Manifestations of Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in Russia during the First Half of 2010

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

Edited by Alexander Verkhovsky

Table of Contents


The first half of 2010 saw further development of the existing trends, both in the manifestations of radical nationalism, and in efforts to counteract it.[1]

For the second year in a row, we see a drop in the number of the victims of racial violence. Once again this trend is mostly the result of the reduction in the numbers coming from Moscow, although some improvement has been observed in St. Petersburg as well. In other cities and towns the situation remains largely unchanged. The movement toward anti-state terrorism clearly continues, riding the wave of a growing anti-police sentiment. Grassroots xenophobic violence is also on the rise, provoked by anti-Caucasian and anti-Muslim sentiments deeply ingrained in the social psyche (as demonstrated in the aftermath of the March 29, 2010 terrorist acts in the Moscow metro), as well as by state activities (the campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses).

The public activity of ultra-right groups shrank to the minimum required in order to remind sympathizing unaffiliated activists about the groups’ existence, and to demonstrate (albeit unconvincingly) their organizational vitality. Every significant ultra-right organization remains under serious pressure from law enforcement authorities. In the absence of mass public events, right-wing radicals try to compensate by engaging in “ideological activity”: an entire series of programmatic documents on strategy and tactics for the future development of ultra-right groups and on general “anti-state struggle” appeared, primarily in the spring of 2010.

Right-wing radicals continue to take advantage of election campaigning (2010 even saw an attempt to establish Russian power “in one separate district”), and periodically attempt to create a ”Kondopoga scenario” of using everyday conflicts to provoke inter-ethnic clashes.

In the first half of 2010, both the quantity and quality of the criminal prosecution of racist violence continued to improve, although certain regions show a clear tendency toward the minimization of punishment for such crimes. However, there were no positive changes in the prosecution of racist propaganda. This part of state anti-xenophobic efforts remains ineffective.

Among the legislative efforts to counteract xenophobia, the resolution of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation became the most significant event of the early 2010. The resolution clarified the judicial practice related to the Russian Federation Statute on the Mass Media, thus protecting media outlets from unfounded anti-extremist prosecution, numerous cases of which have been observed in recent years.



In the first half of 2010 at least 167 people became victims of racist and neo-Nazi violence; 19 of them died. During the comparable period of 2009, 52 people were killed and 242 were injured. [2]. For the second year in a row we observe a consistent decline in racist violence, once again due to the reduction in the numbers from Moscow. However, aside from that, it becomes increasingly apparent that information about such incidents often fails to make it into the public sphere – and we learn about them not right after the crime is committed, but only once the attacker receives his court sentence. [3]

The geography of racist violence has changed very little. As before, the hotbeds include the Moscow region (city and metropolitan area, 9 killed, 53 injured), St. Petersburg and Leningrad region (1 killed, 26 injured) and Nizhny Novgorod (2 killed, 12 injured). Overall, racially-motivated incidents were reported in 32 regions. In several population centers they came after a year-long (Irkutsk, Tver, Tomsk), or even two-year-long (Ivanovo) period of relative quiet. This serves to emphasize, once again, that our statistics can only define the problematic regions, where racist groups are actively violent, but does not represent the full scope of the xenophobic violence.

The likely objects of attacks changed somewhat as compared to our previous observations over the years. As usual, people from Central Asia lead in these grim statistics (at least 9 killed and 28 injured), but those born in the North Caucasus, who for many years held the second place, have now moved down to number four (2 killed, 11 injured). The second and third places went respectively to the members of youth subcultures including young anti-fascists (3 killed, 33 injured), and to dark-skinned individuals (1 killed 15 injured). We doubt, however, that these numbers reflect the increase in violence against the latter group - more likely the change is due to the activities of Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, an organization responsible, among other things, for the systematic collection of information on racist acts toward the dark-skinned. The data, collected by the Chaplaincy, made public a number of incidents, which previously would have passed completely unknown, and significantly changed our perception of the level of discomfort faced in the Russian capital by people with dark-colored skin. However, the second place for the members of the youth subcultures is not likely to be an accident. Despite all the inadequacies of our monitoring, we still think these numbers actually reflect the growing tension in the street in confrontations between neo-Nazi and anti-fascist groups, which we have been mentioning for a few years. To underscore this finding please note, that according to our usual methodology, statistics do not include the participants of mass brawls. In addition, the overwhelming number of victims in this group is not members of the “military antifascists” – they are either the attendees of music concerts, considered “antifascist” by the neo-Nazis, or just some people “taken for anti-fascists” by their attackers, and such.

Anti-State Terrorism

The activities of ultra-right groups continue to show a tendency toward terror that can be characterized as anti-state – exploding strategic objects (as, for example, the railway tracks and the maintenance rail car, blown up in February 2010 in St. Petersburg), arson attacks and bombings of police stations (Penza, Rostov-on-Don). In total, over the first half of the year at least 9 such crimes were recorded.

Experts and law enforcement officers were particularly concerned about May 5th, since the ultra-right activists announced in advance their plan to repeat the “Day of Wrath" of the year before. However, no countrywide event happened even on the propaganda plane (remember that in 2009 the ultra-right radicals claimed responsibility for virtually all the violent attacks on non-Slavic victims reported on May 5, for all the arson attacks on the municipal buildings or property, and even for some imaginary incidents). On May 5, 2010 the only incident reports came from St. Petersburg and Moscow, and one more from Penza on the following night.

Admittedly, the failure of the “Day of Wrath” was easy to predict. First of all, not only the neo-Nazis, but the law enforcement agencies as well, had time to prepare. Then, unlike in 2009, there was no strong ideological motivation. May 5, 2009 was the fortieth day from the suicide of a leader of the National-Socialist Society (Natsional-sotsialisticheskoe obshchestvo, NSO) Maksim (Adolf) Bazylev while in pre-trial detention. Marking a year and 40 days from the day of his death did not seem logical even from the perspective of the ultra-right, and the first “Day of Wrath” did not have strong enough impact to establish a tradition.

In the absence of coordinated terror campaigns, politically motivated murders receive increased visibility, and the ultra-right groups attempt to make them as socially significant as possible. In 2010 a case in point was the murder of the federal judge of Moscow City court, Eduard Chuvashov, who presided over the trial of the “White Wolves” - a group, accused of a series of murders targeting people of non-Slavic appearance. The threats, previously received by the judge in connection with this very case, were deliberately provoked by the authors of an internet source close to the Russian Image (Russkiy obraz) and its legal project Russian Verdict (Russkiy verdikt). Notably, according to the investigators, the “right-radical” version of the murder is now dominating the investigation.

To complete our survey of anti-state terror we have to mention the so called Primorye Guerillas. It is worth noting that, with the information currently available, it is not possible to tell whether the group’s members were actually motivated by right radical ideas. However, it is instructive to observe, how the ultra-right attempted to use the situation to its advantage.

In late May Primorskiy Kray saw several armed attacks on its police officers; as a result at least one person was killed, and 3 were injured. [4] In the first decade of June, after the Primorye’s law enforcement agencies published the (later corrected) list of assumed gang members, it came to light that the Primorye Guerillas included at least two people well-known among Primorye’s ultra-right. [5] The neo-Nazis hastened to use this opportunity to advertise their theory of “white revolution”.

The first references to the fact that the bandits of Primorye could be related to the ultra-right appeared on the website of one of the Northern Brotherhood (Severnoe Bratstvo) projects, after the information about the first (May) attack became public. There the bandits were referred to as “resistance fighters” and “Russian fighters.” However, it is unclear, whether the project’s editors had access to any real information about the criminals’ ideological motives – it might have been just an attempt to “take ownership” of the news.

On June 8, 2010 after the information on the suspects’ identities had surfaced, the ultra-right segment of the internet joined the propagandist coverage of the group’s activity in full force. In general, this type of PR campaign is increasingly effective, since anti-police sentiment in society at large is stronger than ever.

Two proclamations, published under the name of R. Muromtsev, the group’s leader, contained a call to arms in order to “defend the Russian people and Russia from the nation’s renegades and traitors,” repeated well-known racist maxims, and used racist arguments, among others, to explain the anti-government character of the gang’s activities (as counteraction to “the Jewish power”). This raised suspicions that the texts did not really come from by the group. Any remaining doubts disappeared once the Primorye police declared that the information pertaining to R. Muromtsev’s participation in the band was a mistake.

However, this did not have an impact on the ultra-right propaganda campaign and their creation of another “fallen white heroes” cult. In Vladivostok the activists began to distribute leaflets with the text of the “Primorye Guerrillas Declaration”. Maksim Kalashnikov, an activist of the currently forming party Motherland – Common Sense (Rodina – Zdravyi Smysl) declared his de-facto support of the Primorye Guerrillas” as did Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, the leader of the People’s Army of Minin and Pozharsky (Narodnoe Opolchenie Minina I Pozharskogo). The former expressed hope that someday a town in Primorye will name its street after the guerillas; the latter suggested that the street in Ussuriysk, where the band was captured, should be renamed after Sukhorada and Sladkih.

Grassroots Xenophobic Violence

The first half of the year 2010 showed a significant increase in the rate of grassroots xenophobic violence – just in the first six months we registered at least 17 such attacks, with at least 24 victims. Seven of the attacks, with 12 victims, targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses. In their case, the growth of violent incidents was obviously triggered by the mass propaganda campaign against them, and by the fact that one of their local sections was declared extremist. At least five additional attacks with eight victims resulted from the upsurge of the Caucaso- and Islamophobia following the terrorist act in the Moscow metro on March 29, 2010. The most outrageous episode, characterizing the post-terrorist-act atmosphere in Moscow, was the assault on a 17-year-old Armenian girl, attacked by a violent mob near the Avtozavodskaya metro station. She was beaten up, her clothes were torn, her face badly wounded. The girl and her family were so frightened, that they not only refused to turn to the police or for any medical help, but instead fled the city.


Vandals, motivated by religious, ethnic or ideological hatred, show a significant level of activity, although the numbers remain unchanged. In the first six months of 2010 we recorded at least 57 acts of vandalism (compare to 53 acts over a comparable period in 2009). At the same time, the tendency for ideologically-motivated vandalism (well-coordinated graffiti and sticker campaigns, aimed at advertising the ultra-right groups, vandalizing World War II memorials, etc.) does not only continue to exist, but keeps developing further.

Thus, 37 acts of “ideological” vandalism were recorded over the first six months (leaving out the terrorist attacks on state objects and such), compared to 26 the previous year. [6] We need to take into consideration that neo-Nazi graffiti activity was at a very low level during the extremely cold winter months. As before, graffiti campaigns by Resistance (Soprotivlenie) and Russian Image stand apart, since they view the organized placing of stickers or graffiti not only as self-promotion, but also as a type of reliability test for potential “comrades-in-arms”.

In light of E. Chuvashov’s murder, the neo-Nazi graffiti threats on the walls of state institutions (including the ones on the court building where the big group of neo-Nazis from Yaroslavl will likely be tried) should be considered the most serious actions of “ideological vandalism.” So far, however, such actions are sporadic. [7]

The share of religiously-motivated vandalism appears to be shrinking and changing direction. In the first half of the year, vandals targeted six sites belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses (one in 2009), five Jewish (11 in 2009) and four Muslim sites (same as the previous year). Orthodox and protestant sites suffered two attacks each (in 2009 there were seven and two respectively), and there was one pagan site (vs. zero in 2009). There appears to be no decrease, however, in the religiously-motivated vandals’ level of aggression. Out of 20 attacks on religious objects, arson was recorded in three cases (two on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ building, and one on the protestant prayer-house), and explosions in two (Muslim halal store, where three people were injured by the blast, and a synagogue in Tver). For comparison, in the first half of 2009, there were five arson attempts (two Muslim sites, two Orthodox sites and one Jehovah’s Witnesses building).

It must be noted that all the anti-Muslim attacks were recorded in the aftermath of the terrorist act in the Moscow metro. The anti-Islamic provocation in Belgorod from the same time period featured an 18-year-old male, who stamped paper money with “Allahu Akbar / Death to Russians” [8] (evidently within the “The Great Game” [9] framework), obviously trying to increase public panic after the terror attack.

The Public Activity of Ultra-Right Groups

Public Events

The political activity of ultra-right groups was extremely limited, which is not surprising, given that virtually all of them are under serious government pressure for various reasons.

In the period under review, only the DPNI (Dvizhenie protiv nelegal’noi immigratsii, the Movement against Illegal Immigration) managed to organize some countrywide coordinated actions.

On February 28 and March 1 the DPNI’s supporters conducted various events in memory of the troopers from Pskov, who died in Chechnya in 2000. Overall, the events took place in 17 cities, but only three of them, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg, gathered more than 15 participants. The only full-fledged rally, attended by approximately 200 people, took place in Moscow, and the one in Nizhny Novgorod attracted around 50 people.

May Day was traditionally marked by mass rallies and marches. Once again, the coalition headed by DPNI became a principal coordinator and organizer. Events took place in ten Russian cities, with the most populous Moscow march gathering about 600 people.

The April 25, 2010 rally near the Griboedov monument in Moscow could be considered the most visible “pan-nationalist” event of the past six months. About 400 people from at least 18 organizations, primarily of the ultra-nationalist bend, took part in the event. However, among the participants, were those who position themselves as moderate nationalists - for example Oleg Kassin’s People’s Council (Narodnyi Sobor) - or not ethnic nationalists at all - for example Svetlana Peunova’s Freedom (Volya) party. [10] The coalition of ultra-right organizations came forward as the rally’s organizers, among them Aleksei Baranovskii’s Russian Verdikt, Roman Zentsov’s Resistance and others. [11] The call to repeal Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation became the primary slogan of the event. In our opinion, however, the most important aspect of the event was the fact, that every single participant supported the organizers in their opinion that criminals, including serial killers and terrorist, convicted for their hate crimes, are in fact political prisoners and “fighters against the alien occupation” of Russia.

More and more often, ultra-right activists are defining themselves not in ideological and ethno-nationalistic terms, but instead in terms of their joint opposition to the existing regime; this stand looks particularly convincing, given the increasing pressure they face from the law enforcement agencies. This is demonstrated, among other things, by their ever more noticeable participation in acts of general political and social protest. For example, the very same DPNI joined the all-Russian action of protest on March 20, 2010[12] (calling for a series of basic economic and political reforms), and to the action on the Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square on May 31, 2010 in defense of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. All of their participation currently takes place on a personal level, without their organizational symbols and without access to the microphone.

The opposite situation is also possible, when the ultra-right groups initiate political and/or social protest, and then groups positioning themselves as “liberal”, “democratic” and so on, join them for “tactical reasons”.

A case in point are the so-called tea parties – gatherings, which include, among their organizers, the National-Democratic Alliance (Natsional-demokraticheskii alians, NDA), founded in March 2010 by the well-known racists Aleksei Shiropaev, Ilya Lazarenko, and Mikhail Pozharskiy.

The NDA, with its call for the creation of the Russian ethno-national confederative republic, positions itself as an “oppositional movement, which will stand for democratic values” and at the same time as “the movement of national liberation that shall fight for the political self-determination of Russians and for overcoming the relics of Soviet era, which deny Russians their own national-territorial units within the federation” .

The first initiator of the “tea parties” was a tiny Libertarian Party (Libertarianskaya Partiia).” [13] Since this group is very diverse, its members include, among others, people, who openly declare their racism. [14] The presence of ultra-right members within the group has no effect on its activities. However, in this situation their collaboration with the NDA, while publicly presented by libertarians as purely tactical, is not overly surprising. [15] On April 25, 2010 not only the members of the organizational committee were present at the Moscow tea party (NDA, Free Radicals, [16] Nation of Freedom, [17] Libertarian Party), but also the Solidarnost’ Movement, whose Moscow leadership was well-aware of who the organizer of the meeting was, but who nevertheless decided to participate. [18]

Kondopoga Technology

Despite the fact, that for over two years any attempts to repeat “a Kondopoga scenario” never did bring about the desired results, the right-wing radicals still continue to use this tactic. In the first half of 2010 we recorded at least two episodes of this kind.

In early May an attempt was made to represent the incident in the town of Pugachev as a “Saratov Kondopoga”. During the night of May 1, 2010 one of the local residents, an ethnic Russian, died as a result of a brawl in a local café. The murderer was an exchange student from Chechnya. Evidently, the situation in town was ready to explode, since within a few hours, additional police force came in, and within a week following the murder (by the way, the suspect was arrested almost immediately, and already charged by the end of May) numerous regional officials visited Pugachev as well.

This crime gave the ultra-right organizations, primarily the DPNI and its close ally the Russian Social Movement (Russkoe obshestvennoe dvizhenie, ROD, lead by Konstantin Krylov) an opportunity to start an active propaganda campaign on the internet and in local media, which, however, was not successful.

A much more lengthy conflict took place in Kronshtadt. It started from a fight between the veterans of the Chechen war and a group of Azerbaijanis, resulting in the death of an ethnic Russian. The version prevailing in the media describe the conflict as follows: on May 10, 2010, the car carrying the Azerbaijanis cut in front of the automobile driven by the veteran of the Chechen war. The latter reprimanded his offenders, and was consequently beaten. He called his friends, also veterans of the “hot spots,” for help and went looking for his offenders. Having found them in one of the cafes, he started a fight. Then, the Azerbaijanis also called for help and, as a result, one man was killed and two others injured.

The ultra-right activists, who are much more numerous organized and experienced in propaganda campaigns in St. Petersburg than in Saratov, immediately joined the conflict.

Anti-Caucasian leaflets from the DPNI flooded the town. [19] Mass-media outlets close to the ultra-right groups, disseminated information about the “insolence of people from the Caucasus,” and about their corrupt connections in the law enforcement agencies; the information was frequently picked up by fairly respectable publications.

The ultra-Right activists evidently put a lot of hope into their meeting with local authorities (representatives of administration and law enforcement agencies), scheduled for June 4; and they obviously had a reason for their optimism, seeing as during the official conference, the discussion was conducted in the most favorable key – its subject was “state of the ethnic crime in town.” [20] However, they got no chance to participate, and the informational campaign related to the Kronshtadt incident was quickly folded.

These two episodes demonstrate once again, that despite the attractiveness of the “Kondopoga technology” for the ultra-right, its realization brings almost no success. This happens since the authorities have developed their own technologies in response to the right-wing radical actions (including readiness for quick military mobilization), and also due to a significant weakening of the DPNI itself. If we generalize the practice of “Kondopoga technology” over the few years, we can easily observe that the organization was most successful in situations where, in the first place, they were able to arrange for the prompt arrival of their charismatic leader, Alexander Belov, to the scene of the conflict. The second factor for success was the complete inactivity of local police, demonstrating neither intervention (as in Kondopoga) nor quick investigation of the crime or detention of the suspects. The third factor was the ability to ensure the television coverage of the situation. Currently A. Belov is not active, the police get mobilized much faster, and the DPNI has obvious propaganda difficulties outside the internet, as a direct consequence of abrupt reduction in supporters over the past two years.

The Ultra-Right in Elections An attempt to establish “Russian Power” in one separate district

Traditionally the national-patriotic organizations pay a lot of attention to elections at various government levels. In the first place, election campaigns are viewed as a way to broaden their audience using free mandatory advertisement. In addition, local elections (municipal or regional councils) still offer a chance for candidates unaffiliated with any major party structures. Moreover the national-patriots are frequently in demand by the “larger” parties; thus Rostislav Antonov, one of the Novosibirsk leaders of DPNI and ROD, was on the A Just Russia (Spravedlivaia Rossiia) city council ballot.

March 14 was the big election date for the review period. On that date elections took place in almost 70 regions, but we only know of three that included xenophobic candidates: those in Tula, Novosibirsk and Vladimir regions. It does not mean that such candidates were absent in other areas, just that the majority of Russia’s regions are so informationally inaccessible, that we had no means of collecting such data.

Unfortunately, we do not know the outcome of the elections for the national-patriots in Tula.

The Novosibirsk ballot included at least five candidates from ethno-nationalistic organizations, however only one of them, Alexander Lul’ko (the leader of the Novosibirsk chapter of the Russian All-National Union (Russkiy obshenatsional'nyi soiuz, RONS) and the Union of the Russian People (Soiuz russkogo naroda, SRN)) [21] was elected.

The election campaign in the Vladimir Region, long considered by RONS to be its home turf (RONS leader Igor Artemov was for many years a member of the regional Legislative Assembly), proved to be the most intense. In Vladimir an attempt was made to use a novel election tactic. All campaign efforts were focused on the single district of Petushki. RONS publicized this activity as an attempt to “establish Russian power in one distinct area of primordial Russia.” The greatest possible number of RONS candidates was expected to run for local council, supported by active propaganda efforts, including door-to-door campaigning.

The ultra-right activists from other regions were brought in as propagandists, PR agents, and election observers. For example, on 6 February 2010 in Pokrov the activists from Tula carried out a racist march (RONS claims it was a Crucession), and on the same day the town witnessed beatings of people with non-Slavic appearances.

Eventually, RONS put forth its candidates for every one of the 19 election districts, but only nine of them (including I. Artemov himself) were registered, at least one more was taken off ballot before the elections, and all the remaining candidates lost. [22]

Propaganda Pursuits

After a long intermission, a series of texts with ideological or tactical focus appear in early 2010 (especially in February and March). Their main objective can be defined as searching for the ways to create a positive public image for the ultra-right (and, more specifically, neo-Nazi) organizations. Significantly, according to the majority of the (mostly anonymous) authors of the texts, the positive image is important not just in order to attract new followers (however desirable), but also in order to create a comfortable social environment (support, non-interference of bystanders into crimes, readiness for spontaneous ethnic violence, and so on).

In particular, the writings call for staying away from the undirected terrorism, whose victims, could include ethnic Russians. The authors claim that these acts increase popular hostility toward neo-Nazis, rather than toward the state unable to protect them (the latter being one of the ideological axioms of the “white revolution”).

In the same vein, one of the Nikolai Korolev’s letters asserts that the Cherkizovo market bombing targeted only “non-Russians” not just in theory, but also in practice. Among other things Korolev claims that the body count included no Russians, while conveniently failing to mention the scores of injured.

In order to appeal to civilians and attract apolitical youth, the authors suggest taking a step away from the negative program (“against non-Russians”, “down with the government” and such), and instead focusing on the positive (“for the healthy lifestyle”, “for the rights of the Russians” and so on). They strongly recommend abstaining from the criticism of the government, in order to avoid attention from law-enforcement.

Once again, the change in graffiti campaign-tactics goes on the agenda: the plan is to avoid explicit racist messages, and instead inscribe the walls with fake Caucasus nationalist slogans, imitating their grammatical mistakes etc. (e.g. “Russian pigs [missp.] get out of Russia [missp.]”)

At the same time they increasingly master the use of human rights rhetoric. Following the lead of ROD, DPNI and the Russian Image, the new neo-Nazi group National Socialist Initiative (Natsional’naya Sotsialisticheskaia Initsiativa, NSI), [23] led by the recently released St. Petersburg neo-Nazis Dmitriy (Shultz-88) Bobrov and Aleksei (Mukha) Maksimov, declared its readiness to “protect the rights of Russians”. The “protection of rights” stands for the need for “self-defense” from the anti-fascist extremists, who are the enemies of the state and public. So far, however, this “human rights work” resulted only in a rather comical lawsuit brought by D. Bobrov against Moskovskii Komsomolets for the ostensible denigration of his honor and dignity.

The programmatic interview with Vladimir Basmanov (Potkin) the head of the DPNI’s Central Executive Committee, published by ultra-right sources in early May, is particularly worthy of attention. In fact, V. Basmanov uses this interview to define a strategy for the development of the ultra-right movement in general; among the principal tasks he names high-quality PR, work with mass media, establishing strong ties with “friendly” organizations in order to advance efficient information exchange, coordinate Russia-wide actions, perfect the skills necessary for clandestine activity, and organize “internal” education (preparing middle managers for the ultra-right organizations). Most of Basmanov’s theses are not original, and have been heard in prior statements by nationalist-patriots. However, in this case the news that in April, shortly before the interview, Basmanov had to leave Moscow for fear of arrest “in his shirt sleeves” and almost penniless, added to the text’s impact.


Public Initiatives

The first half of the year 2010 was marked by the largest mass event in several years, and the largest non-political initiative related to the public protest against the ultra-right manifestations in Russia. Namely, it was the Russia-wide initiative of the antifascist marches and rallies commemorating the one-year anniversary of the deaths of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova. The events are dedicated to their memory and the memory of all the victims of ultra-right violence in Russia.

“The Committee on January 19th” – a non-political informal association of public activists, supported by many artists and cultural figures - served as the event’s organizers.

Unfortunately, in Moscow where, by different estimates, between 700 and 1000 people took part in the march, the event ended with street clashes, provoked by the police. Nevertheless, it was the largest anti-fascist demonstration in Moscow since 2005.

Besides Moscow on January 19 various (albeit generally small) events took place in at least 12 of Russia’s regions, commemorating the victims of neo-Nazis.

Anti-Extremism: Explaining the Law

While an overwhelming majority of the anti-extremist legislative proposals of 2010 do not stand up to scrutiny, [24] the constructive resolution of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation On Judicial Practice Related to the Statute of the Russian Federation “On the Mass Media” [25] has to be singled out

In particular, the resolution aims to regularize court practice related to issues such as the limits on media liability for extremist discourse.

The first case, when the resolution absolves media of liability, is the quotation of xenophobic statements (remember that in one of the most egregious cases in August 2008 the “Novaya Gazeta in St. Petersburg” received a warning for its attempt to publicize the anti-Georgian initiatives of local DPNI: “…the court of law should take into account not only the words and expressions used in the article, TV- or radio-program, but also the context (such as aim, genre and style of a publication, a program or part thereof, whether they can be viewed as expressing opinions in the course of political discussions or as bringing to public attention the issues of social importance, whether an article, program or material are interview-based, and what is the position of the interviewer and/or editors of a media outlets with regard to the stated opinions, judgments, and statements), as well as take into account the overall social and political situation in the country or one of its areas (depending on the region of distribution for a given media outlet).”

The second case is the publication of satirical, humorous and non-realistic materials that engage an extremist topic (here it is worth recalling the series of warnings to the mass media regarding illustrations to anti-fascist materials, or anti-fascist cartoons that use the swastika). In addition to the requirement of contextualization, quoted above “the courts should be aware that, according to the point 5 of the Declaration on freedom of political debate in the media, the humorous and satirical genre, as protected by Article 10 of the Convention on Human Rights and Basic Freedoms, allows for a wider degree of exaggeration and even provocation, as long as the public is not misled about facts”.

The third case is comments from the television audience (including those in the news ticker) and statements made by live broadcast participants: “the courts need to consider the broadcasting features, limiting journalists and editors in their ability to correct, clarify, interpret or comment statements, made by live broadcast participants” (all - from point 28 of the Resolution).

And finally, for the statements of the readers/viewers made on the forums of an Internet site registered as a mass media outlet (the most significant related incident was the saga of the news agency, which received two warnings for the statements made on its forum in 2008): the registered media outlet, where forum is not pre-moderated, is liable only if it has received a complaint from a governmental watchdog - such as the Prosecutor’s office, or the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor) - that the communication is illegal in its content, and then fails to correct (or delete) the communication (point 23 of the Resolution).

Criminal Proceedings


The Criminal prosecution for violent crimes, where hate was a motive recognized by the courts, was very active in the first six months of 2010. During this time period, there were at least 45 convictions for a total of 159 persons, already surpassing the entire year of 2008 (35 successful prosecutions against 118 persons)

The punishments were allocated as follows:

  • Nine persons were released from punishment because the statute of limitations had expired; for four of those the expiration looks highly suspicious; [26]
  • 45 persons received suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
  • 14 persons sentenced to correctional work;
  • One person was referred for compulsory treatment;
  • One person received a custodial sentence of up to two years;
  • 21 received a sentence of up to five years;
  • 31 people received up to ten years;
  • Two people received up to 15 years;
  • Eight people received up to 20 years;
  • Three people received up to 23 years;
  • One person got a lifetime sentence;
  • For six people the length of custodial sentences in to exactly known, but is known to be with the range of two to 18 years in custody;
  • Regretfully, for 17 additional people the sentence is not known at all, we only know that they were convicted.
  • The number of suspended sentences for racist violence is alarming. Both percentage-wise and in absolute numbers it has already surpassed all prior annual data:

    Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 I–VI 2010
    Total convictions 26 56 109 65 118 161 159
    Suspended Sentences (% of total) 5 (19%) 5 (9%) 24 (22%) 18 (27%) 31 (26%) 33 (21%) 54 (28%)

    Once again, we consider the practice of suspended sentences for perpetrators of violent racist crime to be extremely unsound, since their violence is driven by ideology, rather than momentary impulse. A suspended sentence in such cases does not produce fear in the perpetrator (we already know that two of the convicted offenders with suspended sentences are not only unrepentant, despite their assurances to the contrary in court, but already continue their ultra-right activity, including their renewed participation in the attacks), it only fosters in the perpetrator and in his ideological allies a sense of impunity or even a sense of solidarity on the part of the judge. This leads to further crimes. Thus, out of 80 people, who in 2010 received actual custodial sentences, at least six had prior suspended sentences, including the ones for racist violence

    The situation in the Nizhny Novgorod region continues to be particularly alarming. Since the beginning of the year, it was home to the largest number of hate crime trials in the country and so far it has shown the highest rate of suspended sentences. At least six trials relating to neo-Nazi and racially-motivated violence ended in convictions for 27 people. However, 14 of them either avoided punishment due to the statute of limitations, or received suspended sentences. Out of 13 actually convicted perpetrators one already had a previous suspended conviction for the racist attack; nine more were convicted for serial murders or attempted murders, and the last three for the series of violent attacks, arson attacks and making an improvised explosive device. Thus, the current legal practice in Nizhny Novgorod region not only repeats the tendencies we noted last year, [20] but de-facto gives a message that racist violence in the region goes unpunished, unless it leads to actual human deaths.

    A similar trend was observed this year in St. Petersburg, where out of 22 convicted offenders from three trials, 14 people received either no punishment or nothing but suspended sentences. St. Petersburg human rights groups are increasingly concerned about the prospects for the case of Borovikov-Voevodin gang – currently the most visible anti-racist trial in the city. This group’s trial is being deliberately stalled (the feigned suicide attempt by the group’s leader, A. Voevodin, on June 4, 2010 likely had the purpose of delaying the process further), while the rank-and-file gang members are nearing the expiration dates for some of the charges, and there is a growing chance that they might evade punishment altogether.

    The situation in other population centers does not give as much cause for alarm.

    Once again we are happy to report that that fewer cases relied on Article 282 of the Criminal Code to establish a racist motive in violent crimes: over the first six months of 2010 it was only used three times as the principal charge. Not the least important factor in this shift is an obvious increase in the number of cases relying on so-called “light” articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (battery, minor injuries). Law enforcement officials employ them more and more willingly: in nine out of 41 convictions Articles 115 and 116 of the Criminal Code, aggravated with the hate motive, were used as principal charges.

    Altogether, the trials that ended in convictions for racist violence took place in 22 regions of Russia, in some of them for the first time. Thus Bryansk, where, as far as we know, no such trials ever took place, witnessed two racist violence-related convictions in the first half of 2010. The first trial ended in Ulyanovsk, where the "Simbirsk White Power" group of nine was convicted for hate-motivated murder and a series of other crimes. We make a point of reporting these convictions because we view hate-crime trials as a public acknowledgement of the problem’s existence by the regional government and law-enforcement agencies, which is in itself a positive development.

    The most notorious, however, was the case of the White Wolves (Belye Volki), a neo-Nazi group of 12, accused of 11 murders and one attempted murder.

    Judge Edward Chuvashov presided over their trial, while the lawyers from the Russian Verdict handled the defense. In the White Wolves case the RV acted according to a well-rehearsed scenario, first attempting to discredit the prosecution, then staging a provocation against the judge, and then trying to discredit the jury.

    Thus, prior to the verdict in January 2010 the internet resources close to the Russian Image published a fragment of the audio recording from the trial (note, that the trial was supposed to be closed to the public), which the ultra-right tried to use as a basis for accusing judge E. Chuvashov of Russophobia. [20] This was certain to provoke aggression toward him. In addition, ultra-right websites later published a statement, ostensibly made by a jury member who was removed from the trial about the alleged pact between the prosecution and jury about a mandatory guilty verdict.

    On 15 February 2010 the jury delivered a verdict acquitting the three gang members of all charges, the rest were found guilty, but the jury considered only five episodes out of the 12 proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nine of the group members found guilty received prison terms ranging from 6.5 to 23 years.

    This outcome was an unqualified success for the Russian Verdict. In fact, it became the first successful case of the project. However, after E. Chuvashov’s murder, where the ultra-right attack version currently dominates, the jury’s verdict appears in quite a different light. The prosecutor’s office immediately after the trial’s end declared its intent to appeal its results; however we do not know whether they ever acted on it. [20].

    Vandalism Using Explosives

    With the advent of “anti-state” terrorism and terrorism directed at all those who do not share a racist ideology, trials for such crimes emerged as well.

    We include in this category those that did not lead to any loss of life. We know of two relevant trials in the first half of 2010.

    In May 2010 the man, who planned to blow up the wall of the Novgorod Kremlin during the 2009 citywide celebration of “New Hanseatic Days” in order to “bring attention toward problems of Russia and Russian people” received a guilty verdict. He was declared guilty in preparing a terrorist act (Chapter 1 Article 30 and Chapter 1 Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), unlawful trafficking and unlawful making of explosives (Chapter 1 Article 222 and Chapter 1 Article 223) and sentenced to five and a half years in custody. News agencies, covering the trial, could not resist mentioning the remorse of the criminal, who wept listening to the testimony of the curators from the Novgorod Kremlin museum.

    In June the ultra-right neo-pagan radical Sergei Hlupin was sentenced in Vladimir for an attempt to sabotage the Vladimir concert of Boris Moiseev, and for throwing an IED into the church window. He was convicted for hooliganism with the use of weapons, motivated by religious hatred (points (a) and (b) Chapter 1 Article 213), for the illegal manufacture of the explosives (Chapter 1 Article 223) and for inciting ethnic and religious hatred (Chapter 1 Article 282).


    While the prosecution of racist violence continues to improve and to broaden, we have observed virtually no progress in the prosecution of xenophobic propaganda. Over the period under review there were 26 convictions for xenophobic propaganda under Article 282 of the Criminal Code (“inciting hatred”), four convictions under Article 280 (“public appeals for extremism”) and two under the aggregation of Articles, including Articles 280 and 282 and 282-1 (“extremism by an organized group”). Twenty-nine, four and five persons were convicted, respectively.

    The punishments were allocated as follows:

    Two persons were released without punishment because the statute of limitations had expired (one more trial was never even brought to conclusion for this reason);

    21 people received a suspended sentence without additional sanctions;

    One person was referred for compulsory treatment;

    Two people were sentenced to fines, one of whom also was barred from practicing his profession;

    Nine people were sentenced to correctional labor;

    One person was sentenced to three years in custody, and then barred from practicing his profession for three years;

    Two persons were sentenced to four years in custody.

    Note, that in 2010 the courts have twice used the prohibition of practicing one’s profession as a punishment. We agree that this measure is most adequate for the propagandists, who spread their xenophobic ideas via mass media and public speaking.

    We consider the fact that only a small fraction of all punishments ends in actual prison term to be a positive trend. The sentencing of the two activists of the group “Genghis-Chelyabinsk” to four years in custody was made under the aggregation of charges (including not only Article 282 but also Articles 212 and 282-1 of the Criminal Code). The conviction of Konstantin Dushenov (three year of a settlement-colony with the prohibition to practice journalism) evidently took into account not only specific charges, but also the identity of the defendant, who was one of the most notorious anti-Semites of St. Petersburg and in the entire Russia.

    However, while we contend that a prison term is an excessively harsh retribution “for mere words,” propaganda crimes also cannot remain completely unpunished. And the perpetrators consider a suspended sentence to be a sign of their impunity and a testament to the effectiveness of their propaganda. Meanwhile, the rate of suspended sentences with no additional sanctions is rising continuously for the fourth straight year. Thus during the first six months of 2010 it comprised 58% of the total number of convictions, while the rate was 29% in 2007, 43% in 2008, and 49% in 2009.

    We observe that leaflet-distributors, internet users and grassroots xenophobes are facing prosecution, but not the influential propagandists. (Speaking of grassroots xenophobes, the rather specific experience of Kostroma Region is worth describing. In 2010 in two cases the locals received a guilty verdict for racial insults against police patrol, in one case with the use of violence).

    The abovementioned Konstantin Dushenov remains the only significant propagandist, convicted during the first 6 months of 2010. However, it took years of investigation (which started in June 2006) and trial (going on since August 2008) to convict him, not even counting the many years of prior attempts by the public activists to bring Dushenov to the attention of law enforcement.

    The Banning of Organizations

    During the first half-year of 2010 three organizations were deemed extremist. One decision, made by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dealt with Imarat Kavkaz lead by Doku Umarov. [20] Two more bans are related to two very well-known Russian neo-Nazi organizations, but at least one of these bans is not as straightforward as one might think.

    One 1 February 2010 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared the International Public Organization “National-Socialist Society” (Natsional-sotsialisticheskoe obshchestvo, NSO) extremist. Soon after the ban it was added to the appropriate federal list.

    On one hand, NSO was one of the most aggressive neo-Nazi organizations ever in existence in modern Russia. It will suffice to mention that only one of its divisions NSO-North, whose trial began in Moscow Military district court in April 2010, is responsible for about 30 murders and attempted murders. On the other hand NSO’s existence as a single organization ended back in summer 2007, when it split into the followers of Dmitrii Rumiantsev (who later received a suspended sentence for inciting hatred) and Sergei (Maliuta) Korotkikh. The split did not stop there, and by the early 2008 NSO existed in form of separate neo-Nazi groups in conflict with each other.

    With this in mind, there is no clear reason to ban an organization that by 2010 has been out of existence for two years. Although this court decision could be viewed in a positive light as a political demonstration of the state’s readiness to fight neo-Nazi groups by various methods including bans.

    On April 27, 2010 the Moscow City Court declared Dmitrii Demushkin’s Slavic Union (Slavyansky soiuz, SS) an extremist organization, and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirmed this decision on 29 June. Apparently, no one, including Demushkin, expected the SS to go on trial. It was also surprising to observe how quickly the case moved ahead. The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office submitted his statement to the court on March 26, the activity of the SS was stopped on the same day. The hearings had already started on 13 April 2010, and the decision was made after only two weeks.

    At the same time, it must be noted that D. Demushkin’s behavior since the second half of 2009 appeared deliberately provocative, and at times it seemed, that he was trying to bring a criminal prosecution onto himself. Moreover, D. Demushkin’s comments after the court’s decision may indicate that those provocations will continue – this time in attempt to attract prosecution for continuing to lead a banned extremist organization (Article 282-2 of Criminal Code). Among other things, he stated that the court decision did not include “insignia or website,” which likely means that he has no plans to abandon them. The existing legal practice unequivocally specifies that keeping the insignia is interpreted as continuing the organization’s activity. However immediately after the verdict Demushkin officially disbanded the SS.

    In contrast to the ban on NSO law enforcement actions against SS are much more pragmatic. SS, despite its profound organizational crisis, remains one of the best-known neo-Nazi groups in Russia, and occupies one of the leading positions in the Russian media as compared to other ultra-right organizations. In this sphere Demushkin’s activity as SS leader, even if it brings no new members, definitely furthers the popularization of the neo-Nazi ideas. A ban on SS, if enforced, would enable authorities to use the threat of criminal prosecution in order to limit its propaganda and recruitment.

    On the other side, this court decision grants SS the status of a politically prosecuted organization, which will certainly prolong its days, and may even for a while contribute to its numerical growth, extending its natural lifespan indefinitely.

    While the concept of banning an organization for extremism gradually becomes applied not only with regard to Islamist, but also to ultra-right groups, law enforcement officials almost never use the complex features of anti-extremist legislation. As an illustration, let us turn to the situation of the Slavic Union of the Far East (Soiuz Slavyan Dal’nego Vostoka, SSDV) in Primorye. Unlike many other ultra-right groups this one is officially registered. In the late 2009 its leader Alexander Komarov was convicted for inciting ethnic hatred, and the sentence went into effect in March of 2010.

    According to the Federal Law “On Public Associations” and to the Federal Law “On Counteracting Extremist Activity”, if the leader of an organization is convicted using “extremist” charges – and the charge of inciting ethnic hatred is definitely one – the organization has to remove him from leadership and distance themselves from the statements that led to his prosecution. The Slavic Union of the Far East has done neither, which gives the Prosecutor’s Office of Primorskiy Kray the chance to initiate a formal liquidation of the organization. Of course this is not the same as declaring the organization extremist (in which case the activists continuing their work can be criminally prosecuted), but for the situation in Primorye even this formal dissolution would be beneficial. The SSTV became more active precisely after the sentencing of Komarov. The group conducts xenophobic actions, started publishing an ultra-right radical almanac, and engages in more active propaganda on its website. The loss of its registration would mean blocking its bank accounts and freezing its contracts, including the one with its internet provider. Instead, the prosecutor’s office merely made an (unsuccessful) attempt to fine A. Komarov personally for displaying the Nazi symbols on the website.

    Administrative Sanctions

    Unfortunately, an analysis of the practical effects of administrative sanctions is close to impossible for the distribution of extremist materials (Article 20.29 Code Of Administrative Offences Of The Russian Federation), or for displaying fascist attributes and symbolism and symbols confusingly similar to it (Article. 20.3): such cases are rarely covered by the media, unless the law enforcement agencies or the persons subjected to punishment choose to attract the media attention.

    However, such a practice exists. Thus, during the first half of 2010 we recorded at least four cases of administrative punishment for the distribution of materials deemed extremist and at least 10 cases of punishment for the public display of neo-Nazi symbols.

    We previously noted the existence of certain problems that in some cases make us doubt the appropriateness of these sanctions. We are talking not only about the distribution of materials that were inappropriately declared extremist. As before, everything comes down to the fact that the law ignores the context of the public demonstration of symbols. This concerns, for example, antiquarians and collectors of World War II artifacts (two out of ten known fines).

    At the same time, the prosecution “for the swastika” sometimes takes on a purely formal character. For example, in February 2010 the aforementioned prosecutor’s office of Primorskiy Kray issued a warning and levied an administrative fine on the local neo-Pagan community Simargl’s Shield (Schit Simargla) and its leader respectively for the demonstration of the swastika, which was placed on the organization’s site as a logotype. [20] The community members treated the ensuing numerous press reports as some welcome advertising, which the neo-pagans effectively received for 500 rubles (the amount of the fine). The swastika disappeared only from the website’s front page, while remaining on all other pages and banner advertisements (including the ones on the openly ultra-right Web-Forum of United Nationalists of the Far East. It seems, however, that the prosecutor’s office is no longer interested in them.

    Regretfully the initiative by Novgorod magistrates for the prosecution of Nazi tattoos has not spread any further. In 2009 the Novgorod court not only fined a local resident for a Nazi tattoo, but also ordered him to have it removed. In 2010 we received information about the inspections among the prisoners in Sverdlovsk Region. Seven people were found to have Nazi tattoos, and fined, but no one was ever ordered to remove them.

    The activity of the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor), which over the first half of the 2010 issued at least 15 “anti-extremist” warnings to media, continues to be ambiguous. At least three of these warnings are clearly unjustified, in two more cases the justification is highly doubtful, and in six cases we cannot judge the warnings’ validity, having no access to the texts of the publications in question.

    We would like to mention separately the anti-extremist warning to the AIDS-Info (SPID-Info) newspaper for the scandalous publication of the article by A. Nikonov “Finish him off to stop the suffering” (“Dobei, chtob ne muchilsya!” ) in its December 2009 issue No. 25, which called for killing of the disabled children. The warning was issued, in part for the inciting of hatred to the social group of disabled children. Despite the fact that SOVA center is generally against the attempts to use the concept of the “social group” in the anti-extremist context, in this case there is no doubt that the special needs children are indeed a “social group” in need of the state protection, including protection from such propaganda.

    The Federal List of Extremist Materials

    The Federal List of Extremist Materials continues its rapid growth. At the time of this report, it includes 621 items. Since the beginning of 2010 the list has added 153 additional items.

    77 of the added items were neo-Nazi or xenophobic, 51 were Jehovah’s Witnesses materials, 11 came from the North Caucasus separatists, the rest consists of materials that either cannot be ideologically classified or identified or that are ideologically neutral.

    The list not only retained all the quality issues noted in our previous reports (absence of bibliographic standards, inability to identify the materials), but its problems are multiplying. One of the latest items contained no references to the courts’ decisions at all.

    Besides the quality issues of the Federal List of Extremist Materials, the first half of 2010 added another problem, and a rather unexpected one – the interpretation of Chapter Three Article One of the Federal Law “On Counteracting Extremist Activity”. In our opinion, this has to do with an attempt by law enforcement to imitate anti-extremist activity and artificially inflate the desired statistics.

    On March 24, 2010 the Kirov district court of Ufa, upon request from the district prosecutor’s office, declared the book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler to be extremist. In May we received information that the book The Doctrine of Fascism by Benito Mussolini was found extremist by the same court.

    Undoubtedly, these actions can be highly valuable as a PR stunt (especially given the Victory Day celebrations). However, when viewed from the legal standpoint, the actions of Bashkirian prosecutors make no sense and could lead to some extremely negative consequences.

    The law “On Counteracting Extremist Activity” directly prohibits writings by the leaders of NSDAP and the National Fascist Party of Italy, as well as all other materials declared extremist by the courts (which are subsequently added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials). Unfortunately, despite its many years in existence, the wording of the law has remained opaque to the public who is still convinced that Mein Kampf has not yet been prohibited in Russia. However law enforcement officials, as a rule, have never had any problems with this rather unambiguously-worded law (despite the inaccurate name the law uses for the NSDAP) when sanctioning various ways of distributing Mein Kampf (a May 2009 warning to the “Our Business – National Business” (Nash biznes - National Business) magazine presents a typical example).

    However, when informing the public about the ban on Hitler’s book, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation suggested an alternative interpretation of the law, stating that its wording merely means that in this case there is no need for an expert examination, but a court decision is still necessary. [20] And this creates a serious problem: the Prosecutor General's Office de-facto admits that every work of the leaders of NSDAP and the National Fascist Party of Italy is in need of a separate legal ban, even if under a simplified procedure, and has to be added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Thus, it claims that until today – and into the future – all these texts are not banned until each is subject to a separate court decision (and subsequently all previous sanctions related to their publication are illegal). In addition, the Prosecutor General's Office posits that in all other cases expert examination is mandatory, although this statement is not based on any law, and the Prosecutor General's Office itself never before considered expert examinations in extremist propaganda cases to be mandatory.

    In our opinion, the decisions regarding the ban on Mein Kampf and The Doctrine of Fascism need to be reconsidered, and the Supreme Court must provide an official interpretation of the law’s meaning. Otherwise, we may face not only a wave of bans on books that were already considered banned, but also a wave of lawsuits disputing already-levied sanctions, based on the direct interpretation of the law “On Counteracting Extremist Activity.”


    [1] In preparation of this report we used state grant funding, awarded in accordance with the March 19, 2009 Order of the President of Russian Federation № 160-rp.

    [2] Please remember that the SOVA Center’s monitoring does not cover the situation in the republics of the North Caucasus, or any separate incidences of ethnic and religious intolerance observed in that region. Our data does not include victims of mass brawls, or murders of homeless persons, except when the latter were acknowledged by the court to be hate-motivated.

    [3] In this respect please note a marked increase in our statistics on the 2009 victims, in comparison with the numbers available early this year. In January 2010 we reported that 71 killed and 333 injured, while the current 2009 numbers are 80 killed and 407 injured. The statistics for earlier years keep growing as well.

    [4] Later in the statement by the Investigations Department of Investigative Committee of Primorskiy Kray’s Prosecutor’s Office, it was declared that the group was active since February 2010, and responsible for additional attacks, including those on individuals not related to police. However, we can say nothing regarding the validity of these accusations.

    [5] One of them, A. Sukhorada, previously a member of the National Bolshevik Party (Natsional-bol’shevistskaia partiia, NBP) was implicated in the criminal case regarding a series of racially-motivated attacks in Vladivostok. According to some sources he received a probationary sentence, according to others he received a minimal prison term, and was soon out on early probationary release. If this information is correct, it once again demonstrates the dangers of neo-Nazi impunity.

    [6] Remember, that this data does not include isolated incidents of neo-Nazi graffiti appearing on ideologically “neutral objects” (buildings, fences, etc).

    [7] In 2010 Yaroslavl presents the only case known. However, in 2008 the ultra-right websites published photo-reports that contained graffiti-threats to several Supreme Court justices and prosecutors, who were connected to the cases against Russian military officers, accused of murdering of civilians in Chechnya. Supposedly, the graffiti appeared on the walls of judges’ and prosecutors’ houses.

    [8] The anti-Islamic provocation hypothesis emerged right after the appearance of stamped banknotes. In June it was confirmed by the investigation. After detention, the suspect directly motivated his actions as follows “feeling hatred toward Muslims wanted to turn Russians against gentiles.”»

    [9] The Great Game (Bol’shaia Igra) – web-project similar in structure to computer games, the activities become more complicated or radical from level to level (from simple stencil graffiti to threats of physical violence toward specific people, publishing recipes for explosives, and so on). Marking the paper money is one of the “low-level” assignments of the game. Besides Belgorod, the banknote incidents were recorded in Amur, Sakhalin, and Moscow Regions, and in Stavropolskiy Kray.

    [10] Freedom (Volya) party (led by Svetlana Peunova) is a networked group of rather social-democratic direction (calls for free secondary and higher education and medical coverage; soviets as the means of popular control over executive power, etc.) In the public sphere they take a stand against NATO, against alcoholization of society, for “spirituality” and against “amorality”, for the protection of social rights, and so on.

    [11] For more information see: A meeting of ultra-right organizations took place in Moscow // SOVA Center 2010. April 27 (

    [12] Among the numerous March 20 2010 rallies, only in Moscow the DPNI representative was able to deliver a speech.

    [13] Libertarian Party is a tiny group of activists without a clearly defined leader (usually Evgeniy Anchugov, a member of OGF, is named as their leader) proclaiming “change of the state power in accordance with “nonviolence principles” and “libertarian values”” as their goal.

    [14] A so-called White Libertarians’(Belye libertariantsy) fraction, under the leadership of Anton Epihin, openly declares its racism. “White libertarians connect their fate with their racial identity, and at the same time they are convinced that freedom is the decisive factor for the well-being and full development of their race. We do not hide our ultra-right views…“

    [15] At the time of writing of this report, four “tea parties” took place in Moscow, it is also known about at least one in St. Petersburg, and one in Barnaul. The cast of participants, though, is not usually known.

    [16] Free Radicals (Svobodnye Radicaly) is a tiny group of activists, organized in 2006, who call for the non-violent democratization of the state, and for the liberalization of the military, anti-narcotic, and other segments of the law. Part of its activists is now also active in Moscow office of Solidarity (Solidarnost’) Movement.

    [17] Nation of Freedom (Natsiia Svobody) – a tiny group that split away from E. Limonov in 2009. The best known characters in the group are Roman Popkov (convicted for the fight with the activists of pro-Kremlin organisation "Locals" ("Mestnye") near Taganskii Court in 2006) and Daria Isaeva (convicted for the anti-capitalist action of national-Bolsheviks “Eat for free” (Esh’ Besplatno) in 2009).

    [18] MGO participates in Moscow tea party // Official site of Moscow City Office (MGO) of the Solidarnost’ Movement. 2010. 16 April (

    [19] Note the lack of unity among DPNI-St. Petersburg members: while the Moscow leadership of the organization denies any connection to the leaflets, the local activists talk about their “unknown supporters”.

    [20] Note that the regional media emphasized that this is likely to be the first such conflict in Kronshtadt. The discussion of the events on the local internet forums, which, despite large number of xenophobic participants, demonstrates no hysterical reactions, gives indirect support to the media claim.

    [21] In addition a number of ethno-nationalist sources mention that several people elected to the city council, while not self-identified nationalists, nevertheless maintain contacts with the ultra-right, and are “ready to collaborate”. In the Novosibirsk suburb of Krasnoobsk the entire ethno-nationalist fraction ostensibly won the local council seats. However, the validity of these claims is not confirmed.

    [22] Characteristically, RONS never named their election candidates, except those featured in police reports.

    [23] NSI (represented by eight to ten members during public events) was founded in December 2009 and immediately entered a coalition with the most active ultra-right organizations of St. Petersburg (DPNI, Russkiy Obraz, Soprotivlenie and others). Usually they are called by their less abbreviated name NS-Initiative (NS – Initsiativa)

    [24] They will be analyzed in the report on unjustified anti-extremism in the first half of 2010, currently being prepared by the SOVA Center.

    [25] Adopted June 15, 2010, published June 18, 2010.

    [26] Four skinhead minors from Nizhny Novgorod were accused under Chapter 2 of Article 213 (group hooliganism). This article is considered a felony, and its statute of limitations for minors constitutes five years. However, according to official sources, the crime took place in 2008.

    [27] Kozhevnikova, Galina, Under the sign of political terror: Radical nationalism and efforts to counteract it in 2009 // Sova Center 2010. 2 February (

    [28] The transcript of the audio recording, at least as it was originally published online, did not report his actual words accurately. The gist of his remark was that “ethnical” accusations under the pretext of defending Russian people (about the non-Russians’ lack of morality), as put forward by one of the defendants, had no validity. Certain Russians, the Jugde said, behave in such a manner, that they don’t deserve to live. The ultra-right, meanwhile, presented this statement as a call by the judge “to kill the Russians.”

    [29] The website of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation shows no information about the review of this case.

    [30] The organization does not yet appear on the federal list.

    [31] It is hard to make a judgment about the nature of this community since their site contains almost no original materials. However, the community is (or was) close to the Oleg Popov’s Spiritual Ancestral Russian Empire Rus` (Dukhovno-rodovaia derzhava Rus') organization. Popov’s organization gained notoriety by declaring its independence from the Russian Federation and awarding some land grants to its “princes”, and also by giving the death sentence to several Russian officials, (including V.V. Putin).

    [32] Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler was declared extremist literature by the prosecutor’s office// The offical site of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, 2010 26 March (