Spring 2011: Causes Célèbres and New Ultra-right Formations

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:

SUMMARY

RADICAL NATIONALISM : Violence : Vandalism : Processes of integration on the ultra-right flank : Ideological striving : The public activity of the ultra-right : Nationalist sprouts in the liberal field

COUNTERACTION TO RADICAL NATIONALISM : Counteraction by society : Criminal proceedings : (Violence : Vandalism : Propaganda) : Federal List of Extremist Materials : Deeming organizations extremist : Other administrative measures

APPENDIX. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT STATISTICS

 

SUMMARY

In Spring 2011, a new stage began in the development of the ultra-right movement. The events on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow and the subsequent, intensified prosecution of the ultra-right, the coming parliamentary elections and the ban of the two biggest ultra-right organizations – the DPNI (Dvizhenie protiv nelegal’noi immigratsii, the Movement against Illegal Immigration) and, earlier, the Slavic Union (Slavyansky soyuz) – roused the ultra-right to establish coalitions and new organizations. The process was irregular, and they have not yet succeeded in forming a coalition that would unify them all. The Ethnopolitical Association –– Russians (Etnopoliticheskoe ob’edinenie – Russkie) has become the biggest one so far.

During this period, the ultra-right pushed forward rhetoric condemning the authorities’ activity, not only that of ‘illegal migrants,’ etc. In Spring, the ultra-right held their traditional campaign against abortion and Gay Pride parades. Apart from that, the ultra-right attempted to join public, non-nationalist actions organized by other movements; in this connection it is worth noting that the interest in nationalist topics has grown beyond the nationalist movement itself.

Calls for legal and underground methods of struggle, for forming and strengthening public organizations, and for ‘autonomous clandestine activity’ compete in ultra-right propaganda. Appeals to fight against the authorities and ‘ethnic enemies’ can be seen on ultra-right websites.

Despite all these calls, the level of racist violence has reduced significantly when compared with the previous year. This is without any doubt linked to the rise of the criminal proceedings for such crimes.

In spring, verdicts were passed over several causes ce'le`bres. The one that caused the widest public resonance was the sentence for the murder of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova. In May, sentences were passed in the cases of the Lincoln 88 group in St. Petersburg and the White Legion in Dzerzhinsk, as well as a jury’s verdict in the case of the St. Petersburg Borovikov-Voevodin gang.

Unfortunately, there has been almost no crucial change in the character of prosecution for xenophobic propaganda; law enforcement officials continued to pay most of their attention to insignificant actions committed by users of social networks.

Two acting organizations whose members had taken part in violent crimes were banned. The most important banning action during the period under report was the ruling of the Moscow City Court that deemed the DPNI extremist.

The Federal List of the Extremist Materials was supplemented considerably. For the first time, the Justice Ministry attempted to introduce proper order in the document: in Spring, the books by Scientologists that had been put in the list – although court rulings on them had been appealed – were withdrawn from the list, and some items duplicating other ones have also been withdrawn while the numbering was maintained. However, far from all re-duplicated items were withdrawn, and unfortunately the list remains essentially non-functional.

 

RADICAL NATIONALISM

Violence

In Spring of 2011, according to Sova Center’s monitoring, 34 people became victims of racist and neo-Nazi-motivated attacks; three of them were killed. Three more faced serious death threats. During the same period in 2010, 97 people suffered, with 14 of them killed. Therefore, we can note the reduction of the level of racist violence and the number of murders, even in spite of the fact that we often become aware of most incidents more than a year after the fact due to a lag in how our data are supplemented.[1] (Now it becomes known mostly not through news reports on the instigation of criminal proceedings but through reports on the passing of the case to court or on the issuance of the sentence.) In all, from the beginning of 2011, 64 people suffered from hate-motivated violent crimes, and 11 of them were killed. Apart from that, five people faced death threats.

The biggest number of xenophobic attacks in all the three Spring months was registered in April, possibly in concert with Hitler’s birthday on 20 April (when the most violent attacks were registered). The 16 April ruling of the Moscow City Court deeming the DPNI extremist and banning its activity could be another explanation for the growth of ultra-right activity.

In Spring, attacks were registered in nine regions of Russia (Moscow and the Moscow region, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Vologda, Irkutsk, the Kaliningrad and Saratov regions, and Bashkiria). The biggest numbers of attacks have again been registered in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region (17 victims) and Moscow and the Moscow region (11 victims). Unlike the previous years, this time St. Petersburg exceeded Moscow in number of attacks.

The main targets of the violence continue to be people from Central Asia (at least two killed and eight injured) and representatives of youth groups considered enemies by neo-Nazis (eight injured). Among other groups are people from the Caucasus (one killed, three injured), Asian countries beyond the CIS (four injured), and representatives of various minority religious groups (three injured). Regarding two of the injured, we can say only that their appearance was ‘non-Slavic.’

Passers-by who expressed their disapproval of the neo-Nazis’ actions also became their victims during the period under report. We are aware of at least one such case: in May 2011, a passer-by in Chelyabinsk was injured severely after having made a remark to a group of Nazi skinheads for shouting pro-Hitler slogans.

In Spring, ‘punishment’ of people considered ‘traitors’ resurfaced.[2] Thus, in Omsk on 20 April, Nazi skinheads killed their 23-year-old ‘comrade’ with particular cruelty for ‘betrayal of ideals.’ Threats continued to appear on ultra-right websites addressed to the ‘traitors’, the leader of the Russian Image (Russkii obraz) Ilya Goryachev and Sergei ‘Oper’ (slang for ‘police operative’) Golubev, member of the Blood&Honour group, who had given evidence in the Markelov and Baburova murder trial.

 

Vandalism

In Spring, at least 17 acts of vandalism motivated by religious hate and neo-Nazi ideology were registered in 12 regions; almost the same data were registered in Winter 2010–2011. However, the activity of xenophobic vandals has significantly reduced when compared with Spring 2010 – when 37 acts of vandalism were registered. In all, from the beginning of the year, at least 31 acts of vandalism took place in 16 Russian regions.

In Spring of thi year, vandals confined themselves mostly to drawing neo-Nazi graffiti. However, dangerous attacks were also carried out. Thus, in March 2011 vandals opened fire on a mosque in Kamensk-Uralsky, in the Sverdlovsk region. As usual, the vandals’ activity was at its highest peak in the end of April and in the beginning of May (around Hitler’s birthday and the Victory Day respectively).

At least seven objects with ideological significance were defaced in Spring 2011. Neo-Nazi graffiti and a swastika appeared at the group of horse sculptures by Pyotr Klodt at the Anichkov Bridge in St. Petersburg, in the office of the Arkhangelsk regional traffic police and on the fronts of buildings in various cities. In Moscow, an improvised memorial at the spot of Markelov and Baburova’s murder was defaced.

Acts of xenophobic vandalism of the same number (seven cases) were committed against Muslim monuments, four of them (three in May, one in March) at Muslim cemeteries in Nizhny Novgorod. According to the regional interior minister, the desecration of Muslim tombs had the clear traits of an ordered action. Vandals stopped their attacks only after hidden police posts had appeared at all the city cemeteries. In June 2011, vandals started to desecrate the tombs again. Other objects that became targets of the attacks in spring were Jewish (two cases) and Orthodox (one case).

 

Processes of integration on the ultra-right flank

The ultra-right flank of the Russian political field faced a remarkable reorganization this Spring, and we see several possible reasons. The December events on Manezhnaya Square raised the optimism of the ultra-right dramatically, and coming parliamentary elections make the organizations conclude tactical and strategic alliances. New pressure from the government – which has taken the form of a series of high-profile criminal trials of neo-Nazis and a campaign against the most prominent right-wing groups – has also created a new impetus for the movement to reorganize.

The ultra-right started the process of consolidation by forming coalitions and new organizations based on alliances between formerly independent movements. However, the process is not going smoothly.

It was reported in February that the DPNI intended to establish a unified nationalist organization, and the ROD (Russkoe obshchestvennoe dvizhenie, Russian Social Movement led by Konstantin Krylov) started to write a program for such an alliance. However, as it turned out, even as winter came, they did not act together as one would have assumed given the two organizations’ long-term cooperation. Instead, each started to develop an alternative ‘project of integration.’ This perhaps caused a conflict between Vladimir Basmanov, the chairman of DPNI’s political council, and Vladimir Tor who eventually left the DPNI and moved to the ROD once and for all (he was previously a member of both organizations). The conflict is likely to affect the structure of the organization (a unified organization or an association of organizations), and above all, the center around which the integration could be held. The ROD criticized proposals made by Basmanov and Dmitry Demushkin (the Slavic Force, Slavyanskaya sila) because Krylov’s organization found it wrong to establish a new organization by combining two movements that had already been deemed extremist and on behalf of their leaders – one of whom was on the run, while another faced criminal proceedings. Basmanov and his fellow DPNI member Vladimir Ermolaev, for their part, reproached ROD for ‘sabotaging the integration process’ and attempting to ‘hog the blanket.’ As a result, in February the ROD did not sign an agreement with other members of the Russian March (Russkii marsh) coalition on forming the Council of the Nation (Sovet natsii) that was to establish a new political organization. From this moment on, two parallel integration processes began developing, though this was not exposed to the public.

On 14 April, information emerged that the Ethnopolitical Association –– Russians was established based on the Russian March coalition, though only the DPNI and the Slavic Force initially confirmed their membership in the new organizations. Later, they were joined by the National Socialist Initiative (NSI, Natsional-sotsialisticheskaya initsiativa), the Russian Imperial Movement (RID, Russkoe imperskoe dvizhenie), the Union of the Russian People (SRN, Soyuz russkogo naroda), the Memory Russian Liberation Front (Russkii front osvobozhdenia (RFO) ‘Pamyat’’), and the microscopic National Democratic Party (NDP, Natsional-demokraticheskaya partia).

In May, an organizational structure of the ‘Russians’ that largely reproduced that of the DPNI was revealed. The leading positions are distributed more or less evenly between representatives of movements that joined the new organization.

The goal of establishing this organization is firstly to attempt to evade total marginalization due to the accumulation of resources, and secondly to burst onto the field of public politics by demonstrating a ‘unified nationalist front.’

The leaders of the new organization have repeatedly said in interviews that the Russians’ target audience would be 50 to 60 percent of the country’s population, those who support the slogan ‘Russia for the Russians.’ We consider the potential support of the organization to be significantly lower.

Some of the leaders of the new organization are totally unknown to the general public (those being the representatives of the RID and the NDP), while the others are too radical. Dmitry Demushkin’s name is firmly associated with the acronyms of both of his organizations, Slavyansky soyuz and Slavyanskaya sila (SS), and he is considered an obvious neo-Nazi (which is true). Vladimir Basmanov is on the run, evading charges of racist violence.[3] Dmitry Bobrov (NSI) spent six years in jail on a conviction of violence as the leader of the Schulz 88 ultra-right group. Finally, Georgy Borovikov’s ‘Memory’ organization has been associated with radical nationalism since the days of Perestroika.

According to surveys conducted by the Levada Center[4], to which the ultra-right refer and the results of which differ very little from year to year, only 15 percent of the Russian population fully supports the slogan ‘Russia for the Russians’ (although the level of radicalism is unclear). Another 40 percent specify that they support the slogan ‘within due limits.’ Another problem is that the support of the aforementioned 15 percent remains totally speculative; the majority of possible supporters do not express this firm support of the slogan in practice in any way. Speaking on the real or potential active adherents of the idea, it is worth noting that big, legal organizations are not popular among the neo-Nazi movement, and that ultra-right movements – like other parts of the ‘opposition beyond the system’ (that is, not blessed by the Kremlin) – are extremely limited in their access to the communicative resources necessary for public politics.

In April, almost simultaneously with the forming of the ‘Russians’, the ROD declared it was transforming from a branched, though unified organization into an association of organizations. A proposal was made to those who wished to be members of the new structure, with a closed meeting being held on 16–17 April. It was attended not only by representatives of the ROD’s regional departments (which became separate member organizations), but also by activists of various ultra-right movements. Today, the ROD Association consists of organizations in Moscow, the Volga region (ROD-Povolzhye led by Alexei Razumov), Primorsky Krai (Rod-Primorye led by Tatyana Uvarova), Siberia (Rostislav Antonov), and Krasnodar.

However, the formation of the Association could not do without conflicts. Initially, ROD leader Konstantin Krylov declared that the Russian Bloc (Russkii blok) coalition from Saratov – formed in November 2010 out of local departments of the National Patriots of Russia (Natsional-patrioty Rossii led by Ilya Mayorov) – alone with the ROD (led by Razumov) and the DPNI (led by Pavel Galaktionov) was becoming part of the ROD Association. In practice, the situation turned out to be the opposite: the ROD’s Saratov department (ROD-Povolzhye) is aligned with the Russian Bloc. Mayorov rather aggressively reminded the ROD of this fact.

Transforming into an association, the ROD strove to attract minor regional ultra-right movements in order to gain the possibility of joining a regional organization equal to itself in stature, instead of entering the ‘Moscow ROD.’ So far, this process has not been especially  visible, which we take to mean that in fact, the coalition has not been formed.

It is somewhat strange that the ROD did not unite with the Russian Civil Union (RGS, Russkii grazhdanzkii soyuz), for these organizations have been cooperating since the latter’s emergence.

At this stage, there have been no particular changes in the ROD’s works. As it has been earlier, the association represents itself as a human rights organization offering legal assistance to those who request it, and takes part in organizing public protests.

One more ultra-right integration project was brought to life in April. Three parties signed a cooperation agreement: For Our Motherland (Za nashu Rodinu led by Mikhail Lermontov), Andrei Savelyev’s The Great Russia (Velikaya Rossia), and Motherland: Common Sense (Rodina: zdravy smysl). The document meant to establish the Our Motherland (Nasha Rodina) alliance[5], through which the groups planned to overcome their marginal political stature together. It is worth noting that Motherland: Common Sense was represented not by its well-known leader Mikhail Delyagin but by Vladimir Filin. The signing of the document was preceded by a split in the party; information appeared in the media that Delyagin had been sacked ‘for regular violations of the Regulations.’ At the same time, the party’s official website – which is most likely controlled by Delyagin himself – made no mention of his expulsion. To the contrary, a video interview of Delyagin, Maxim Kalashnikov and Igor Boshchenko stating several activists including Sergei Kovtun, Vladimir Novikov, and perhaps Filin had left the party was posted. According to the interview, those mentioned allegedly attempted to stage a coup. The split can therefore be seen as between Delyagin and Kalashnikov’s group on one hand, and Kovtun and Novikov’s on the other.

After the proclamation of the establishment of a coalition, there has been no information on the parties’ activity within the alliance. Moreover, it became known in June that The Great Russia was entering another integration project with none of the other signatories to the Our Motherland agreement. From this, we conclude that the Our Motherland alliance was unable to move any further than making the declaration.

In May, one more coalition of nationalist organizations was formed. According to its masterminds’ conception, The National Patriotic Front ‘The Union of Russian Power’ (DSR, Natsional’no-patrioticheskii front ‘Derzhavny Soyuz Rossii’) was to become an alternative for Vladimir Putin’s All-Russian People’s Front (Obshcherossiiskii narodny front). The agreement on establishing a new organization was signed by representatives of 17 movements. Among them are the Russian All-National Union (Rossiiskii obshchenarodny soyuz) led by Sergei Baburin, The Union of Army and Power (Voenno-derzhavny soyuz) (Leonid Ivashov), the Russian Cossacks’ Union (Soyuz kazakov Rossii led by Pavel Zadorozhny), the Slavic Union of Journalists (Slavyanskii soyuz zhurnalistov led by Boris Mironov), the Union of the Russian People (Valery Erchak), the Will party (Volya led by Svetlana Peunova)[6], The Union of Officers (Soyuz ofitserov led by Stanislav Terekhov), and others. Later, representatives of 20 additional movements joined the DCR. The declaration they signed includes an appeal for the consolidation of ‘all national patriotic forces.’ One of the DSR’s goals is the nomination of its candidate for the presidency in 2012.

Most of the organizations that joined the coalition are comparatively moderate national-patriotic groups, with the exceptions of the SRN, and Mironov, who is unable to deter his radicality; some of them have a Stalinist trend. Many DSR members have already been cooperating with each other for a long time - in particular, The Union of Officers and the Russian Cossacks’ Union were formerly parts of The Union of Army and Power. The Union of Officers’ leader Terekhov, who was one of the leaders of the Stalin’s Bloc for the USSR (Stalinskii blok – Za SSSR) during the Duma elections in 1999, has been a member of Baburin’s Russian All-National Union since 1995.

Unfortunately, it is too early to speak on the plans and perspectives of the DSR; so little has passed since its formation that no additional information has appeared. So far, it is possible to say only that the DSR is a national patriotic alliance similar to those of the 1990s, and that its perspectives can hardly be better than those of any of its parts.

It is worth noting separately that Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov’s Minin and Pozharsky All-Russian People’s Militia (NOMP, Vserossiiskoe narodnoe opolchenie imeni Minina i Pozharskogo) and the Russian Image remain beyond any alliances.

The NOMP is likely to cooperate with the DSR because their ideological guidelines seem to be in alignment, and they share some ‘old links.’ Kvachkov earlier headed The Union of Army and Power, and Peunova’s Will supported the NOMP actively and took part in its actions in various regions of Russia, and the two organizations came together to the nationalist march in Moscow on 1 May (see below).

The Russian Image – which appeared to be one of the most significant ultra-right organizations yet in Autumn – was struck off from all integrating processes. Apparently, it happened not on the organization’s own accord but due to the scandal around the case of Nikita Tikhonov and Evgenia Khasis, who were charged with the murders of Markelov and Baburova. This scandal turned the organization into sort of a pariah.[7] In April, a text by Alexei Mikhailov entitled ‘Time to unite’ was published on the organization’s website.[8] The author stood up for forming a united organization of Russian nationalists, though there was likely no invitation from any of the coalitions.

 

Ideological striving

As we have noted in the past, the oppositional rhetoric has started to attract wider and wider responses in the ultra-right community while gaining a position as significant as that of ethno-national discourse.

The rush of the newly-formed ultra-right organizations and coalitions hoping to participate in mainstream politics has created the impetus for them to broaden their ideology; they have come to understand that one cannot get far with simply ‘bad immigrants’ as a subject. Besides, the oppositional rhetoric is an essential response to rising state pressure. Ultra-right websites have started to regularly publish texts devoted to real or imaginary unlawful authority actions, thus referring to the law and human rights.

As the Tikhonov-Khasis case has demonstrated, this ‘close-to-legal’ approach has set strong roots in the views of not only the leaders of the ultra-right organizations who strive to show their movements are part of the democratic opposition. The ordinary ultra-right activists consider the convicts as ‘victims of the regime’ not so much because they doubt their guilt, but because they think the court hearings were held with gross violations, and further, that the punishment is unjustifiably strong. Therefore, their appeal to the law will become a more and more weighty argument, in turn attracting a wider response both in the ultra-right community and beyond – as we have already seen during the court hearings.

Apart from that, the ultra-right has started to pay closer attention to social and economic issues. For instance, Vladimir Basmanov published a text on the eve of the May 1 march[9] claiming that the participants of the march were addressing the state, which could be regarded as sort of political program for the ‘Russians.’ This declaration included not only the issue of a crackdown on external and internal (from the North Caucasus) migration but also the state’s social guarantees and relationship with businesses.

It is worth noting that this seemingly populist text is another example of the ultra-right political movement’s lack of any real content, with Basmanov proposing doing the impossible in the social-economic field. He advises a sharp increase in pensions, government employee salaries and social benefits, and a simultaneous decrease of the tax burden for small and medium enterprises. The migration politics issue is no better - its only measures, as proposed by Basmanov, are various bans and no discussion of how they are to be fulfilled or what the potential consequences might be. While any ideological programs generally hold a certain, defined view on a given situation, an image of the future and method for moving from one to the next, there is almost no description of such a program in today’s ultra-right ideology. Their texts are nothing but empty promises to make all poor people rich and sick people healthy.

The integrating processes have roused ultra-right leaders and activists to persuade possible adherents to join the big ultra-right political organizations, describing the advantages compared with minor underground groups, who are largely concerned with fighting. Writes Dmitry Bobrov, “There is a point of view, popular among young people, according to which the time of parties as political centers of struggle has gone – and currently, autonomous groups without pronounced leaders are the most effective form of resistance. I flatly disagree. I think a party can become an effective mechanism of political struggle for the Russian people”[10]. Sofya Budnikova (DPNI-Kursk) dedicated a separate article to that subject, entitled ‘What is a united political organization of nationalists needed for?’, arguing the advantage of big formations and political methods of struggle.[11]

However, the appeals of the elder generation are not always convincing to the younger one. The ‘Autonomous Nazi’ group widely advocates underground methods of struggle. After the life sentence was given to Nikita Tikhonov and the Russian Image was discredited as a legal organization, the young ultra-right has strengthened in being guided by totally underground activity. Texts devoted to the ‘white heroes’ and the use of force in the struggle with the acting political regime and ‘ethnic enemies’ are still regularly published on ultra-right websites. All this means secrecy, definitely not the establishment of openly-acting structures.

 

The public activity of the ultra-right

Because of their rising political activity, the ultra-right face obstacles like pressure from the state and their own inefficiency in the field of public politics. One can see, for example, how the ultra-right took part in local and regional elections this Spring.

In Winter, it became known that Alexei Kolegov (Boundary of the North, Rubezh Severa) intended to run for the State Council of the Komi Republic and the Council of deputies of the city of Syktyvkar, Alexander Ivanov (NOMP) for the Council of deputies of Syktyvkar, and Evgeny Cheglakov (People’s Patriotic Movement of Russia, Narodno-patrioticheskoe dvizhenie Rossii) for the State Council of the Komi Republic. In addition, St. Petersburg DPNI member Dmitry Sukhorukov was a candidate for the city’s Avtovo District Municipal Council. All candidates except Sukhorukov were withdrawn from the election slate; Sukhorukov ranked 16th of 17 candidates.

Since the ultra-right lacks the financial capacities or other resources accessible to parties and organizations ‘within the system,’ public activities like rallies, pickets, marches, etc. remain as some of the primary methods of communicating with the outside world.

The most significant Spring event of the ultra-right was the Russian Pervomai (on 1 May).

In Moscow, the May march gathered about 600 people, as it had a year before. This is not so many, considering the rise in number of participants in the Russian March in autumn 2010 as compared with autumn 2009. The future members of the not-yet-proclaimed ‘Russians’ marched in a separate column under the Russian imperial flag. Those were activists of the DPNI, the Slavic Force, and Memory. The Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Carriers (SPKh, Soyuz pravoslavnykh khorugvenostsev), the Will Party, the Russian Image and the NOMP used symbols of their own.[12] Krylov’s ROD refused to take part in the march due to a conflict with the DPNI leadership. Dmitry Demushkin attempted to remove representatives of the Russian Image from the column, later demanding that they remove their symbols. However, the leader of the Slavic Force did not succeed.

The march in St. Petersburg turned out to be more successful. The ultra-right gathered between 200 and 300 people under imperial flags, whereas there were 150 a year before.[13] Activists of the NSI, the RID, the DPNI and others took part in the march.

In addition, we must note the 1 May march in Saratov, organized by the Russian Bloc, which includes the local department of the ROD Association – ROD-Povolzhye – as mentioned above. About 100 people attended the Saratov march, whereas no ultra-right actions had been held on 1 May in the city before, and the Autumn Russian March had gathered no more than 50 participants.

Apart from the actions mentioned above, 16 other cities hosted similar events but none drew mass attendance. Eleven of 16 were devoted to the support of Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, who is in custody due to criminal charges of preparing an armed riot. Most of the actions were attended by not more than 15 people.

Summing up, it is possible to say that the integrating processes have had almost zero affect so far in terms of drawing support at ultra-right public actions. The organizations that entered the ‘Russians’ coalition have taken part in such actions as the Russian Marches in Moscow together before, and there are so far no cases of any new joint activity in the regions.

Striving for the greatest openness possible, and hoping to show that nationalists are part of the democratic opposition, ultra-right organizations quite often join actions organized by other movements. The most striking example for Spring was a protest march on 18 March in Novosibirsk that gathered about 1,500 people, with its participants demanding discounts on public transport for retired people. The march, was organized by the ‘Retired Persons – For Decent Life!’ committee and the youth movement ‘Defend the Veterans’ Rights!’ but eventually the action ended up being headed by the ultra-right, namely Rostislav Antonov, the leader of the Novosibirsk department of Krylov’s ROD and the organizer of the local Russian March, along with a group of young people with imperial flags and masked faces. Apart from the protesting retired persons, activists from Patriots of Russia (Patrioty Rossii), the Eurasian Youth Union (ECM, Evraziiskii soyuz molodezhi), the Vanguard of the Red Youth (AKM, Avangard krasnoi molodezhi), the KPRF and Yabloko took part.

The march was most likely to draw attention to the ultra-right through promotion in the press. It was the fifth action dedicated to the discounted transport for retired people, and each of the actions attracted more people than the previous one. The other reason for the ultra-right to participate in the action was the social slogans and its direction against the authorities.

Another example of the ultra-right joining others’ actions (even in spite of the organizers’ objections) was the March in Defense of St. Petersburg, organized by the Yabloko Party and held on 3 April. Activists from the DPNI and NSI took part, carrying imperial flags banned by the organizers, who threatened to remove the flags and brought the issue to the attention of the police. Regardless, reports appeared later in ultra-right blogs with headlines like ‘Nationalists Took Part in the Action in Defense of Petersburg.’

The nationalists did not pass up the defense of the Khimki Forest. Articles on the debate about the forest were published on ultra-right websites, and the activists of the Right League (Pravaya liga) numerously visited the ecologists’ camp in the forest and reported later how they were chasing migrant workers there. There are also ‘right fans’ among the defenders of the forest who do not represent any organization in particular. Evgenia Chirikova, the leader of the Movement in Defense of the Khimki Forest (Dvizhenie v zashchitu Khimkinskogo lesa), was agreeable to the participation of the ultra-right in the actions because there seemed to be a reduction of activity around the problem and activists were needed. She also took part in the NANOchat (an online talk between website visitors and a famous person) on one of the ultra-right web resources.

In Spring, ultra-right groups attempted to continue actions within the framework of the Strategy 11 (following the riots on Manezhnaya Square on 11 December), but none of them drew mass attendance. Only the May action had some public response due to the fact that the newly formed ‘Russians’ coalition appointed its news conference for 11 May on Manezhnaya Square. The organizers apparently expected football fans to join them but the latter ignored the action, possibly because of the match between FC Spartak Moscow and CSKA on the same day. The fans confined themselves to shouting xenophobic slogans at Biblioteka Imeni Lenina, Kropotkinskaya and Frunzenskaya metro stations (on their way from the center of Moscow to the Luzhniki Stadium). The news conference could not take place because the main figures, Dmitry Demushkin and Georgy Borovikov, were detained.

The rally ‘Stop Feeding the Caucasus,’ held in Moscow on 23 April by the ROD Association together with the RGS, became a notable success –  gathering about 250 people.[14] The xenophobic mood of the action was disguised by speculations about the economy, with speakers claiming that financing the republics of the North Caucasus was draining the Russian budget.

In Spring, the ultra-right held various actions for a healthy lifestyle, and against abortion and Gay Pride parades. The traditional campaign against Gay Pride parades essentially went on until 28 May, when LGBT activists’ attempt to hold an action was suppressed by the police. The ultra-right activists themselves (at least people from the SPKh and the NOMP) also attacked the participants of the action, the first such resolute attack since 2008. In some cases, police accepted their ‘assistance,’ while in other cases ultra-right activists were detained with LGBT activists. One ultra-right participant became a suspect in the case of the attack on journalist Elena Kostyuchenko, who took part in the action.

As we have mentioned, the ultra-right advocate a healthy lifestyle, as long as other social actions like visiting children’s homes, donors’ activity, etc. provides them the positive image necessary to increase their social base. For instance, it became known in the end of May that Luchezar Zhuravlev, the leader of the Kaluga department of the Russian Demography Project (created by the Russian Image), was nominated by the administration of a boarding school in the village of Panskoe for ‘Person of the Year 2010.’ Apart from that, the fight for a healthy lifestyle and other social actions quite often become a base for the ultra-right to build relationships with local authorities, pro-government organizations, etc.

Speaking of actions advocating a healthy lifestyle, one cannot do without mentioning the ‘Russian Means Sober’ foot races, which are still popular among the adherents of the Nazi Straight Edge ideology. We should remind that the races started this winter[15] and earned an unexpectedly big number of fans. The ‘Russian Means Sober’ actions were held in various cities throughout the country, and in some cases, gathered over 200 participants. Although the races themselves do not pose any threat, they still can turn into a mechanism for attracting and involving schoolchildren in the ultra-right movement (such cases have already been registered). On the eve of 1 May, participants of groups organizing the ‘sobriety races’ on social networks were persuaded to attend the nationalist march instead of the race. In May, the participants of one of these groups were also persuaded to patrol the streets of Central Moscow in order to ‘not allow the holding of the Gay Pride parade.’

 

Nationalist sprouts in the liberal field

The December events highlighted the topics of the Russian nationalism on one hand, and migration (including internal) on the other, bringing many politicians to discuss them in one way or another. The topics provoked an internal ideological conflict within the liberal Right Cause (Pravoe delo) Party.

On 16 March, a roundtable discussion was held at the party office with participants of various nationalist movements and organizations invited. The Right Cause was represented by party political council members Vladimir Nikitin, Denis Shilnikov, Vyacheslav Smirnov, Boris Nadezhdin, and Alexander Byalko, Sergei Pletosu, and Anatoly Kuznetsov. Nationalists in attendance were Konstantin Krylov and Viktor Militarev (representing the two ‘versions’ of the ROD), Anton Susov and Alexander Khramov (RGS), and Ilya Lazarenko from the National Democratic Initiative (NDI, Natsional’no-demokraticheskaya initsiativa). The science editor of Issues of Nationalism (Voprosy natsionalizma) Magazine Sergei Sergeev and deputy editor-in-chief of the Agency of Political News (Agentstvo politicheskikh novostei) Pavel Svyatenkov also attended the meeting. The discussion was devoted to ethnic tensions in the country, and the possibilities of cooperation between liberals and nationalists.

Smirnov was the first to capitalize on conflict within the party. He said that in the Right Cause, there was not only a liberal faction led by Leonid Gozman, but also a significant faction of right conservatives who ‘think that the real right party should express the interests of white Christian nationalists, representatives of the middle class and the Russian national bourgeoisie.’ We remind readers that this is not the first case of the Right Cause claiming their support for nationalists. However, the previous cases were not so noticeable.[16]

The Right Cause is not the only liberal party that does not reject nationalism; in March an unfinished program of Vladimir Milov’s Democratic Choice (Demokraticheskii vybor) Party was published, laying out a program devoted to the fields of migration and interethnic relationships.[17] The text can be called moderate nationalist - it proposes quotas on people from the North Caucasus entering other Russian regions, as well as the introduction of ‘Codes of Conduct for Migrants’ that would assume administrative punishment for their violation. We should remind readers that the Democratic Choice has joined a liberal coalition entitled the Party of People’s Freedom (PARNAS, Partia narodnoi svobody).

It is most likely that closer to Winter, when election campaigns begin, the nationalist and migration subjects will be included in the election programs of other parties and organizations. During the previous election cycle, analysts noted that almost all political parties used social slogans while going to the polls. This time, we face the prospect of elections with xenophobic slogans.

 

 

COUNTERACTION TO RADICAL NATIONALISM

Counteraction by society

Counteraction within society was not a factor during the period under report. We can only note the holding of the international Stop Racism week from 14 to 21 March. The event is usually held by the Youth Network Against Racism and Intolerance, the International Youth Human Rights Movement, and the Young Europe international network, within the frameworks of the European-wide Action Week of the UNITED for Intercultural Action network. However, the Week was held in only a few Russian cities, and its actions did not draw many people.

 

Criminal proceedings

Violence

In Spring 2011, criminal proceedings for court- and investigation-acknowledged, hate-motivated, racist violence were very active. During this period, at least 20 sentences were passed in 14 regions, with 81 people convicted. The same number of sentences was passed during the previous period (winter 2010–2011) but only 49 persons were convicted that time. From the beginning of 2011, 35 sentences total were passed in 20 regions against 116 people.

We note a steady trend in the improvement of qualification of violent crimes; Article 282 of the Criminal Code (incitement of national hatred) was used only four times to qualify those crimes. In other cases, racist attack was mentioned as a qualifying factor for Article 105, Part 2, Item ‘k’ (hate-motivated murder); and in Article 116, Part 2, Item ‘b’ (hate-motivated beating).

However, in one third of those cases (seven sentences) the qualifying indication used was Article 213, Part 2 (hate-motivated hooliganism) – an article of the law we consider flawed. The article ‘Hooliganism’ should not include hate-motivated crimes, since according to the definition of hooliganism in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, it means violation of the public order committed solely to violate the public order. The inclusion of such an item among the qualifying factors for the hate or hostility motive makes the article self-contradictory.[18]

Apart from that, three sentences during the period under report took into account the motive of ideological hate against ‘social groups.’ This spring, ‘anti-fascists’, ‘punks’, and even ‘bums’ were deemed ‘social groups’ (the latter in the sentence of the Vakhitovsky court in Kazan on 17 March 2011 for two attacks). The appropriateness of deeming these groups of people vulnerable ‘social groups’ and the use of the anti-extremist law to defend them seems dubious at least.

The punishments were allocated as follows:

  • four persons were liberated from punishment due to expired statute of limitations;
  • 31 persons received suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
  • one person was found insane and sent to compulsory medical treatment;
  • 12 persons were sentenced to prison terms up to three years;
  • nine persons were sentenced to prison terms between three and five years;
  • 17 persons were sentenced to prison terms between five and ten years;
  • three persons were sentenced to prison terms between ten and 15 years;
  • five persons were sentenced to prison terms between 15 and 20 years;
  • one person was sentenced to 22 years of prison;
  • one person was sentenced to life imprisonment.

As it can be seen from the given data, the rate of people given suspended sentenced has dropped when compared with the previous period (15 of 32 in Winter 2010–2011), however it still remains painfully high.

In Spring 2011, several hate-motivated murder cases had reached cause ce'le`bre-status, but were handed sentences.

The sentence that drew the widest attention was issued on 6 May 2011 by the Moscow City Court for the murder of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.

The trial created significant controversy within society. Rumors that there was too little evidence, that the available evidence was falsified, and that witnesses and jurors faced pressure spread beyond the ultra-right community. However, we consider this a positive example of the work of the law enforcement agencies. The prosecution was able to bring the results of the investigation almost without procedural infractions, the evidence was convincing for the jurors, and so the case did not fall apart in court.

Sentences of such magnitude (Nikita Tikhonov was given life imprisonment, while Evgenia Khasis was given 18 years of deprivation of freedom) were also unexpected. There have been rare life sentences in neo-Nazi cases in the past, but they have almost always been passed for a series of murders. The toughness of the sentence is likely to be explained by the impact of the murder on society, as well as its impudence – Tikhonov shot his victims in broad daylight on a Moscow street within walking distance of the Kremlin.

Among other sentences over causes ce'le`bres, we should mention the decision by the Kalininsky Regional Court of St. Petersburg on 22 April over the scandalous criminal case of the attack against teenagers Tagir Kerimov and Suleyman Ramazanov[19] and the ruling of the same court on 5 May in the case of the neo-Nazi Lincoln 88 group. Lincoln 88 was charged with 12 racist attacks, in which three people were injured with various stages of gravity and Kyong Byong Gil, a student from South Korea, was killed. On 12 May, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court convicted members of the ultra-right White Legion group from Dzerzhinsk.

Most of the convicts in these cases were sentenced to long terms of deprivation of freedom, while suspended sentences were given to minors and those who did not take part directly in the murders.

Apart from that, on 19 May 2011, the jury in the City Court of St. Petersburg issued a verdict in one of the longest processes, against the gang led by Dmitry Borovikov and Alexei Voevodin. Almost all the defendants were found guilty. At the moment this report is being written (14 June), the St. Petersburg City Court issued a sentence. Alexei Voevodin and Artem Prokhorenko were given life imprisonment, while ten others received punishments ranging from two-year suspended sentences to 18 years of deprivation of freedom. Two persons were released in the court hall.

 

Vandalism

In spring 2011, we became aware of two sentences against three persons for xenophobic vandalism, in the Orenburg and Moscow regions. In both cases, individuals were charged under Article 214, Part 2 (national or religious hate-motivated vandalism). In the first case, the defendants were sentenced to limitation of freedom for one year (this is an example of application of the humanizing amendment to the Criminal Code adopted in the end of 2009). In the second case, the defendant was given a suspended one-year sentence. We consider such punishments for racist graffiti on a mosque fence and a school building adequate.

In all, from the beginning of the year four sentences were issued for vandalism, with eight people convicted.

 

Propaganda

During the three Spring months, at least 15 sentences were issued for xenophobic propaganda against 15 people in 14 regions. In all, from the beginning of the year, 26 such sentences were passed in 21 regions of Russia (Arkhangelsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Kirov, Kurgan, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk, Smolensk, Tver, Tula, and Ulyanovsk regions, Khabarovsk Krai, Khanty-Mansi autonomous district, republics of Adygea, Bashkiria, Kalmykia, Karelia and Chuvashia). Thirty-one individuals were convicted.

The punishments were allocated as follows:

  • one person was sentenced to deprivation of freedom;
  • five persons were given suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
  • three persons were sentenced fines ranging from 10,000 to 48,600 rubles;
  • three
  • persons were sentenced to correctional labor; three were released from punishment.

We would like to note the positive tendency of reduction of suspended sentences (five of 15 convicts). This tendency was registered in Winter 2010–2011 as well; that time four of 11 persons charged with xenophobic propaganda were given suspended sentences.

We consider fines or correctional labor more adequate punishments. Unfortunately, the share of persons who received such sentences (six) is in fact the same as that of persons with suspended sentences.

The only person who was sentenced to a prison term was a 32-year-old neo-Nazi who published a text with appeals for violence against non-Slavic inhabitants of Khabarovsk in a social network. He was sentenced to five months in a penal colony.

During this period, we faced a ruling to stop criminal proceedings ‘due to the defendant’s active repentance.’ In April 2011, the city court of Kamyshin, in the Volgograd region, issued such a ruling in the case of a person accused of publishing a xenophobic comment on a website. The defendant pleaded guilty with full credit and presented his written apology to the court that he had published on the same website. We are registering such measure in this area for the first time in two years.

Sentences were given mostly for publishing xenophobic videos on the Web and statements on social networks, racist exclamations during the Russian March, and spreading leaflets.

We should note that most of the sentences and cases instigated during this period had to do with publishing materials on the Vkontakte network, which is becoming more and more popular within the ultra-right segment of the Web. The Vkontakte network attracted the attention of active persons in the Russian Internet who signed an open letter to the network leadership appealing to filter the content[20], with law enforcement agencies also becoming attentive. In particular, at the end of May the head of the Prosecutor General’s Department of the Supervision of Adherence to Laws on Federal Security, Inter-National Relations and Counteraction to Extremism noted the huge amount of ‘extremist materials’ in the social network and promised to ‘take measures.’

In all the cases, Article 282, Part 1 (incitement of national hatred) was used. The only exception was the sentence issued by the city court of Taldom, in the Moscow region, where Article 282 neighbored Article 280, Part 1 (public appeals for extremist activity), and Article 214, Part 2 (national or religious hate-motivated vandalism). This sentence was mentioned in the ‘Vandalism’ section of this report as well.

 

Federal List of Extremist Materials

During the three spring months, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was supplemented actively (seven times), growing from 783 to 870 items. At the moment this report is being written, the list includes 891 entries.

During the period under report, the list was supplemented with the following groups of materials:

- Islamist materials, such as leaflets, brochures, videos (in particular, the video address of the leaders of the United Vilayet of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay that is part of the Caucasus Emirate), a Muslim website, one more book by Said Nursi;

- ethnoxenophoboc materials, among them songs of bands that became cult hits among neo-Nazis (Kolovrat, Tsiklon B, Bezumnye usilia, Psikhea), xenophobic films and clips, ultra-right magazines and newspapers (Russian Will, Russkaya volya), well-known anti-Semitic and racist books (the ‘White ABC’ and Nikolai Levashov’s ‘Russia in False Mirrors’), slogans ‘Russia for the Russians!’ written in a pseudo-Old Russian orthography as ‘Россия для русскихъ!’, and ‘Orthodoxy or Death’ (this ban has become quite controversial), a collection of fundamentalist Orthodox sermons by the priest Vassily Novikov;

- historical materials, in particular, the book by Konstantin Rodzaevsky, leader of the Russian Fascist Party that was formed in 1931 in Manchuria, and ‘Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels’ already deemed extremist due to the law On Combating Extremist Activity.[21]

The list has been reduced significantly:[22] on 3 May, items 632–660, 667, 677–679 and 682 were withdrawn (with numbering maintained). Some of the items were withdrawn because they duplicated others (667, 677–679 и 682), and 29 books by Ron Hubbard (632–660) were removed because they had been included in the list without proper grounds.[23] However, not all the items that could be removed on the same grounds were withdrawn.

In spite of the Ministry of Justice’s positive initiative, the list remains non-functional. The items added are entered with a huge amount of bibliographical errors, and it is often impossible to understand from the explanation given what exactly was banned.

 

Deeming organizations extremist

During Spring 2011, the list of extremist organizations published on the Ministry of Justice’s website was also supplemented.[24] At the moment the report is being written, it included 22 items.

Two organizations were added to the list: the religious group Devil’s Noble Order, which was deemed extremist by the Supreme Court of Mordovia on 27 December 2010, and the interreligious public movement Army of People’s Will, which was deemed extremist by the Moscow City Court on 19 November 2010 (the ruling entered into effect on 22 December 2010, after the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation had confirmed it). We consider both bans inappropriate.[25]

In Spring, two additional organizations were deemed extremist but not included in the list[26], because the court rulings have not yet entered into legal force.

The most significant one was issued on 18 April 2011 by the Moscow City Court, banning the Interregional Public Organization ‘The Movement Against Illegal Immigration’ (DPNI) and deeming it extremist. This ruling was appealed on 27 April by the organization’s representatives and has not yet taken effect, but the DPNI’s activities are stopped. The appropriateness of the ruling drew contradictory reactions beyond the nationalist community, but we have no doubt that the court issued it well within the means of the law. One can argue over separate elements of the indictment and sentence, but the leaders and the members of the DPNI have, on numerous occasions, made dangerous and instigatory statements. The main point is that this organization was directly connected with racist violence, and some of its members committed xenophobic violent crimes. Unfortunately, the members of the organizations are certain to continue their illegal activity.

On 16 May, the public organization National Socialist Initiative (NSI) of the city of Cherepovets, in the Vologda region, was deemed extremist. It appeared in the city in the beginning of 2010 as the regional department of the eponymous movement in St. Petersburg, NSI. The group is led by Dmitry Bobrov, who was sentenced to six years of deprivation of freedom in 2005 for leading the well-known neo-Nazi group Schulz 88. Members of the Cherepovets NSI also took part in mass brawls and committed violent crimes.

 

Other administrative measures

In Spring 2011, the Federal Service for the Supervision of Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor) published, with a certain delay, reports on its activity. During this period, the service issued at least eight anti-extremist warnings to the media editorial offices.

We consider half of these warnings inappropriate.[27] Additionally, we cannot judge with confidence on the appropriateness of a warning given to the Brightnews (Yarkovosti) newspaper in the Yarkovo district of the Tyumen region, for the article ‘Fight against Corruption Overshadowed the Ethnic Issue’ in issue no. 14, published 25 November 2010, because we have not seen the text.

However, the warning given to the editorial office of the Egorshino News (Egorshinskie vesti) newspaper in the town of Artemovsky, in the Sverdlovsk region for publishing articles ‘Murderer Must Sit in Jail’ and ‘The Boiling Point’ in November 2010, was clearly appropriate. The first article told the story of the death of an inhabitant of the town of Egorshino after a brawl in a cafe with Armenians. After the article was published, over 300 comments appeared at the newspaper website, among which were harsh intolerant statements. Some of the comments containing appeals to violence were published in the second article.

The editorial office of the Yuri Mukhin’s By the Right Names newspaper received a warning for the article ‘Kremlin Drives the People to Revolution,’ published in March 2011 and containing direct calls for armed revolt, as well as the editorial office of the News of the Slavs of Southern Russia (Vesti slavyan yuga Rossii) newspaper in the town of Krymsk, in Krasnodar Krai, for the November 2010 article ‘Partisans Were Going for the Raid’ by B. Medem.[28]

Information on the practical application of the Administrative Code remains poorly accessible. We are aware of only one sentence under Article 20.3. Part 1 (propaganda and demonstrating of Nazi attributes or symbols in public), against a 21-year-old user of the Vkontakte network who published an image of Nazi symbols and a text with appeals for violence on his personal page. He was sentenced to a 500-ruble fine.

Speaking on the anti-extremist activity of prosecutor’s offices, we are aware of only seven representations on the inadmissibility of extremist activity, issued against school principals for the lack of content-filtering programs in their schools. We should note that we consider the idea of fighting extremism with the help of web filters on school computers unproductive because one can evade any filter when needed, and it is impossible to make a comprehensive list of web addresses and key words. Besides, the program supplied by the Federal Education Agency to Russian schools in March 2008 cannot deal with the goal, as was revealed during prosecutors’ examinations throughout the country.[29]



[1] We should remind that we do not include the victims of mass brawls and people injured in the republics of the North Caucasus.

[2] See further in: Galina Kozhevnikova. Ksenofoby b’ut svoikh // Grani.Ru. 2010. 29 March (http://grani.ru/opinion/kozhevnikova/m.176428.html).

[3] This was a measure within the case of DPNI organization in the town of Protvino, Moscow region. See further in: Uslovny srok za ubiistvo vykhodtsa iz Tadzhikistana poluchil lider protvinskogo otdelenia DPNI // SOVA Center. 2011. 24 January (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2011/01/d20809/).

[4] Natsionalizm v sovremennoi Rossii // Levada Center official website. 2011. 4 February (http://www.levada.ru/press/2011020407.html).

[5] Sozdan soyuz politicheskikh partii // The Great Russia’s website. 2011. 2 April (http://www.velikoross.ru/zayavlenia/show/?id=28).

[6] The party led by Svetlana Peunova represents itself as a wide movement intended to hold public supervision over the power bodies. The party’s direction is close to Stalinist ones, it does not proclaim any nationalist ideas and cooperates with various left organizations. We have also registered its cooperation with the adherents of Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov in Penza. In the end of March 2011, the party members initiated a ‘people’s referendum’ for the president’s and the government’s resignation. The party’s head office is in Samara where Peunova lives. The departments are in almost all Russian regions but their activity is low.

[7] See further in: Natalia Yudina, Vera Alperovich. Winter 2010–2011: December and Its Consequences // Sova Center. 2011. 12 April (http://www.sova-center.ru/en/xenophobia/reports-analyses/2011/05/d21571/).

[8] A.Mikhailov. Vremia ob’edinyat’sya // The Russian Image. 2011. 30 March.

[9] V.Basmanov. The Russian First of May. For the Social and National Justice! // DPNI. 2011. 27 апреля.

[10]D. Bobrov. Glava NSI Dmitry Bobrov: o edinoi politicheskoi organizatsii natsionalistov // DPNI. 2011. 16 April.

[11]S. Budnikova. Zachem nuzhna edinaya politicheskaya organizatsia natsionalistov? // DPNI. 2011. 17 April.

[12] Moscovsky marsh natsionalistov 1 maya // SOVA Center. 2011. 1 May (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/racism-nationalism/2011/05/d21536/).

[13] Pervomaiskie aktsii natsionalistov v raznykh gorodakh // SOVA Center. 2011. 4 May (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/racism-nationalism/2011/05/d21560/).

[14] V Moskve proshel antikavkaszkii miting // SOVA Center. 2011. 23 April (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/racism-nationalism/2011/04/d21476/).

[15] See further in: V. Alperovich, N. Yudina. Op. Cit.

[16] V partii ‘PRAVOE DELO’ sostoyalsya krugly stol po problemam natsionalizma // Goroda Podmoskovya. 2011. March (http://www.podmoskowje.ru/vesti-podmoskovya/v-partii-pravoe-delo-sostoyalsya-kruglyj-stol-po-problemam-nacionalizma.html).

[17] Osnovnye idei ‘Demokraticheskogo vybora’ v sfere migratsionnoi politiki i politiki v oblasti mezhetnicheskikh otnoshenii // Demokraticheskii vybor. 2011. 17 March (http://demvybor.ru/documents/DV-migration.pdf).

[18] See further in: V Moskve proshla press-konferentsia na temu “Shto poluchit art-gruppa “Voina” – gosudarstvennuyu premiu ili tyuremny srok?” // SOVA Center. 2011. 21 February (http://www.sova-center.ru/misuse/news/persecution/2011/02/d21026/).

[19] The case became infamous due to the first examination that was unable to make a definite conclusion on the sense of the slogan ‘Beat the blacks! Beat the dirty Caucasians!’ (The Russian swear word ‘khach’ was used meaning the Caucasians.) We consider this case a bright example of how the experts should not be used. The sense of the shouting during the beating of teenagers by other teenagers should be understood by any investigator or judge without any experts. But the experts themselves are often unable to define the sense of the phrase and who it is addressed out of context, and they cannot estimate the phrase within the context because this goes beyond their professional competence. See further in: A. Verkhovsky. Kommentarii k ekspertize Kiryukhinoi // SOVA Center. 2009. 7 September (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2009/09/d16778/).

[20] See further in: Deyateli Runeta prizyvayut vladel’tsev seti ‘Vkontakte’ zanyat’sya fil’tratsiei kontenta // SOVA Center. 2011. 23 March (http://www.sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/news/counteraction/2011/03/d21229/).

[21] See our point of view concerning the addition of works by the leaders of the NSDAP and the National Fascist Party in the list in: V. Alperovich, N. Yudina. Op. cit.

[22] Earlier, there has been almost no withdrawal of materials from the list. The exceptions were an article by Nikolai Andryushchenko in the New Petersburg (Novy Peterburg) newspaper (items 362–364) and an anti-Krishnaite leaflet by the United Russia’s Young Guard.

[23] In March 2010, the Surgut City Court deemed 29 books extremist that form the grounds of the Church of Scientology. This ruling was appealed before it entered into effect. However, on 13 July 2010 the materials were included into the Federal List. The Zamoskvoretsky Court of Moscow honored the claim of the Moscow Church of Scientology and obliged the Justice Ministry to remove the books from the list but the ministry did not fulfil the ruling that time. On 2 February 2011, the Khanty-Mansi District Court refused to deem the books extremist. And finally, on 14 April 2011 the Surgut City Court issued a ruling obliging the ministry to remove the books from the list. 

[24] 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’.

[25] In the first case, the grounds to deem the organization extremist are simply unclear. The crimes for which the members of the group were convicted, that is illegal sexual activity, do not fall under the definition of extremism in any way. Furthermore, the organization actually ceased to exist at the moment of the ban. In the second case, the ruling to ban the public union around the Duel (Duel’) newspaper, later entitled To the Stand! (K bar’eru), now By Their Right Names (Svoimi imenami), and its editor-in-chief Yuri Mukhin was based upon the inappropriate ban of the leaflet ‘You’ve Elected – You Should Judge.’

[26] At the moment the report is being written, one more well-known organization was deemed extremist, the Interregional Association ‘Russian All-National Union’ (Mezhregional’noe ob’edinenie ‘Russkii obshchenatsional’ny soyuz’, RONS).

[27] The warnings were issued to:

- the editorial office of the Beloved City (Lyubimy gorod) newspaper in the town of Shatura, Moscow region, for publishing quotations of Adolf Hitler in the article ‘Satisfied by the Fragments of the Reichstag’ by Galina Kramich in the issue no. 18, published on 17 December 2010;

- the editorial office of the Evening Paper (Vechorka) in the city of Chita for publishing the image of a lighter under the heading Photofact, with an inscription saying ‘Chinese Fascist Lighter in Free Sale. Manchuria. 06.03.2011’ in the issue no. 10 (42), published 9 March 2011;

- the editorial office of the Eastern Market (Vostochny Market) newspaper in the city of Kazan for publishing an advertisement with a phrase saying ‘Discount for Muslims’ in the issue no. 2, published in April 2011;

- the editorial office of the Evening Tyumen (Vechernyaya Tyumen’) newspaper for the article ‘Gibbet for a Millionnaire... (banned biography)’ by Vladimir Faleev in the issue no. 8 for 11–24 May 2011.

[28] In 2010 and 2009, the editorial office of the newspaper received warnings from the Roskomnadzor. In December 2010, editor-in-chief Boris Salomakha was convicted by the Krymsky regional court of Krasnodar Krai for publishing the poem ‘Be Russian!’ in his newspaper in 2007.

[29] Sanktsii v otnoshenii rukovoditelei obrazovatel’nykh uchrezhdenii // SOVA Center. 2011. 9 June (http://www.sova-center.ru/misuse/news/persecution/2010/05/d18735/).