of course, the change of the party's name was not accidental: the idea behind it was to involve the extreme right in Baburin's group: the Popular Union's (Natsionalny Soyuz) acronym NS is the same as that of National Socialism or National Socialist - a popular term among Russian neo-Nazi skinheads.
 Gennady Semigin: We are growing stronger! // Patriots of Russia. 2007. September. № 4 (http://www.patriot-rus.ru/newspaper.php?article=35).
 On 2 November 2007, the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court.
 See details in: A Scandal around the Monument to the White Guard in Sokol// SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 10 May (/racism-xenophobia/news/racism-nationalism/2007/05/d10816/).
 Some obvious reasons behind the success of right-wing radicals included their human rights slogans and their willingness to welcome all sorts of potential participants as well as prisoners they advocated for (each region nominated their own "political prisoner candidates; - for example, in Kurgan they nominated Vitaly Sulima - a local national-patriot convicted and sentenced for an "ordinary" murder).
 Konstantin Krylov has published the longest list available so far, yet some of the activities that we know of are missing from his list.
 It was revealed later that the fight had been preceded by an attack against two young Chechen men, which the police refused to register or respond to. Yulia Fil'. Bonne mine à mauvais jeu // Stavropolskaya Pravda. 2007. 21 July (http://www.stapravda.ru/20070721/Horoshaya_mina_pri_plohoj_igre_738.html).
 On the Verge of Panic // Ibid. 2007. 5 June (http://www.stapravda.ru/2007/06/05/2007-06-05-06.shtml).
 See details in: Galina Kozhevnikova. Dragon's Teeth. // Grani.Ru. 2007. 15 June (http://grani.ru/opinion/kozhevnikova/m.123451.html).
 The perpetrators of an anti-Azeri pogrom in the village of Kharagun, Chita Oblast, faced trial in October 2007.
 In September 2006, when he was vice-governor of Kamchatka Oblast asked what he thought of RNE, he said that :at the moment he did not fully share; RNE's ideology. Vladimir Khitrov. Following the example of Spetsnaz // Argumenty i Facty - Kamchatka. 2006. 27 September (http://kamchatka.aif.ru/issues/1352/03_01?print)
 Cf., for example, The Russian Power //LDPR. 2007. 29 October: We run for the Duma to return Russia to [ethnic] Russians! // Zhirinovsky's Time. 2007. 29 October.
 B. Nemtsov finds high birth rates in Moslem regions dangerous for Russia // SOVA Center. Religion in a secular society. 2007. 17 October (//2007/10/d11784/).
 The show was aired on 24 May 2007. A. Byalko seconded Nikolay Zlobin in his debate with V. Zhirinovsky. See http://semen-serpent.livejournal.com/461666.html for a transcript of the show. It reveals a clumsy attempt to expose Zhirinovsky's anti-Semitic statements, rather than Byalko's own anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, the words came out and were perceived by all, including SPS, as anti-Semitism.
 Statement by the Chairman of the Union of Right-Wing Forces Party Federal Political Council //SPS. Official website. (http://sps.ru/?id=220872).
 Without Kasyanov. Casting of Single Oppositional Candidates. Conflicts in SPS and Yabloko. The Same Faces: Old New Governors // Radio Liberty. 2007. 9 July (http://www.svobodanews.ru/Transcript/2007/07/09/20070709122722047.html).
 See, for example, G. Kozhevnikova. Autumn - 2006: Under the Kondopoga Banner // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 4 January (/racism-xenophobia/publications/2007/01/d9911/).
 The Yabloko Party Bureau Expressing Its Views on Parliamentary and Presidential Elections, Situation in the Country, and the Party. // Official website of the Yabloko Party St. Petersburg chapter. 2007. 16 December (http://www.spb.yabloko.ru/pbl/3430.php?PHPSESSID=a290d6b0505b6b48ec53c).
 The case of a woman, resident of Moscow, who stabbed and killed a rapist in self-defense; the rapist happened to be an ethnic Armenian. The Ivannikova case was used in one of DPNI's first major promotional campaigns. See details in: Galina Kozhevnikova. Skinheads Do Not Take Vacations // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2005. 2 October (/racism-xenophobia/publications/2005/10/d5806/#r3).
 To remind, in 2005 ESM was involved in a number of attacks against street actions of political opposition. G. Kozhevnikova. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2005 // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2006. 6 February (/racism-xenophobia/publications/2006/02/d7189/#r3).
 To remind, in the autumn of 2006, in St. Petersburg, a group of radical antifa attacked a peaceful DPNI rally. A few days later, in Moscow, the audience of a neo-Nazi concert was attacked.
 Amendments of the electoral laws came into force on 11 May 2007.
 See details in: The State Duma Protects the Pubic Chamber from Extremists // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 28 May (/misuse/news/lawmaking/2007/05/d10943/).
 In some cases, the exact number of sentenced offenders is unknown.
 To remind, we have all reasons to believe that a well-organized neo-Nazi underground operates in the city.
 Relevant amendments of the Criminal Code became effective later, in August 2007.
 The only similar cases in Russia were an attempted blast attack of a synagogue in Novgorod (2005) committed by a single anti-Semitist, and an explosion of a bomb attached to an anti-Semitic poster in Tomsk (2006), where banditry was involved in addition to anti-Semitism. Besides, the public opinion did not perceive these two incidents as terrorist attacks.
 We need to note that in one case it was applied as a seemingly redundant :appendage; to art. 112(d)(e) (bodily harm of medium seriousness, inflicted out of ethnic hatred).
 Originally, there were two of them. But later one of them - the sentence for vandalizing a cemetery in the village of Yandyki - was revisited, the hate motive deleted, and the punishment faced by vandals reduced accordingly. To remind the reader, the fact that the punishment had been mitigated eventually triggered an anti-Chechen riot in Yandyki in August 2005.
 Such were the sentences of Pavel Ivanov (Novgorod) and Igor Kolodezenko (Novosibirsk), each of them having prior convictions for xenophobic propaganda; the sentence of a soldier from Dagestan (tried in Novosibirsk) where propaganda was combined with a number of more serious offences; the sentence of Kaluga teenagers who filmed racist battering on the video; and the sentence of Sergey Kotov, leader of the NNP chapter in Yekaterinburg, charged for the creation of an extremist community, as well as propaganda.
 In one case, two types of punishments (deprivation of liberty and a ban on occupation) were combined, therefore the number of punishments (42) is different from the number of convicted offenders (41).
 He was sentences to 3 years of imprisonment in February 2008.
 Except, of course, web forums which are an integral part of radicals' websites used for coordination of their actions; but again, rather than persecute an individual member, it would be more logical to address the website materials in their entirety, or better still, look into the activities of the site owners.
 We should also mention that websites of oppositional organizations were attacked at least as often as web resources of the ultra-right.
 And, to the best of our knowledge of effective judgments, this list is incomplete. See details in: A List of Materials Found by Russian Courts to be Extremist // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. [December] (/racism-xenophobia/docs/2007/04/d10526/).
 For example, the author witnessed police on duty at an ultra-right rally checking the titles of distributed literature against their list of banned texts. On the other hand, an appeal is now pending in a criminal case based on the fact that the prosecution for dissemination of extremist materials had been launched before an official publication of the banned list.
 All sites are hosted by foreign providers.
 It is yet unknown what exactly happened after the paper was liquidated by court. NBP members insisted that they had not received a copy of the ruling. Anyway, these details are irrelevant since the ban of NBP.
 For example, it is known that some prosecutorial warnings were triggered by the administration's failure to adopt a specific program of counteraction to extremist activity; in Sverdlovsk Oblast, the reason for warning was that a school teacher had received visitors (people he prepared some translations for) in the school building, but the visitors had not signed their names with the school security guards, etc.
 The most recent judgment dates 15 January 2008.
 See details in: Alexander Verkhovsky. Why the decision to ban NBP should be revoked // SOVA Center. Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russia. 2007. 4 August (/racism-xenophobia/publications/2007/08/d11167/). It should also be noted that criminal prosecution triggered by one of the episodes in St. Petersburg has been dropped.
 However, Yabloko members had no problems running for the elections.
 Based on the warnings, the Prosecutor's Office requested a court to liquidate the paper. The court suspended the publication to secure the claim. However, only an organization may be suspended to secure a prosecutorial request of liquidation :for extremism;; this provision does not apply to mass media.
 Who is the fascist in Russia? // Echo of Moscow. 2007. 11 April (www.echo.msk.ru/programs/exit/50939).
 See, for example, Promoters of extremism and xenophobia must remain irrelevant and marginal // Civil Force. 2007. 6 April (www.gr-sila.ru/document_id3037.html); Statement of the Union of Right-wing Forces (SPS) Party press office concerning E. Limonov's inverview to Gazeta. // SPS Party official website. 2007. 6 April (sps.ru/?id=219825).
:The dissenters; faced these allegations in Nizhny Novgorod and in Samara. :Skinheads; were also mentioned in reports of cruelly suppressed marches in Moscow and in St. Petersburg on 14 and 15 April, respectively.