Winter 2010–2011: December and Its Consequences
Edited by Alexander Verkhovsky
Table of contents:
RADICAL NATIONALISM : Violence : Vandalism : The public activity of ultra-right groups : Authorities’ response to Manezhnaya riots : Ultra-right organizations : Non-political activity of the ultra-right
COUNTERACTION TO RADICAL NATIONALISM : Counteraction of the society : Criminal proceedings : Violence : Vandalism : Propaganda : Federal List of Extremist Material : Deeming organizations extremist : Other administrative measures
Winter 2010–2011 became an important stage in the development of the ultra-right movement. Riots on Manezhnaya Square on 11 December 2010 and the attacks that immediately followed in various Russian cities brought the problems of nationalism and racism to the center stage in the social consciousness. For the first time, rightist radicals succeeded in holding such a crowded unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow with radical slogans without being dispersed by police, and concluding it with acts of mass violence. For the first time, and supposedly unexpectedly for rightist radicals themselves, they succeeded in transferring the ‘Kondopoga technology’ to the capital (and to a megalopolis in general).
Attempts to hold new riots saw the surge in racist violence continue till the end of December 2010, though mass actions were successfully stopped by police. Since January 2011, law enforcement officials have succeeded in coping with the rise in attacks, which have since begun to reduce in number.
The activity of vandals inclined to racial hate is diminishing, though the number of really dangerous acts of vandalism is rising. Monuments with ideological significance are still the main targets of the attacks.
Criminal proceedings for hate motivated violence are intensifying. However, the quality of prosecution appears to be rather contradictory. On one hand, the courts acknowledge the race motive more and more often. On the other hand, the number of suspended sentences for such crimes has increased: nearly half of all those convicted in winter were given suspended sentences.
Speaking on the practice of prosecution for hate propaganda, people are mostly being punished for insignificant actions while real ideologists go unpunished.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials is being supplemented intensively but it preserves all its defects.
The Federal List of Extremist Organizations grows as well but mostly due to the inclusion of already-defunct groups. The ban of the only existing group, the Slavic Union (Slavyansky soyuz), was without any real affect on the activities of the organization.
In winter 2010–2011, at least 103 people became victims of xenophobic violence. Seven of them were killed, while two were targets of serious death threats. This is a bit less than in winter 2009– 2010, when 107 people suffered xenophobic violence, 14 of whom were killed. However, on one hand, our data is being supplemented intensively – though slowly – and we estimate a twenty percent increase in recorded violent acts. On the other hand, the exceptional events of winter 2011 on Manezh Square in Moscow make a comparison of this winter with last year difficult.
The surge in violence in the end of December 2010 was without doubt tied with the events on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on 11 December and the attacks in various Russian cities that followed. In the beginning of 2011, the wave of attacks receded due to the efforts of law enforcement officials who became active after the December events.
During the winter, attacks were registered in ten Russian regions (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, Ryazan and Samara regions, Komi Republic, and Krasnodar Krai). Moscow and the Moscow region still top the list with 76 victims, four of them killed. In St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, 11 suffered violence with one killed. The third place is occupied by Krasnodar and Stavropol Krai (three victims in each) and Voronezh region (due to the beating of three Mormon missionaries in 2011 with anti-American slogans).
The main group of victims are still people from Central Asia with 23 victims, three of them killed. Second are persons from the Caucasus (14 victims, four of them killed). Among other groups are representatives of various minority religious groups, policemen (10 people), people from Asian states outside the CIS (nine people), anti-fascists (four people), and people from African states (one person). We should note that 38 people of ‘non-Slavic appearance’ became victims of attacks during the period in question but we were unable to further classify them. Most of them suffered in mass attacks on 11 December.
As we have repeatedly mentioned in the past, a significant portion of xenophobic incidents might slip out of our visual field due to the deliberate camouflage of the attacks, for instance, disguising them as lootings. Besides, the information on such attacks appears on the web more and more rarely in the last several years, and attacks become known later from reports on the sentences issued against the attackers.
There are also some cases when law enforcement officials not only leave victims of attacks without help, but to the contrary, try to turn victims into those accused of crimes. We became aware of two such incidents in winter. The first took place in St. Petersburg in December 2010 when a group of four young people attacked and severely beat a person from Tajikistan, but the policemen who came to the scene detained the victim and charged him with stealing a phone belonging to one of the attackers. The other incident occurred in the Moscow Metro in January 2011. A group of young persons wearing the CSKA soccer team fan scarves attacked people from Tajikistan and beat them. One of the victims used a broken bottle to defend himself, and as a result police officials detained the Tajik native and are now charging him with attacking and wounding one of the fans.
During the winter months, the topic of the neo-Nazi terror became a reality once again. Thus, in mid-January, deputy director of the St. Petersburg Agency of Journalist Investigation Yevgeny Vyshenkov received a letter with threats signed by BORN (Boevaya organizatsiya russkikh natsionalistov,Fighting Organization of Russian Nationalists). In summer 2010, the journalist’s surname was put in a list of ‘enemies’ on a radical right-wing website.
On another ultra-right website, personal data (photo, address and photo of the house) were published, belonging to the judge deliberating the case on the murder of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova.
It is noteworthy that we cannot fully consider the range of such activity because similar cases rarely become known to the public due to the victims’ unwillingness to reveal information.
In winter 2010–2011, at least 16 acts of vandalism motivated by religious hate and neo-Nazi ideology were registered; 11 of them in 2011. In summer 2010, we registered 20 such cases, and in autumn, 18 cases. Thus, there appears to be a tendency of small reduction of the activity of xenophobic vandals during the last year.
However, the number of really dangerous acts of vandalism grows, such as explosions, shooting at windows, and arsons. In winter, buildings of Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered explosions in Vyborg, Krasnodar Krai, Rostov and Orenburg regions, as did a monument to Lenin in the town of Pushkin in Leningrad region.
Almost half of the actions (five cases) in winter 2010–2011 were committed against ‘ideological objects’ (almost the same situation as in autumn 2010). Thus, for instance, in December 2010, Lenin monuments became targets of vandals’ attacks in Voronezh and Pushkin.
Apart from the aforementioned objects, the targets of vandals’ attacks during the period under report were Muslim monuments (two cases), and Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish objects (one case in each).
This winter was characterized by a surge in political and other kinds of public ultra-right activity beginning with the murder of Spartak soccer fan Yegor Sviridov in a scuffle with people from the Caucasus on 6 December. Apart from the murder itself, right radicals and soccer fans worked diligently to spread the information that all the suspected participants of the scuffle except the suspected murderer had been released after being given written orders not to leave the city.
The conflict that led to Sviridov’s murder was immediately interpreted in the ultra-right community and among the soccer fans as an ‘interethnic’ conflict, with comparisons being made to a similar murder of another Spartak fan, Yuri Volkov, in July 2010. Internet-savvy right radicals made heavy use of online propaganda to spread texts on the ‘impunity of ethnic criminals in Russia’, ‘the lawlessness of the people of the Caucasus, etc.
From 7 to 18 December, various protests took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg and several other cities that led to clashes with police, attacks on passers-by with ‘non-Slavic appearance’, scuffles between the ultra-right and people from the Caucasus, and mass detentions.
It is worth noting that although the December 7 march on Leningrad Prospect was spontaneous, and some other actions were the result of the unforeseen effectiveness of open calls from several ultra-right groups, some incidents were caused by online provocations. For instance, on 13 December a message appeared on the web allegedly written by representatives of peoples from the Caucasus that called ‘compatriots’ to come to the Evropeisky mall in Moscow on 15 December to hold an action in answer to that of Manezhnaya Square on 11 December. On 13 and 14 December, a message was spread in social networks saying that a clash between right radicals and people from national diasporas would take place on Sennaya Square in St. Petersburg on 15 December. The author allegedly attempted thereby to warn people of the danger and even advised them not to attend. On 14 December, a message was spread addressing inhabitants of Rostov-on-Don claiming that ‘cars coming from the Caucasus were stopped in Rostov-on-Don, so implying that the action of people from the Caucasus (in response to Manezhnaya) would take place in that city, not in the capital.
Right radicals made efforts to gather as many people as possible in the streets in order to ‘consolidate success’ after the Manezhnaya riot, but this round of the clash was won by the police.
In the end of December, an initiative group established the Movement of 11 December with the hope of turning a series of spontaneous ultra-right actions into a constantly-active political movement that could regularly remind people of its existence. It started to be spread on the web, proposing all supporters of the new movement not only gather each month at rallies on Manezhnaya and in other cities, but also ‘seize,’ that is co-opt, all actions sanctioned by the authorities regardless of who organizes them and what they are dedicated to. However, the people involved failed to carry out this plot, as there are no examples of ‘seizures’ of others’ actions. The actions of the movement itself failed to gather masses although they were actively advertised and attended by members of ultra-right organizations. Among them were the leader of the ultra-right Slavic Force (Slavyanskaya sila) Dmitry Demushkin, one of the leaders of the DPNI (Dvizhenie protiv nelegal’noi immigratsii, the Movement against Illegal Immigration) Vladimir Tor (he later quit the organization), member of the DPNI Moscow Department Anton Severny, one of the leaders of the Russian Image (Russkii obraz) Alexei Mikhailov, member of the RGS (Russian Civil Union, Russkii grazhdanskii soyuz) Anton Susov, member of the presidium of the unregistered Motherland – Common Sense (Rodina – zdravyi smysl) party Maxim Kalashnikov, and the leader of the Russian Liberation Memory Front (Russkii front osvobozhdenia ‘Pamyat’’) Georgy Borovikov.
Low attendance of the actions in January, February and March can be explained first of all by state counteraction. Reinforced police details were drawn up to the locations of rallies by supposed soccer fans’ and right radicals,’ and anyone who seemed more or less suspicious was detained in the process. Therefore, although the adherents of ultra-right views supported the idea of the action almost unanimously, they preferred to stay at home in order to not to make themselves visible and thereby vulnerable to law enforcement.
In addition to events dedicated to Sviridov’s murder, the ultra-right attempted to find other motives to hold public actions, and to find a new mobilizing resource. However, none of these attempts were successful.
In January, a massive brawl in the Kupchino district of St. Petersburg, between local young men (according to some data, they were fans of the Zenit soccer team) and people from Azerbaijan was chosen as such pretext. No one was killed in the brawl but two supposed Zenit fans received knife and gunshot wounds. DPNI took part in promoting the conflict, with a member of the movement helping local youth to organize a protest. But the action failed, with only about 30 people coming. Such low attendance can be explained partly by the fact that the attackers were not released by police, as in Volkov’s and Sviridov’s cases, although DPNI attempted to spread rumors that three of the seven people from Azerbaijan were already free. Thereby, the ‘anti-police’ protest was not added to the ‘anti-Caucasus’ protest.
Another event that drew the attention of ultra-right organizations was the terrorist attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. However, the attempt to mobilize their supporters to fight the ‘Caucasus and Islamic terror’ against the ‘Russian people’ and the ‘state’s inactivity in combating terrorism’ did not bring any quantifiable results. Two actions were held in Moscow: one on 25 January near Tretyakovaskaya Metro station was attended by only 15 people, including Dyomushkin, who was detained. Another was held at the All-Russia Exhibition Center on 29 January, and did not attract many people either. Other actions took place in Syktyvkar (organized by North Border (Rubezh Severa), with 50 people attending; Cherepovets (organized by the local department of the National Socialist Initiative (NSI) led by Dmitry Bobrov, with about 50 people attending; and Ulyanovsk, attended by about 25 people.
The authorities’ first reaction to the December riots did not exceed discussions of the perpetrators and punishment. Thus, five days after the events on Manezhnaya, President Dmitry Medvedev blamed the ultra-right for what had happened and ordered the Interior Ministry and Prosecutor General’s office to find and punish the instigators. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s first reaction was similar to that of the President, but in addition, he held a meeting with the leadership of the soccer fans’ community to speak about crimes committed by visitors and a possible need to toughen the excessively liberal registration system in the big cities. Head of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor (later reformed as the Investigative Committee) Alexander Bastrykin reacted the same way. On several occasions during the winter, he said that ‘extremism’ is provoked by crimes committed by migrants.
Any subsequent action
by law enforcement agencies was in the same vein. Officials not only suppressed attempts to hold unsanctioned ultra-right actions but also began to detain and charge participants of the riots. However, it is only the very beginning of the process now, and as such judging its honesty and effectiveness is difficult. In February, authorities stopped the activities of DPNI, one of the biggest ultra-right organizations, and the process to deem the organization extremist started. Although DPNI did not organize the riots on Manezhnaya, its activity is in many respects aimed at provoking similar actions. Its ban is likely one of the forms of pressure on the whole ultra-right community.
After the New Year holidays, the authorities’ reaction became more restrained. On 17 January, during a meeting with top officials of the Federal Assembly, Medvedev not only acknowledged the necessity of a nation-building policy in order to prevent the worsening of xenophobic conflicts, but also brought out (albeit vaguely) principles according to which such a policy should be implemented. According to the President’s point of view, it is necessary to work out some synthetic values unifying all the Russians into one nation, regardless of ethnic descent. Meanwhile, it is planned to pick out those values primarily from Russian culture, as it is predominant in the country; this would encompass culture inherited from ancestors but also contemporary culture. Unfortunately, the President did not provide an even approximate description of what kinds of values he had in mind. He also did not mention what mechanisms are needed to secure their general adoption, especially in the republics of the North Caucasus.
On 11 February, President Medvedev mentioned interethnic relations at a session of the presidium of the State Council in Ufa. This time he said that the measures taken for citizenship education at schools are insufficient and proposed to introduce new measures to change them; again it was left to speculation what kind of measures he meant. The President also spoke on the necessity for the state to finance media propagating tolerance, and programs encouraging a wider cultural exchange between regions. He also proposed banning people convicted of hate crimes from working in schools and state bodies. He denounced the practice of limiting the number of representatives of certain nationalities when forming government bodies in some regions. He proposed establishing working groups consisting of representatives of various confessions in order to settle interethnic conflicts in the regions. This was immediately implemented at the federal level.
Some of the measures mentioned above – such as widening the implementation of professional bans – can perhaps improve the situation of spreading xenophobia in the country. However, some of the measures – like interconfessional working groups – are not likely to bring any positive effect. In any case it is important that the authorities at least voiced the necessity of nation-building and acknowledged the problem. But statements alone are clearly not enough to solve the it; it is necessary at least to work out a preliminary list of concrete actions.
The rise of state pressure on the ultra-right community following the December riots made the regime’s already-heavy criticism even louder. Radical-right organizations feeling and simultaneously responding the pressure of the social a political environment started to switch to oppositional rhetoric. Information on corruption scandals, crimes committed by law enforcement officials, and comrades detained began to appear more often on ultra-right websites and blogs. The right radicals’ opposition to the authorities is nothing new but the trend strengthened significantly after December’s events.
One of the examples of opposition rhetoric was a campaign around the possibility of the decision to deem DPNI extremist. The campaign started in January, even before law enforcement services officially confirmed their intention to start the closure process.
Besides, the movement’s leadership stressed that its existence actually restrained the activity of autonomous radical-right groups, and warned of a surge of street violence in case of a ban. Although in reality neither DPNI nor any other public ultra-right organization are supported by many autonomous groups or restrain anyone from anything (to the contrary, they act as provocateurs), such statements were aimed at gaining support from other oppositional movements with which DPNI started to form closer ties in autumn 2010. Thus, former DPNI leader Alexander Belov said in a winter interview: ‘Today I can see the grounds for joint actions by the opposition as a whole, be it included in the political system or not... What can it be? For instance, holding mass marches (sanctioned or not) on the same day with the same demands in various places in Moscow. Since our people are actually different, liberals can gather on Tverskaya Street (on Mayakovsky Square, for instance), the left at the Clean Ponds, and the right on Bolotnaya Square.’
In spite of this declaration of the readiness to get in contact with other members of the opposition and separate examples of cooperation in holding joint actions, the approach actually caused rejection from all sides. For instance, after the December events, representatives of Eduard Limonov’s Other Russia (Drugaya Rossia) Party invited the ultra-right and soccer fans to take part in the actions of Strategy 31. In response, an appeal entitled ‘Democrats Will Not Walk the Same Path with Nationalists’ appeared on the web. The authors sharply condemned the attempt to involve right radicals into the action, and DPNI faced the same situation. In the beginning of February, Vladimir Tor, then one of the leaders of the movement, proclaimed in his LiveJournal blog that he had held meetings with Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Zhavoronkov of the Democratic Choice (Demokraticheskii vybor), Denis Bilunov of Solidarity (Solidarnost’) and Alexei Nekrasov of the Five Demands (Piat’ trebovanii) project. Tor said they had discussed perspectives of cooperation, holding joint actions with ‘protest against the acting political regime’ as the main goal. However, sometime later a statement was released on the DPNI website claiming that Tor had held meetings with the leaders of the democratic opposition on his own initiative and that they had not been sanctioned by the leadership of the movement. Moreover, almost simultaneously it was declared that Tor was leaving DPNI and moving to the ROD (Russkoe obshchestvennoe dvizhenie, Russian Social Movement). Tor’s negotiations with democrats are likely not the real reason for his leaving. It seems that DPNI used them as a pretext to gently dissociate itself from the cooperation with liberals that caused sharply negative reactions in the ultra-right community.
The ultra-right movement began to unify in autumn 2010 after the Declaration of Russian National Organizations was signed by the two biggest ultra-right organizations, DPNI and the Russian Image. In winter, that unification process went on and even strengthened in anticipation of the ban on DPNI.
However, one of the main players, the Russian Image, fell out due to a scandal when evidence given by the former leader of Russian Image Ilya Goryachev, and frontman of the Right Hook (Khuk sprava) band Sergei Erzunov, tied the ultra-right group to the case of Nikita Tikhonov and Evgenia Khasis. Tikhonov and Khasis are charged with the murders of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, with substantial evidence confirming the prosecution’s position. Russian Image officially defended the ‘traitors’ of the ultra-right cause.
After the details of Goryachev’s and Erzunov’s interrogation had been published, there was a burst of indignation on radical right websites. The leader of the ROD Konstantin Krylov made an official statement saying he froze any relationship and joint projects with the Russian Image. Vladimir Tor, who at that time was one of the leaders of the DPNI, also gave a sharp but unofficial statement against Ilya Goryachev.
The crisis of the Russian Image gave DPNI a chance to regain its position as the most significant ultra-right force, but the beginning of the process to deem it extremist did not allow the DPNI to take full advantage of such favorable conditions. In any case, its leadership began to speed up the proposal to create a united party of Russian nationalists. The initiative was supported by the ROD, which is ideologically close to the DPNI.
In the beginning of February, Belov said he would start negotiations with other ultra-right organizations. On 22 February, a statement appeared on the DPNI website saying that the members of the Russian March (Russkii marsh) coalition including DPNI, the Russian Liberation Memory Front, RONS (Russkii obshchenatsional’nyi soiuz, Russian All-National Union), ROD, the Slavic Force, and the Union of the Russian People (Soyuz russkogo naroda) concluded an agreement to form a body called the Council of the Nation in order to create a new political organization. DPNI member Vladimir Basmanov called the agreement ‘an epoch-making event that we have been reaching for five long years starting from the first Russian March in 2005.’ Since none of the members of the ‘epoch-making event’ commented on Basmanov’s statement, the regulations of the relations between various organizations is likely to be in an embryonic state.
The next day after DPNI had announced the signing of the declaration, Krylov published a statement in his blog saying he was planning to create a ‘public commission’ to work on the political program of the future party of Russian nationalists. According to Krylov, the ideology of the majority of ultra-right organizations is primarily based on the criticism of the current situation. However, he said, it is necessary to set up a ‘positive program:’ a plan that could let existing and potential supporters understand what the new organization hopes to achieve. Krylov stated that ‘the most asked-for will be a program with a moderate national democratic trend, “without excesses from any sides.”’ Activists of the ROD and RGS, rather moderate nationalist organizations, will participate in the commission.
So far it is difficult to say whether the ultra-right organizations will come to a deal and what role such a party will take. It is unlikely that the party would be registered by the Justice Ministry. Meanwhile, the radical right organizations that feel growing interest in their ideology are trying together to capitalize on the high level of discontent in the community with the actions of today’s political regime.
Most of the ultra-right organizations have continued to carry out various social projects (helping children’s homes, donors’ activity, defending healthy lifestyle, etc.). As we have repeatedly noted, such projects let radicals create a positive image and communicate with potential adherents, young persons first among them. The typical example is the Resistance (Soprotivlenie) organization that often cooperates with local authorities enters schools and childrens’ homes due to its leader, well-known mixed martial artist Roman Zentsov’s promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Thus, in January, Zentsov held a master class on wrestling, supported by the local administration, for schoolers and fosterlings of children’s homes in Michurinsk in the Tambov region.
Speaking of such social projects, we can’t do without mentioning a new activity that appeared this winter among adherents of the Nazi Straight Edge subculture. Those are foot races under the slogan ‘Russian Means Sober’. The idea was likely to be inspired by the New Year holidays during which the consumption of alcohol rose, as usual. The action became widely known, due to TV reports in particular, and so the races continued after the holidays and were held in many Russian cities.
As far as we know, the first races were not organized by well-known ultra-right organizations, but such groups joined in later. They began advertising the races on their websites, and participated in organization efforts. As soon as the authorities started attempting to hamper the actions - banning them or sometimes detaining the participants - the ultra-right community declared it another example of the state’s arbitrariness, meaning that ‘Russians’ had no right even to run.
Winter was marked by two social initiatives over the course of three months.
The events of December 2010 brought a significant response from the liberal side of society. The most significant event of the social counteraction to racism and xenophobia was the deliberately apolitical rally ‘Moscow for Everyone’ organized on the initiative of writer Viktor Shenderovich on 26 December. It was billed as a ‘response’ to the Manezhnaya riots, and about one and a half thousand people attended.
Another notable event was the action in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, held throughout Russia on 19 January for the second year running. At least 23 Russian cities hosted some kind of memorial gathering. As a year ago, it was organized by the Committee of 19 January, a non-political informal union of social activists. Unlike the previous year’s Moscow action, this time there were no incidents during the march and the rally, which between 500 and 600 people attended.
In winter 2010–2011, courts issued at least 13 sentences for xenophobic violence that accounted for the hate motive. In all, 32 people were convicted. The decisions were levied in Moscow and the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Bashkiria, Karelia, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Saratov, Irkutsk, Tula and Kemerovo regions.
In only three cases, violent crimes were qualified under article 282 (incitement of national hatred). In other sentences, the racist kind of attack (the definition of which we find to be more adequate) was mentioned as a qualifying indication for various articles of the Criminal Code. Those were Article 105, Part 2, Item ‘k’ (hate-motivated murder); Article 119, Part 2 (hate-motivated death threat); Article 111, Part 4 (hate-motivated heavy bodily injury resulting in death of the injured); Article 112, Part 2, Items ‘d’ and ‘f’ (hate-motivated moderately heavy bodily injury); Article 115, Part 2, Item ‘b’ (hate-motivated non-heavy injury); Article 213, Part 2 (hate-motivated hooliganism); and Article 116, Part 2, Items ‘a’, ‘b’ (hate-motivated assault).
Thus we note the significant improvement in the legal qualification of violent crimes. Unfortunately, it is hard to say the same about the punishment for such crimes.
The punishments were allocated as follows:
· 15 persons received suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
· 11 persons were sentenced to prison terms from two to five years;
· three persons were sentenced to prison terms from five to ten years;
· two persons were sentenced to prison terms from 10 to 15 years;
· one person was sentenced to compulsory service.
As such, almost half of the convicts received suspended sentences without additional sanctions. The tendency to issue suspended sentences for violent crimes has become increasingly visible over the course of the last two years.
The most remarkable sentence was the January decision of the Protvino town court in the Moscow region, in the case of a local DPNI leader who was charged with the murder of a person from Tajikistan and the beating of his compatriot. The defendant received a suspended five-year sentence, and such a disproportionate punishment is evidently the result of the defendant’s deal with the investigators. As a result, this DPNI activist will very easily be able to return to the ultra-right community and commit more racist crimes in the future.
However, we are forced to state that as a whole, suspended sentences for violent crimes cause the feeling of impunity. It is worth noting that some of the persons mentioned in the section on cases on violence had earlier been given suspended sentences. For instance, in December 2010, a Dmitrov regional court issued a sentence against a 40-year-old man for a racially motivated attack on a person from Tajikistan. In April 2010, the convict had already been handed a suspended sentence for a similar crime, which failed to prevent him from committing a new one.
Real terms were generally given to those who had already been convicted for other crimes. The most well-known sentence among those was that against the ‘Ryno’s gang’ that stood out among other neo-Nazi groups for its victim count. Gang leaders Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky received 10 years each in prison for a racism-motivated murder in April 2007, and the trial took previous sentences into account.
We would also like to note a rare example of punishment for ultra-right attacks on state representatives during the period under report.
In February 2011, a sentence was passed against neo-Nazi Sergei Marshakov, who fired at two officials of the Federal Security Service who came to his home to conduct a search in September 2009. Marshakov was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
In winter 2011, court hearings in the case of the 19 January 2009 murder of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova began. On 21 February, the Moscow City Court started considering the case with two ultra-right activists, Nikita Tikhonov and Evgenia Khasis, as suspects.
The process is likely to be long and contradictory, and is being actively followed on many radical right websites. Seven jurors resigned before the process had even begun. One juror said his views would prevent him from making a reasonable decision, while some witnesses for the prosecution gave audio evidence for their fears of reprisal.
Leader of the Minin and Pozharsky All-Russian People’s Militia (Vserossiiskoe narodnoe opolchenie imeni Minina i Pozharskogo), Vladimir Kvachkov, appeared again on the radar of law enforcement agencies. He was detained in December 2010, and in January 2011 the investigative department of the Federal Security Service charged him under Article, 30 Part 1 (preparation for crime); Article 279 (attempted organization of an armed mutiny) and Article 205,1 Part 1 (recruiting or involving persons in terrorist activity). The materials of the case are classified.
In winter, three sentences were given for hate-motivated vandalism. In each case, Article 214, Part 2 (hate motivated vandalism) was used. We should note that this is also the area where judges began to reject the popular Article 282 and use the qualifying clause from the article on vandalism.
Two people were convicted in Stavropol Krai, two in the Orenburg region and one in the Tyumen region.
In the Tyumen case, a female defendant was sentenced to one year and two months in a penal colony for writing a swastika a xenophobic slogan on the wall of a shop. In Stavropol Krai, two 14-year-old girls were convicted for drawing racist graffiti on the walls of a shop and a bus station. One of them was sentenced to one year of ‘limited freedom,’ while the other was sentenced to a fine and to compulsory measures of educative influence. In Orenburg, young people who drew a swastika and the numbers 14/88 on the fence of a mosque were sentenced to one year of limited freedom. None of these penalties seem excessive to us.
In the Stavropol and Orenburg cases, we note the use of a humanizing amendment to the Criminal Code adopted in the end of 2009.
At least 11 sentences were given against fifteen people during the period under report. Eleven people were convicted in January and February 2011, similar to autumn 2010, when 11 sentences were passed against 13 people.
The sentences were issued in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Ulyanovsk, the Kursk and Smolensk regions, Krasnodar, Kamchatka and Stavropol Krai, and the Kalmykia and Chuvashia Republics.
· five persons were sentenced to various terms of deprivation of freedom;
· four persons received suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
· four were sentenced to fines, ranging from 40 to 150 thousand rubles;
· two were sentenced to correctional labor.
In winter 2010–2011, for the first time in two years we registered a reduction in the number of suspended sentences for propaganda, when compared with previous periods when suspended sentences prevailed. For instance, in autumn 2010, 10 of 13 people were given suspended sentences.
During the period under report, suspended sentences were issued for posting racist videos/films, chapters from an anti-Semite book on the web, and for spreading leaflets - that is,largely for insignificant deeds. An exception was the January sentence against the leader of a local DPNI chapter who was charged with propaganda, in addition to a charge of violence (see further).
In comparison with recent trends, this winter some people were sentenced to deprivation of freedom without having been charged with violent crimes and or on their first conviction. For instance, in January 2011 three people in Tatarstan were sentenced to one year in a penal colony for spreading anti-Semitic and anti-state leaflets. In February 2011, one person in Kalmykia was sentenced to two years in a colony for spreading leaflets. In December 2010, the author and performer of songs of the ultra-right Position (Pozitsia) band was sentenced to two years and two months in a penal colony, however, he was charged within a group of ‘comrades’ who had killed an Indian a citizen in St. Petersburg.
All sentences for propaganda were issued under Article 282 of the Criminal Code. Article 280 (public appeals for extremist activity) was used in two of the sentences: those against the aforementioned author of Position’s songs, and another against the leader of DPNI in Protvino.
The sentence on the DPNI activist was also the only one during the period under report to use Article 2821 (establishing an extremist community).
In winter, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was supplemented very intensively (11 times), growing to 783 from 727 items. At the moment this report is being written, the list includes 808 items.
Up to the end of winter, four of 783 items were withdrawn while their numbering was maintained. Thirty-two were entered into the list on inappropriate grounds as court rulings blacklisting those materials as extremist had been cancelled by higher courts without subsequent appeals. Forty-seven items re-duplicated each other (the same materials with differing output data included twice in the list are not counted), three of them fully, i.e. they repeatedly noted court rulings already reflected in the list.
In addition to well-known xenophobic materials, such as the brochure ‘Time to Take This Land Back’ by Northern Brotherhood (Severnoe bratstvo) ideologist Pyotr Khomyakov, ; an anti-Semitic brochure by A. Ignatyev; the film ‘Russia with a knife in its back II’; the book ‘One Soldier Makes a Battle (a book for a mujahideen)’ by Shamil Basayev; and the Ichkeria Info website, the list was supplemented by anti-Semitic and racist articles from regional newspapers and web resources with small audiences, anti-Caucasus videos, statements from blogs, xenophobic leaflets, the Oran newspaper of Bashkir nationalists,Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslim literature,, and ethnographic essays on minor peoples of the Far East with anti-Russian comments published on the guraba.net website (which has since been taken down).
The list was also supplemented by the books by Heinrich Himmler (‘The SS-Man and the Question of Blood’), Joseph Goebbels (‘Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels’), Benito Mussolini (‘Memoirs 1942–1943’), which were banned by the court of the Miyari region in the Bashkiria Republic. This is not the first ruling of this court concerning works by the leaders of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ Party and the National Fascist Party. The federal law ‘On Combating Extremist Activity’ explicitly deems extremist and bans ‘works by leaders of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ Party of Germany, and the National Fascist Party of Italy’ (Article 1, Part 3). This ban is clear enough that increasing an already-huge list with new entries is totally unnecessary.
The list still has all the defects we have repeatedly described in the past.
During the period under report, several materials were deemed extremist but have not yet been entered to the list. For instance, in February Airat Vakhitov’s video ’39 Ways to Help the Jihad and to Take Part in It’ from the badr.tv website was deemed extremist. In January, inscriptions ‘Russia for the Russians!’ (with an element of pre-revolutionary orthography) and ‘Orthodoxy or Death!’ from T-shirts sold in a web shop were added. In December, the list was supplemented by several printed editions with no output data mentioned. Among them were ultra-right publications including Atheneum magazine, the nationalist socialist publication Pages of Terror, Corpus magazine, issues 1 and 2 of the Corpus newspaper, and the Russian Will magazine.
In winter 2010–2011, the list of extremist organizations published on the Justice Ministry website was also richly supplemented. At the moment the report is being written, it included 21 items.
During the period under report, three organizations were added to the list: the interregional public movement Slavic Union, the Nizhny Novgorod regional public association ‘National Socialist Workers’ Party of Russia (NSRPR, Natsional-sotsialisticheskaya rabochaya partia Rossii)’, and the interregional public association Format-18.
The new entries consist of both active neo-Nazi organizations, such as the Slavic Union, as well as defunct ones.
The ban of the Slavic Union (SS) has shown no real results. The organization’s activity goes on under another name, the Slavic Force, while the symbols, style and abbreviation (from Slavyansky Soyuz to Slavyanskaya Sila) remain the same.
Other organizations actually ceased to exist by the time of their ban, as some of their leaders had earlier been sentenced to various prison terms. Format-18 collapsed after its leader Maxim ‘Hatchet’ (Tesak) Martsinkevich was detained in 2007. It is likely that the ban was tied with Martsinkevich’s liberation from custody, in order to evade the revival of his popular ultra-right project. But the motivation behind the NSRPR ban is less evident. NSRPR was a local group based in the town of Zavolzhye, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and existed for about 10 months beginning in January 2008. When members of the group were arrested and sentenced to long terms, and the group’s activities stopped.
In December 2010, one more non-existent organization, the religious sect ‘Noble Order of the Devil,’ was deemed extremist. We see no grounds for considering this ban appropriate.
In winter, court hearings began in the case of the closure of DPNI. On 11 February 2011, the Moscow prosecutor’s office suspended the DPNI’s activities and addressed the court demanding the organization be deemed extremist. DPNI leaders have actually repeatedly made instigatory statements, and some activists have committed violent racist crimes that can be seen in this report as well. However, the closure of DPNI will likely have no crucial importance for the ultra-right community. Like the Slavic Union, it will reappear under another name and continue its activity.
It is very hard to trace the practices of law enforcement concerning articles 20.3 (propaganda and public demonstrating of Nazi attributes or symbols) and 20.29 (mass distribution of extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for the purpose of mass distribution) of the Administrative Code due to lack of access to the information. It is known that a sentence was issued in winter under Article 20.29 against a user of a local network who spread xenophobic texts and video files under an alias, and that a sentence under Article 20.3, Part 2 was issued against the owner of a shop that sold objects with swastikas. Both sentences were passed in Krasnodar Krai, and both convicts were fined.
It is also not possible to trace the anti-extremist activities of the prosecutor’s offices, though information is available pertaining to several incidents of prosecutors’ reactions, and on several warnings issued for public demonstration of Nazi symbols. However, it is very difficult to even approximate the range of action by the prosecutor's office.
Speaking on the Federal Service for the Supervision of Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor), the information on its activity appears on its website, although with a certain delay. Based on this information it is known that during the period under report, at least four anti-extremist warnings were given to media sources.
Two warnings concerned publications on the terrorist attack at Moscow Domodedovo airport; one of those was given in response to xenophobic comments to a report on the attack. In this case, we are unable to say whether the warning was appropriate or not because it is not known whether the Roskomnadzor sent a notice on the violation to the editorial office and a demand to remove or edit the comments, as is required according to a decree by the Supreme Court’s July plenum. One more warning was sent to the editorial office of the online publication Agency of Political News (APN, Agentstvo politicheskikh novostei) for spreading the video ‘Matilda at the Rally Supporting Political Prisoners’.
 In preparation of the report, we used the materials of the SOVA Center's daily monitoring and the regional monitoring of ultra-right activity by our center in several Russian regions. The monitoring was partially made possible by state grant funding, awarded in accordance with the 8 May 2010 Order of the President of Russian Federation № 300-rp.
 Further details on the events of December 2010 are available in SOVA Center’s annual report: Verkhovsky A., Kozhevnikova G. Prizrak Manezhnoi ploshchadi: Radikal’nyi natsionalizm v Rossii i protivodeistvie emu v 2010 godu. //SOVACenter. 2011. 11 March (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2011/03/d21140/).
 We classify victims approximately according to the available information, and make use of the visual method of classification used by racist attackers as well. Thus, the expression ‘persons from the Caucasus’ is likely to be interpreted as ‘persons whose appearances were, according to reports,taken as those of Caucasus natives.’ This is actually a classification of the criminals’ motives, more than of the victims themselves.
 The information is presented by the Civil Assistance Committee that is investigating the cases.
 We should remind that earlier BORN had claimed responsibility for a series of murders in 2008–2009, including the murder of anti-fascist Ivan Khutorskoi in November 2009. However, BORN is more likely to be a brand used by various neo-Nazi groups than a standalone group.
 See further in: Vera Alperovich, Galina Kozhevnikova. Summer 2010: Victories of the Ultra-right Propaganda // SOVA Center. 2010. 6 October (www.sova-center.ru/en/xenophobia/reports-analyses/2010/10/d20034/).
 See further in the aforementioned SOVA annual report.
 See further in: A. Verkhovsky. Legendy o DPNI // SOVA Center. 2011. 19 February (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2011/02/d21017/).
 Meeting of the State Council Presidium on measures to strengthen interethnic harmony in Russian society // President of Russia’s official website. 2011. 11 February (eng.kremlin.ru/news/1765).
 A. Verkhovsky. Mirotvortsy v ryasakh // Nezavisimaya gazeta. 2011. 24 January (www.ng.ru/politics/2011-01-24/3_kartblansh.html).
 It is now called Triumphalnaya Square.
 A. Belov. S zapretom DPNI veroyatnost egipetskogo stsenaria v Rossii rezko vozrastet // DPNI website. 2011. 6 February.
 Vladimir Basmanov kommentiruet reshenie Koalitsii ‘Russkii marsh’ o sozdanii edinoi organizatsii natsionalistov // DPNI website. 2011. 23 February.
 Russkie natsionalisty obyedinayutsya v partiu // Political Journal. 2011. 25 February. (www.politjournal.ru/index.php?action=News&tek=8333).
 V stolitse proshel miting ‘Moskva dlya vsekh’ // SOVA Center. 2010. 27 December (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2010/12/d20633/).
 In the recorded period, we faced at least three sentences in which we do not know whether the court accounted for the hate motive, and one where the hate motive was mentioned in the indictment but was not included in the sentence. Our statistic does notinclude these data.
 See further in: Uslovnyi srok za ubiistvo vykhodtsa is Tadzhikistana poluchil lider protvinskogo otdelenia DPNI // SOVA Center. 2010. 24 January (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2011/01/d20809/).
 Balakhna: Uslovnyi srok ne pomogo: vtoroi prigovor byl vynesen 40-letnemu rasistu v Moskovskoi oblasti // SOVA Center. 2010. 17 December (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2010/12/d20883/).
 In 2008, Ryno and Skachevsky together with other gang members were found guilty of committing 19 murders and 12 attempted murders. In 2009, they were found guilty of three attempted murders and of inciting national hate. But as both were underage while committing the crimes, the total prison term cannot exceed 10 years.
 Since the beginning of 1999, Sergei Marshakov was member of the Skins Legion group led by Maxim (Adolf) Bazylev who slit his wrists while in an investigative isolation ward in March 2009. The activities of the gang and Marshakov personally became the subject of the book ‘Skins. Rus’ Awaking’ (Skiny. Rus’ probuzhdaetsya) by Dmitry Nesterov; the book has since become iconic in the ultra-right community. During Bazylev’s first detention, Marshakov became the leader of the group. After Bazylev was released, Marshakov ceased to actively cooperate with him but did not break contact with the group and did not fall back from unlawful activity.
 Tikhonov and Khasis are charged with crimes under Articles 105, Part 2 items ‘a’, ‘g’, ‘j’, ‘k’ (hate motivated murder of two persons) and 222 Parts 2 and 3 (illegal arms acquisition and storage). Tikhonov is also charged with Article 327, art 3 (document forgery).
 Earlier, Kvachkov, along with Robert Yashin, Alexander Naidenov, and Ivan Mironov was charged with the attempted murder of Anatoly Chubais. He was acquitted in September 2010.
 However, the sentence was delayed until the defendant’s daughter reaches legal age.
 The participation of the author of Position’s songs in the attack was not proven. He was convicted for propaganda only.
 V Yuzhno-Sakhalinske materialy s internet-saita priznany ekstremistskimi // SOVA Center. 2011. 11 November (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2010/11/d20265/).
 In March 2010, the Kirovsky regional court of Ufa blacklisted Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf granting the prosecutor’s request. In May, the same court deemed Benito Mussolini’s ‘The Doctrine of Fascism’ extremist.
 Galina Kozhevnikova. Under the Sign of Political Terror. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2009 // SOVA Center. 2010. 2 February (www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2010/02/d17889/#r3_4).
 Concerning the first slogan, it is unclear whether the T-shirt with the slogan or the slogan itself was deemed extremist. It is also unclear whether the slogan ‘Russia for the Russians’ written with modern orthography and without an exclamation mark is now extremist as well. We also doubt the slogan itself conforms to the definition of extremism because it can be interpreted in many ways. The second slogan is popular among the more aggressive representatives of some Orthodox organizations (the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Carriers (Soyuz pravoslavnykh khorugvenostsev)) but its history goes back to one of the Athon monasteries and it is interpreted as an opposition between Orthodoxy and spiritual death: ‘either we will be Orthodox, or we will die spiritually’.
 The full title of the list is ‘The list of public and religious associations, other non-profitable organizations against which courts passed rulings that entered into effect, liquidating them or banning their activity on the grounds provided by the Federal Law ‘On Combating Extremist Activity’.
 See further in: Priznana extremistskoi uzhe ne susuchestvuyushchaya organizatsia satanistov // SOVA Center. 2011. 4 February (www.sova-center.ru/misuse/news/persecution/2011/02/d20924/).
 This was a video recording of a speech by Olga Kasyanenko at a rally in support of ‘Russian political prisoners’ on 19 April 2008 on Triumfalnaya Square. Kasyanenko is the former chief of the Red Blitzkrieg (Krasny blitskrig)’s headquarters, known among right radicals as Matilda Don, the wife of Anton ‘Fly’ Mukhin, one of the leaders of the Northern Brotherhood who appeared in court in March 2011. A criminal case was initiated after this speech under Article 205.2 (public appeals for terrorist activity).