The State Duma Directed Right Radicals Toward New Goals: Xenophobia, Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in Russia during the First Half of 2013

Edited by Alexander Verkhovsky

PUBLIC ACTIVITY OF ULTRA-RIGHT GROUPS : Building Parties and Organizations : Ultra-Right Public Events : Nationalists During General Protest Actions : Independent Nationalist Actions : Other Nationalist Activity
COUNTER-ACTION TO RADICAL NATIONALISM AND XENOPHOBIA : Public Initiatives : Criminal Prosecution : For Violence : Arrests of Known Ultra-Right Activists for “Non-Ideological” Criminal Activity :For Vandalism : For Propaganda : Prosecution of Extremist Groups : Administrative measures : The Federal List of Extremist Materials : Banning of Organizations : Other Administrative Sanctions



In the first half of 2013[1] nationalist organizations no longer focused on participating in the general opposition movement. They shifted to a combined strategy of using oppositional organizations for their own purposes along with increasing their own public presence. Nationalist participation in general protest marches and rallies remained at very low levels, but they were able to influence the Coordinating Council of the Opposition into adopting the resolution on visa regime with Central Asia, important to nationalists.

Their own actions, while not record-setting in terms of attendance, were, nevertheless, quite visible, and in the case of the visa campaign, right-wing radicals managed to attract significant media attention. In the first half of the year, nationalists put a lot of effort into the “promotion” of various violent incidents using the “Kondopoga technology,” but, fortunately, they failed to set off any major ethnic riots.

Ultra-right activists were also unsuccessful in their attempts to reformat their movements into political parties. “The Russians” Association (Ob’edinenieRusskie”) achieved almost no progress in this respect, and, in addition, split up; Konstantin Krylov’s National Democratic Party (NDP) and Valery Solovey’s New Force (Novaya Sila) were denied registration; For Our Motherland (Za nashu rodinu) party has lost its registration. Only two parties are eligible for participation in the elections on September 8 so far: Alexey Zhuravlev’s Motherland (Rodina) party (the political vehicle of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin) and Sergei Baburin’s Russian All-People’s Union (Rossiiskii obshchenarodnyi soiuz, ROS), rooted in the 1990-s style “old nationalism.”

Among the non-political nationalist initiatives, the informal “hunting” campaigns for “illegal immigrants” and pedophiles gained a wide notoriety. Although the ultra-right activists usually steered clear of openly breaking the law in the course of their raids, the Shield of Moscow (Shchit Moskvy) actions in June of demonstrated criminal potential of such activities.


The level of the far-right criminal activity still remains high. According to our preliminary data, the level of racist violence dropped slightly, compared to the same period a year earlier, but, most likely, this difference is due to the delayed arrival of the information rather than to an actual decrease in far-right activity.

A qualitatively new phenomenon this year was the change in the attack targets. While, during the previous year, “ideological enemies,” i.e. mainly young left-wingers, topped the assault statistics (partly due to general increase in political activity), the number of such victims has been small so far in 2013. Meanwhile, over the past six months, we saw a significant increase in the number of victims among the groups, targeted by the new repressive laws. The victims of religious hatred, primarily from the new religious movements (NRM) constituted the most numerous group. Accordingly the acts of vandalism targeted primarily the Orthodox sites and the NRM buildings. Representatives of the LGBT community constitute the next largest group of victims. Most frequently, the incidents involved attacks on their public actions, with police protection being insufficient or absent. Yet another new legislative initiative – the “foreign agents” law – motivated Syktyvkar nationalists to attack and threaten human rights defenders.

Traditional attacks against “ethnic outsiders” also continued in the past six months; natives of Central Asia and the Caucasus represent the third and the fourth largest groups of victims respectively. The majority of those murdered in the first six months of 2013 are the natives of Central Asia.


Criminal prosecution for racist violence declined slightly, compared to the previous year; however the neo-Nazi skinheads from the Ulyanovsk group Simbirsk White Power and members of the Sverdlovsk neo-Nazi group Volksturm were convicted during the review period. The preparations are under way for new major trials - of Ilya Goryachev, the former leader of the Russian Image (Russkii obraz) party and Mikhail Volkov, a former member of the skinhead group OB-88, were apprehended in Serbia and Ukraine respectively.

For the first time, a right-wing group was banned specifically as a terrorist organization (not simply as an extremist organization). In June, the Moscow City Court banned the Autonomous Combat Terrorist Organization (Avtonomnaia boevaia terroristicheskaia organizatsiia, ABTO), whose members were responsible for a series of attacks against the law enforcement officers and the natives of the Caucasus.

Due to police efforts, the criminalization of the ultra-right movement becomes increasingly publicly visible - during the review period, several leaders and participants of well-known far-right organizations faced charges for purely criminal offenses, such as robbery, violence and pimping.

The number of xenophobic propaganda convictions continues to grow rapidly, compared to the rate of sentencing for all other “crimes of extremist nature.” Qualitatively, however, the prosecution for propaganda has remained unchanged for the past two years. It primarily targets Internet users (most frequently, the users of the VKontakte social network), who re-post videos and images, and make grossly racist comments in publicly visible groups, i.e. clearly, not the most dangerous purveyors of hatred.

The Federal List of Extremist Materials has also continued to swell up and triggered a number of angry or sarcastic responses. The newly listed materials featured the same number and range of errors as the previous ones. We continue to insist that this cumbersome instrument serves no meaningful purpose.

Thus, the results of the first half of 2013 raise serious concerns. While the traditional nationalist political leaders were unable to achieve any notable level of success, the ultra-right were able to insert their migration-related concerns into the common agenda. Racist violence has shown no decrease in numbers and is qualitatively expanding. Meanwhile, the law enforcement has increasingly followed the path of least resistance, initiating nearly identical cases against the second-tier Internet agitators in ever-increasing numbers, instead of prosecuting really dangerous groups.


Criminal Manifestations of Racism and Xenophobia


In the first six months of 2013, according to our preliminary data, at least 82 people became victims of xenophobic and neo-Nazi violence; 6 of them died. In addition, two people received serious death threats. During the comparable period of 2012, 10 people were killed and 114 were injured; 1 person received death threats. However, announcing a drop in violence would be premature, since this year's data is far from complete; for example, the numbers, pertaining to the same period in 2012, nearly doubled over the past 12 months.[2] Please keep in mind that these statistics do not include victims of incidents that occurred in the republics of the North Caucasus.

The geography of racist violence has changed very little. As before, Moscow was in the lead with 4 killed and 27 injured. The Moscow Region (6 injured) was a distant second, followed by St. Petersburg (6 injured), the Krasnodar Region (7 injured), then the Voronezh Region (4 injured), the Kaluga Region and the Ryazan Region (3 injured in each) and the Komi Republic (4 injured). It should be emphasized that some of the above-listed regions were also featured in our statistics for the previous year (the Voronezh Region, the Komi Republic), and in some regions the situation has clearly deteriorated over the year (the Astrakhan Region, the Khabarovsk Region). Overall, incidents were reported in 22 regions of Russia.


Compared to the last year, we observed significant changes in likely targets of attacks. Our data analysis indicates that, despite all their professed hatred of the authorities, the attackers, when choosing their victims, shifted their attention toward the groups that were directly affected by the repressive laws, recently adopted by the State Duma.

The largest number of victims belonged to various religious groups (23 injured). This group included an Orthodox priest, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims. Fortunately, most of these people suffered no serious injuries. It is worth noting that most of these religious groups are also targets of the state persecution.

Representatives of the LGBT community (1 killed, 14 injured) comprised the second largest group of victims. The majority of attack victims were protesters against the bill banning “propaganda of homosexualism.”[3] The adoption of this bill into law has caused outrage among the LGBT community. Almost all of the LGBT actions were accompanied by arrests by the police as well as by attacks of the right-wing radicals under homophobic slogans. These clashes took place in Moscow, Voronezh, St. Petersburg, the Komi Republic and Khabarovsk. In all these incidents, the police either did not interfere or could not cope with their responsibilities to protect LGBT from attacks, as it happened in St. Petersburg, during the LGBT rally in the “Hyde Park” on Marsovo Pole on June 29.

As we often mentioned before,[4] right-wing radicals perceive the state's position on this issue as an expression of tacit support for violence, so violence against sexual minorities, or those perceived as such, is growing to threatening proportions. For example, in Volgograd, on the night of May 9th (going on May 10th) of 2013, Vladislav Tornovoi was brutally murdered because of his suspected sexual orientation.[5] The victim was raped with bottles, brutally beaten, and his head was smashed with a stone. A similar attack, fortunately, not lethal, also occurred in the Kaluga Region.

Nationalists and the Russian Orthodox Church radicals (including the “Orthodox warrior” Andrey Kochergin) along with Orthodox priests regularly attended the court hearings in the case of the Director of the LGBT “Coming Out” (Vykhod) organization, which had been recognized as a “foreign agent.” On June 25, a group of more than 30 nationalists blocked the entrance to the court building, not letting in anyone, including the defendant’s lawyer. The “Coming Out” defense and a witness were able to get inside only after the bailiffs intervened; the other observers and supporters of the organization were unable to enter the building at all.

“Traditional” attacks against “ethnic outsiders” continue in 2013 as well. In the first six months of 2013, the victims included migrants from Central Asia (4 killed, 8 injured), migrants from the North Caucasus (12 injured), dark-skinned people (4 injured), unidentified people of “non-Slavic appearance” (6 injured), one Enets girl and one Russian.

In the first 6 month of 2013, in addition to the usual attacks against “ethnic outsiders,” the ultra-right also engaged in racially motivated bombing. Thus, in April, several young men threw Molotov cocktails into the second floor window of the St. Petersburg dormitory for migrant workers. Three people were injured and taken to hospitals with burns.

Quantifying and categorizing this particular group of victims is becoming increasingly difficult. The media and the police report on series of “guest workers” corpses, found on construction sites or fished out of the river, but these reports provide no information on the exact cause of death, and are never updated later. Survivors of the attacks generally avoid any contact with police, civil society organizations and the media.

Representatives of youth and leftist movements - the largest group of victims in 2012 - only occupied the fifth position this year (5 people injured), trailing the religious groups, the LGBT activists, and the natives of the Caucasus and Central Asia). We know of the attacks against rock musicians in Perm and against anti-fascists in Cherepovets. A decline in such attacks could be due to the fact that rank-and-file ultra-right activists lost interest in activities of the political opposition and no longer attend “liberal” rallies. In addition, they likely shifted their attention to other more defenseless groups, such as the aforementioned LGBT and the homeless (1 person killed).


The Syktyvkar nationalists reacted to the law of “foreign agents” in their own peculiar fashion. On May 18, 2013, activists from Alexei Kolegov’s Northern Border (Rubezh Severa) ultra-right organization attacked a meeting of the Komi Human Rights Commission Memorial (KHRC Memorial), chanting “Down with the foreign agents.” Several attackers were holding banners saying “Selling Motherland for Cheap!”; others brought bottles of ketchup, which they started pouring onto the attendees. On June 4, Syktyvkar neo-Nazi affixed big stickers “A foreign agent lives here” to the apartment doors of several KHRC Memorial members. In addition, the Northern Border website published the list of the ten “enemies” (“anti-heroes”) that included human rights defender Igor Sazhin, ecological activist Pavel Andreev and eight others. All these people had been targeted by the Northern Border attackers on previous occasions, and, apparently, the group is planning to continue its attacks, and to expand the target list.

The number of neo-Nazi incidents increased in late April, as expected (April 20 is Adolf Hitler’s birthday). This year, three young men who “looked like skinheads” beat up two men of “non-Slavic appearance” in St. Petersburg. In addition, the radical right-wing segment of the Internet posted a video of an attack against a “janitor.” The occasion was also marked by the banners, featuring Hitler‘s portraits and right-wing symbols, displayed at the soccer matches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh, and Rostov-on-Don.

It has to be noted that manifestations of racism among soccer fans were observed not only in April. In the first 6 months of 2013, during the soccer matches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Saransk and other cities, fans displayed the banners with the runes Týr, Sig, and Fehu (associated with German Nazism), wrote “The White Sector” and “anti-antifa” before the games, drew offensive pictures of the Caucasus natives and of a mosque with bombs falling on it and forming the digits “88”. Dark-skinned players were subjected to insults – unknown offenders drew bananas or left bunches of bananas and banana peels near the players’ changing room.

Far-right fans repeatedly attacked the fans and players of the Dagestani soccer team Anzhi. The attacks were accompanied by xenophobic insults and shouting of the slogans “The Russians, forward!” and “Sieg Heil!”. We know of at least five such attacks: in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Saransk. Notably, in the last case, even the police presence failed to stop the raging fans.


In the first 6 months of 2013, the right-wing bloggers continued to post provocative xenophobic videos. Besides the previously mentioned video of the man of “non-Slavic appearance” in the janitor clothes, the there was also an online video, on which the male migrant from the Caucasus supposedly slit the throat of a Russian woman. However, experts have found this video to be staged and created “primitively, in a hurry, with the purpose of provocation, to cause hatred of a nationality by another nationality.”

A fake explosive device found on July 15, 2013 near the post office in the town of Monino, the Moscow Region, was also, most likely, a provocation. A fake consisted of a cardboard shoe box with the words “Bomb for the Russians. Die.” Most likely, this is another provocative nationalist action, similar to the actions previous undertaken within the “Big Game” framework.”[6] Most commenters on the right-wing news sites agree that this was a provocation. The idea of making and planting fakes covered with neo-Nazi symbols and slogans was deemed ineffective a long time ago; the right-wing blogs contain numerous discussions of the idea that making fakes with “anti-Russian” statements would produce a much greater effect and reinforce negative attitudes towards the “alien-born.”

Threats against those whom the right-wing radicals consider their “enemies” have remained a problem. For example, on December 8, 2012 and February 10, 2013, death threats against the Moscow City Court Judge Paul Melekhin and his friends and family were e-mailed to the Moscow City Court. At that time, Judge Melekhin presided over the trial of the retired GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, the leader of People's Militia in the Name of Minin and Pozharsky (Narodnoe opolcheniie imeni Minina i Pozharskogo, NOMP).


Right-wing radicals continued to participate in the environmentalist movement. In particular, they joined the protests against nickel mining in Elan copper-nickel deposits in the Voronezh Region. On the evening of June 22, 2013, about a thousand people, including the nationalists and the Cossacks, broke into the geological prospecting camp in Novokhopyorsky District and set drilling equipment and some buildings on fire. It is not quite clear who exactly was involved in the attacks. However, according to the local media and the law enforcement agencies, the attack was carried out by the nationalists, many of them masked, who arrived from Voronezh, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Krasnodar by bus on the eve of the incident. Such radicalization of environmental protests is not typical for Russia; such a large-scale attack is very unusual for the far-right movement as well. It is advisable to follow this story and see whether the situation evolves any further.



Vandalism motivated by religious, ethnic or ideological hate continues unabated. Our preliminary data for the first 6 months of 2013 indicates at least 27 incidents of vandalism (compared to 32 over the same period in 2012) in 20 regions of the country.

The Orthodox objects were targeted most frequently (12 incidents), undoubtedly due to the confrontational anti-Church publications and growing anti-clerical sentiments. Additional targets included buildings of new religious movements (7 cases), Muslim and Jewish sites (4 and 3 cases, respectively), and ideological objects (one monument to the air pilots). The vandals’ activity was mostly limited to graffiti (12 cases) and breaking icons and other objects (10 cases). However, some acts of really dangerous vandalism were committed as well: explosions (2 cases), and arson (3 cases): The Jehovah's Witnesses buildings were set on fire in Kurgan and in the Altai Region; an arson attempt against the Jewish Community Center took place in Perm, and the prayer cross was sawn off and set on fire in in Chelyabinsk.


Public Activity of Ultra-Right Groups

Building Parties and Organizations

Party building, which began more than a year ago, once political parties registration procedure had been simplified, was one of the important activities of the far right movement in the first half of the year. However, this process was mostly plagued with failures.

Valery Solovey’s New Force party reported on submitting a full package of registration documents to the Ministry of Justice in February, but had to re-apply in April because of some procedural violations, identified in the package. On June 25, the party received an official denial. The reason for the denial was stated as follows: “a number of party members, including one member of the Central Committee, do not exist” and “one of the party members, a student, ‘finances terrorist organizations.’”[7] However, V. Solovey isready to undertake another attempt at registering the party.

The registration process has not been any easier for the National Democratic Party (NDP), led by Konstantin Krylov. The NDP was denied registration, as K. Krylov reported in May. In June, the NDP re-registered its organizing committee with the Ministry of Justice, but only scheduled its constituent assembly for the fall, although the identified violations[8] looked easy to correct.

“The Russians” Association also undertook several small steps toward becoming a party: it finally launched the Nationalist Party website and began planning a constituent assembly. The party leaders claim that the party-building process was delayed due to the criminal case against Dmitry Dyomushkin (at this time, he is only charged with organizing an extremist organization (Article 2822 Part 1 of the Criminal Code), although it is unclear how Dyomushkin’s case can be an obstacle for the party registration.

Overall, the Association has continued its old tactics and is acting under “the Russians” brand and not as the Nationalist Party. For example, it was reported in April, that a new branch of “the Russians” – not a local party cell – opened in Krasnoyarsk; a similar situation developed in Astrakhan, Krasnoyarsk, and Khanty-Mansiysk.

“The Russians” Association split at the end of February. It happened after Georgy Borovikov failed to get re-elected as head of the Moscow branch of the movement, and Anton Severny took his place. The official position of the Association is that Mr. Borovikov lost his former popularity, and the people just did not vote for him. Borovikov himself claimed that the elections were unfair, since Alexander Belov’s friends voted, while Borovikov’s supporters were forced to leave and were unable vote. Originally, Borovikov probably hoped to receive support from Dyomushkin, who was absent from Moscow at that time, but the support never came, and Borovikov was expelled from the organization altogether.

Subsequently, Borovikov started an information campaign against Belov, accusing him of collaboration with the liberals and law enforcement agencies, and of personal financial gains at the expense of “The Russians” Association.

Due to this split, another far-right project emerged – The Right Wing for European Development (Pravye za evropeiskoe razvitie), whose leader, Vitaly Shishkin, resigned from his post as the head of the Kaluga Branch of “The Russians” Association. Shishkin made his decision to withdraw from the movement after G. Borovikov's expulsion. Borovikov himself, after initially created a new movement The Russians of Moscow. The Rescue Committee (Russkie Moskvy. Komitet spaseniya),[9] has apparently also joined this party. However, in April, Borovikov was arrested under criminal charges that involved beating up and robbing his “colleague” on suspicion of “being a rat.”[10]


This unpleasant story caused a scandal, and, contrary to expectations, the majority of the ultra-right organizations refused to stand up for their associate, recognizing his case as purely criminal in nature. There were almost no claims, traditional in this milieu, that Borovikov had been framed, and that his political activities were the real cause of his arrest. For example, Natalia Kholmogorova, the head of the ROD Human Rights Center stated “If you have an urge to engage in opposition politics - you have to be beyond reproach… Honor the Criminal Code, [expletive].”[11] The head of the National Socialist Initiative (NSI) Dmitri “Schultz” Bobrov (who had served six years for incitement to ethnic hatred with the use of violence) spoke along the same lines. In a statement made on behalf of his own foundation, the Russian Assistance (Russkaia pomoshch), he pointed out that he was not going to provide Borovikov with any help or support. The text explained that Borovikov had badly hurt“The Russians” Association, but the organization refuses to help him due to the fact, that his was a purely criminal matter, and they only help victims of political cases. The St. Petersburg nationalist Nikolay Bondarik was an exception; he left “The Russians” Association because of its refusal to help Borovikov. Bondarik believes that complaints against teammates should only be discussed when the latter are not in custody.

In the spring, the few supporters who stayed with Borovikov began to make him into a hero, “despicably betrayed by ex-comrades.” For example, they disseminated information that the FSB allegedly demands that Borovikov provide dirt on Belov, but Borovikov is nobly refusing to testify against his former ally. It was also reported that, on May 25, Borovikov’s associate Aleksandr Amelin was attacked on the street by unidentified people, and, after beating him up, the attackers allegedly said, “Greetings from Potkin” (Belov’s real name). In the summer, the scandal flared up once again, after Borovikov’s somewhat paranoid statement, addressed to the Director of the FSB, became public. In this statement, Borovikov claims that his case was fabricated by intelligence services, and that, in addition to “ratting out” Borovikov, Belov also threatened to take away his apartment; Belov also allegedly receives funding from London. [12]

The St. Petersburg branch of the Slavic Force (Slavianskaia sila, SS) (part of “The Russians” Association) has also undergone a split, but both new cells remain under the leadership of D. Dyomushkin, the SS leader. One of these cells - called the Slavic Force St. Petersburg (Slavianskaia sila St. Petersburg) will be headed by Dmitry Yevtushenko (a.k.a. “Dima, the mad” (Dima Besheny), and the second cell – the Slavic Force North-West (Slavianskaia sila Severo-Zapad) - is planning to work under collective leadership for the time being. According to media reports, the split occurred due to reluctance of some activists to continue their collaboration (which Yevtushenko insists on) with the SS members involved in the opposition leadership - Olga Kurnosova and N. Bondarik. The activists of both cells are expected to participate freely in joint actions, but every activist can be a member of only one cell. Dyomushkin and Yevtushenko describe the separation not as a split, but as a transition to a more convenient organizational model.

In addition to developing narratives of the “old” party projects, a new project appeared at the beginning of the new year; in January, Roman Zentsov, the leader of the Resistance (Soprotivlenie) movement, announced that he had registered an organizing committee of the Order (Poriadok) party with the Ministry of Justice and intends to organize a congress and apply for registration. The congress is scheduled for the fall; until then the organizing committee is apparently trying to rebuild old regional contacts. The party and the Resistance movement have no clear program at this time. As you may remember, R. Zentsov had previously been among the leaders of Sergei Baburin’s registered ROS party, but is no longer listed on its rosters.

Another party project that deserves attention is the Great Fatherland Party (Partiya Velikoe Otechestvo, PVO) led by Nikolai Starikov. The PVO was successfully registered by the Ministry of Justice and is planning to participate in the regional elections on September 8. Earlier, N. Starikov was the head of the Trade-Union of Russian Citizens (Profsoiuz grazhdan Rossii) organization, whose activists actively participated in rallies and pickets against Russia’s entry into the WTO, against the juvenile justice system, for a sober way of life, and against LGBT. The Trade Union of Russian Citizens generally supports the current government and is a staunch opponent of the liberal ideology, and the PVO party is likely to retain the same ideological orientation. Meanwhile, some Trade-Union members joined the alternative and very similar party, the Free Russia (Svobodnaia Rossiia), registered in late June and headed by Evgeny Fyodorov, the United Russia deputy of the State Duma. The relationship between these two parties remains unclear.

By July 1, 2013, one of the few registered nationalist parties - For Our Motherland (Za nashu rodinu) party led by Mikhail Lermontov – disappeared from the political field. The party ceased to exist since, within six months after the registration, it failed to provide the Ministry of Justice with the necessary documents confirming the registration of party branches in at least 42 regions of Russia. Thus, with the exception of the PVO and the Free Russia party, the nationalists achieved almost no progress in their party-building in the first 6 months of 2013. However, they apparently do not lose hope and intend to continue their attempts at registration.

Only Alexey Zhuravlev’s Motherland, the PVO and the ROS will be able to participate in the elections scheduled for September 8 in a number of regions. So far, the only information we have is about several ROS candidates. For example, S. Baburin wants to run for governor of the Moscow Region, Ivan Mironov - for governor of the Vladimir Region, Nikolai Kuryanovich - for the mayor of Moscow, and Alexander Turik will head the party list for the elections to the Irkutsk Legislative Assembly. Some nationalists will be nominated independently. For example, Alexander Mosolov, an activist of the NOMP and the Military Imperial Union of Russia (Voenno-derzhavnyi soiuz Rossii), previously convicted under the Criminal Code Article 282, was the first person to register for the elections to the Voronezh City Duma.


Ultra-Right Public Events

In contrast to the same period last year, when large ultra-right organizations focused primarily on participation in general political actions, in the first half of 2013, the nationalists decided not to concentrate on a single area of activity, and worked on developing all available “platforms” for their public activities.


Nationalists During General Protest Actions

Starting in late 2012, nationalists almost unanimously refused to participate in general oppositional rallies. In January, “The Russians” Association once again stated that it will no longer attend general oppositional actions, and, specifically, will not join the March against Scoundrels. Members of the NDP, who are more tolerant toward the liberals than “the Russians” and never officially refused to participate in general oppositional actions, also didn’t attend the Moscow march. As Vladimir Tor explained, the agenda of this march proved to be controversial, since not everyone among the ultra-right supports the idea of giving up Russian children for adoption by citizens of other states. The ROS went further than merely not attending the action - it took part in a counter-march in support of the ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by foreigners; on this, so called, “March in Defense of Children” the ROS marched as a separate column of about 200-250 people.

Nationalists were nearly absent at the oppositional March for the Rights of Muscovites on March 2, which, in contrast to the March Against Scoundrels, had no controversial agenda. Even before the beginning of the action, leaders of far-right organizations, including such disparate ones as “the Russians”, the NDP and the Freemen (Vol’nitsa),[13] announced that their activists would not march. One of the reasons sited was the organizers’ ban on the nationalist insignia.


Meanwhile, the nationalists did not refuse to participate in the management structures of the protest activity and, moreover, regularly came out with various suggestions (not always appropriate) on the management of opposition activities.[14]

The nationalists used the Coordinating Council of the Opposition (Koordinatsionny sovet oppozitsii, KSO) in order to raise the level of their campaign for introducing a visa regime with the countries of Central Asia.[15] N. Bondarik, Ilya Konstantinov, K. Krylov, V. Thor and Vladislav Naganov brought this issue to vote. The KSO supported the abolition of the visa-free regime without a single dissenting vote.[16] The adopted resolution stated that visa-free entry from Central Asia undermines the Russian labor market, that existence in the conditions of semi-slavery forced too many migrants to join the ranks of criminals, that migrants become victims of radical Islamist propaganda, and that this situation hinders the effort to introduce a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union countries.[17] Nothing specific was said about the kind of visa regime that has the KSO’s support, how many visas should be granted and to whom. In its current form, the KSO decision appears to be guided by populism and flirt with xenophobic sentiments of the majority of Russians rather than to represent a well thought-out position on changes in migration policy. It was a significant victory for the nationalists in the KSO.

Based on the above developments, we can assume that the policy of partial neglect of united oppositional public actions was a temporary measure, adopted in order not to anger the autonomous ultra-right activists, who cannot accept joint activities with the liberals, and in order to provide an excuse for the nationalists’ consistently meager showing at the oppositional events - until the moment when they see a strong reason for taking to the streets, which they would not want or be able to ignore.

The leaders of the right-wing organizations viewed the “For Freedom” event conducted by the KSO on May 6 to commemorate the anniversary of the Bolotnaya Square riots as such an occasion. The position of “The Russians” softened as well, and, rather than talking about the “Jewish powers” they began to call their supporters out to the streets. They specified, however, that the differences between them and the members of the March Organizing Committee had not been resolved, and that propaganda and self-promotion rather than participation was the purpose of attending the event.


However, the anticipated jump in attendance among the nationalists failed to materialize, and their participation in the action went almost unnoticed, despite the rather impressive list of attending organizations.The march was attended by the representatives of “The Russians” Association, the NDP, Mikhail Nazarov’s Union of the Russian People (Soiuz russkogo naroda, SRN), Vladimir (Istarkhov) Ivanov’s Russian Right Party (Rossiiskaia pravaia partiia RPP), Yuri Mukhin’s Initiative Group of the Referendum “For the Responsible Authority” (Initsiativnaia gruppa provedeniia referenduma “Za otvetstvennuiu vlast’) formerly The Army of People’s Will (Armiya voli Naroda, AVN), and the Right Wing for European Development.[18]

Participation of nationalists was more visible during the Spring Freedom March, organized on May 5 by the Expert Council of the Opposition (Expertny Sovet Oppozitsii, ESO), an alternative to KSO, also seeking to control the overall activities of the opposition. About 500 people participated in this march from Kaluzhskaya Square to Bolotnaya Square, about half of whom were nationalists. The banners of Initiative Group of the Referendum “For the Responsible Authority” were the most visible insignia. A rally took place after the march; the speakers included, among others, N. Bondarik, O. Kurnosova, I. Konstantinov, V. Istarkhov, Y. Mukhin and Kirill Barabash.[19]

Such a large percentage of nationalists at the event was largely due to their high level of representation in the ESO, which is significantly higher than the share of the ultra-right in the KSO. At this time, 10 out of 41 ESO members openly identify as ultra-right: K. Barabash and Y. Mukhin (“For the Responsible Authority”), V. Basmanov, Sofia Budnikova and Ulyana Sporykhina (“The Russians” Association), Nikolai Kryukov (Russian All-National Union (Russkii obshchenatsional’nyi soiuz, RONS)) and “unaffiliated” members Mikhail Matveev (the Samara Regional Duma deputy), Anatoly Polyakov, Maksim Brusilovski and Sergei Vinogradov. Notably, prior to the May 5 action, the ESO remained virtually invisible, although the organization was in existence since December 2012. The ESO consists of former KSO candidates who failed to collect the required number of votes. According to N. Kholmogorova, who was on the ESO roster until the action on May 5, but later disavowed her membership, the most active KSO candidates were almost automatically included into the organization after the elections.[20]

A general opposition campaign in defense of entrepreneurs and against raising taxes also caught the nationalists’ attention. On May 26 ( the entrepreneur day), Valery Solovey’s New Force, the NDP, “The Russians” Association and other far-right organizations, together with the other protest movements, held a picket devoted to this subject.

Despite the large number of organizations that announced their participation in various actions, no truly mass events took place in any city, and the campaign attracted almost no media attention. The largest number of activists, about 50 people, gathered in Moscow, where the nationalists were represented by the NDP and the New Force. In addition to the nationalists, a number of parties and organizations of liberal orientation, the Pirate Party and the Solidarity movement also came out in defense of entrepreneurs.

Rank-and-file nationalists, once again, nearly ignored the June 12 march, which was devoted to the “Prisoners of Bolotnaya Square”. Despite the fact that the ultra-right is usually quite sensitive to the subject of political prisoners, very few people openly positioning themselves as nationalists attended the march - no more than 100 people, of whom about 50 marched in the NDP column with the “Russians against Dictatorship” banner. The right-wing organizations, present at the march, included about 15 people from the Russian Joint National Alliance (Russkii ob’edinennyi natsional’nyi soiuz, RONA), fewer than a dozen of Mukhin’s supporters and several other small groups of activists. One of the small right-wing radical groups, led by N. Bondarik, left the event even before the start of the march. Some of them were dressed in T-shirts with the Slavic Force emblem; they carried banners “Freedom to Georgy Borovikov” and “Udomlya in Trouble” (see more below on the Udomlya situation). Several activists of “The Russians” Association and its leader A. Belov were also present at the event. Notably, Belov commented on the event as follows: “An opposition community has emerged that comes together without any media hype, and an attempt to divide and pull them apart has failed. How should the nationalists relate to all this? We need to show our presence, I stress once again – not to cut it down, but to strengthen and to show.”[21]

Thus, the leaders of the ultra-right organizations decided not to completely abandon general oppositional actions as one of possible venues for their public activity. However, their work in this direction has been weak; unlike the previous year, they were not putting any substantial efforts into campaigning for participation in protest activities, either for fear of negative reactions from their own rank-and-file supporters or not hoping for any significant attendance level.


Independent Nationalist Actions

As the general oppositional activity lost its priority for the ultra-right, the nationalists once again began to pay greater attention to their own independent actions.


A nationwide campaign on January 26 in support of the residents of Nevinnomyssk, where mass protests took place after the assassination of local resident Nikolai Naumenko by a Chechen migrant on 6 December 2012, can be considered the first such action of 2013. The action took place under the slogan “The Stavropol Region is Not the Caucasus” and “No More Killing of the Russians.” Apparently, the campaign was initiated by the activist of the Russian Runs in the city of Mineralnye Vody Oksana “Velva” Borisova, and then the New Force picked up the idea and organized most of the pickets.

The main event was planned in the Nevinnomyssk itself, but, in fact, never took place. Most of the participants, 87 people, were detained by the police. Borisova was detained as well on the day of the gathering in Mineralnye Vody. Besides Nevinnomyssk, the actions took place in at least nine cities, but everywhere, except for Krasnodar, where about 40 people attended a picket, the events attracted no more than 15-20 activists. Neither Moscow nor St. Petersburg became an exception. Usually the pickets were manned almost exclusively by the New Force activists, who hoped in vain that other far-right organizations would join.


The next relatively big independent action of 2013 was the traditional Heroes Day (Den’ geroev), commemorated on March 1 for past several years. Initially, the event was dedicated to the Pskov paratroopers who died in 2000 in a fight in Chechnya, but this year it was decided to dedicate it to supporting Vladimir Kvachkov, Leonid Khabarov and Eugene “the Cossack” Strigin, whom the far right regarded as unfairly convicted of murder of a Karachai man.

The events took place on March 2 in at least 18 cities across the country. The biggest action was the one in Moscow, which attracted at least 100 people. From among the large organizations, the Great Russia party, “The Russians” Association and the NOMP made a showing at the event.

The action had no single country-wide organizer. It was conducted primarily by regional offices of large ultra-right organizations. For example, the event in Veliky Novgorod was organized by the NOMP, in Saratov – by the ROS and the Great Russia, and in Volgograd – by “The Russians.” However, there were cities where local nationalist movements, little known in the capital, acted as the actions’ coordinators. For example, the action in St. Petersburg was organized by the supporters of the National Democrats, in Lipetsk – by the Rus movement and the Committee for Freedom (Komitet Svobody), and in Tula – by the National Union of Russia (Natsional’nyi Soiuz Rossii). A rally in Samara was conducted by the Russian Harmony (Russkii Lad) nationalist movement founded by the KPRF (Sergey Igumenov), which had never been seen to participate in traditional nationalist actions.

In general, the Heroes Day was more visible this year than a year ago, when the largest event, in Nizhny Novgorod, brought together no more than 40 people. However, the comparison with the previous year is not quite appropriate, because then all the efforts of nationalists went into their participation in the general oppositional actions, and the Heroes Day received almost no attention. When compared to 2011, we can see that the geography of the event expanded in 2013, while the attendance didn’t grow. This is probably due to both the general fatigue of nationalists with regard to public actions and to insufficient popularity of V. Kvachkov among the rank-and-file nationalists.

Two network actions held by the ultra-right in April became, likely, the most resonant events over the review period: the Day of Russian Wrath on April 13 and “Say YES to Visas!” on April 14.

The reason for the Day of Russian Wrath was the death in Rostov-on-Don of Alexander Terekhov, a soccer fan of the FC Rostov during a fight with people from the Caucasus (his buddy Nikita Terekhov sustained severe injuries in the fight). According to the Investigative Committee and according to the data distributed by his fellow fans, the conflict was rather domestic in character, since the victim had known the participants of the fight and was in hostile relations with them. However, the fact that the fight was with migrant from the Caucasus was the only fact emphasized in the narrative.

Shortly after the incident, in early April, the initiative to conduct a Russia-wide anti-Caucasus campaign appeared online and was actively promoted. Big ultra-right organizations picked up the idea almost immediately. For example, “The Russians” Association organized the action in Volgograd; the New Force party office did the same in Perm, and the People’s Council (Narodny sobor) - in Voronezh. Blogger Yegor Prosvirnin, the author of the Sputnik and Pogrom blog, ended up as the action’s primary information center.

The rallies were held in at least 10 cities, but the scale of events was far from overwhelming.

An unauthorized event in Moscow attracted about 200 people. Originally, activists gathered on Pushkinsky Square, but, when the police began detaining them, the majority of people started moving away through the city, dodging the police. Some demonstrators tried and failed to block Tverskaya Street near the City Hall. In addition to Moscow, mass arrests of the Day of Russian Wrath participants took place only in Krasnodar, where an unauthorized march attracted about 40 people.

In other cities, events were much quieter. For example, in St. Petersburg, where the action was also conducted without a permit, only about 40 people - and the same number of photographers and journalists - came to the gathering place at the Alexander Column. Participants chanted nationalist slogans and recited poetry. However, according to eyewitnesses, many individual groups of far-right youth were observed in the center of the city.

In the other cities it took place, the Day of Russian Wrath attracted from a handful of activists to a maximum of 50 people. It is worth noting, that the event could not be held everywhere it had been originally announced. No events were held in Bryansk, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Nevinnomyssk, Samara, Smolensk and Stavropol. As a rule, individual activists came to the gathering place, but, seeing a large police presence and having no connection with the other ultra-right activists, simply went away.

In general, despite the geography of the action and the fact that activists failed to show up in significant numbers anywhere, except in Moscow, we can say that for a non-traditional action practically devoid of topical agenda it turned out pretty visible.

The “Say YES to visas!” campaign, which became a continuation of the nationalist campaign for a visa regime with the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, achieved a much greater resonance than the Day of Russian Wrath.

Two competing organizations, the NPD and the New Force, began the campaign almost at the same time. Since the winter, both parties held small actions to collect signatures, handed out campaign materials and distributed leaflets.

On April 6, the New Force announced that, due to its earlier pickets, it managed to collect over 100,000 signatures for the introduction of a visa regime with the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The party handed the signatures over to the Presidential Administration, and, on April 11, submitted them to the State Duma as well. At the time of writing, the party has received no response from the Presidential Administration but the State Duma informed the New Force that, after the consultation with the Federal Migration Service, the request for a visa regime was deemed irrelevant.

The NPD initiated a network action “Say YES to visas!” on April 14 and recruited other far-right movements to join it. The most important events were traditionally held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Along with the NPD the organizers of the Moscow rally included “The Russians” Association, the Common Cause (Obshchee delo), the ROD Human Rights Center, the ROS, and Vladimir Milov’s Liberal Democratic Party “The Democratic Choice” (Liberal’no-demokraticheskaia partiiaDemokratichesky vybor”).

The rally at Suvorovskaya Square attracted about 500 people. A. Belov, D. Dyomushkin, Ksenia Trubetskaya[22] (all from “The Russians” Association), Nikolai Kuryanovich (ROS), N Kholmogorova (ROD HRC), K. Krylov (NDP), V. Milov, Igor Dranin ( both from the Democratic Choice), Ilya Konstantinov (the father of the arrested leader of the far-right organization Moscow Defense League (Liga oborony Moskvy) Daniil Konstantinov), and others addressed the crowd.

In St. Petersburg, about 70 people gathered near Chkalovskaya Metro station for a picket organized by the regional office of the NDP. Picket participants included activists of “The Russians” Association, the National Democrats St. Petersburg, the Russian Imperial Movement (Russkoe Imperskoie Dvizhenie, RID) and the Democratic Choice.

The activity in other cities was significantly lower.

Nationalists failed to attract large numbers of activists to their rallies or to hold the rallies in a really large number of cities, but their initiative received a lot of media attention, including discussions on various federal TV channels; the nationalists started getting invited to the news shows. The topic quickly moved beyond the ultra-right milieu, and even some deputies joined the anti-migrant propaganda. For example, on June 12, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Andrei Anokhin proposed to hold a rally in order to demand tougher immigration laws.

After the action, the ultra-right continued to develop this subject, conducting small regional propaganda events, round tables, etc. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stated that, in his opinion, Russia should, as early as this year, start granting entry only to those citizens of the CIS states possessing international passports.[23] The nationalists credit themselves with potential acceleration of decision-making on this issue (in his address to the Federal Assembly, V. Putin declared that a ban on entry into Russia for the holders of the CIS internal passports was only needed starting in 2015) . In reality the international passports are unlikely to be introduced before 2015, but the ultra-right succeeded in “raising the discussion to a higher level”.


The traditional Russian May Day was the next major action of the ultra-right.[24]

As in the previous year, Moscow hosted two events, one of which was carried out by traditional organizers of the Russian Marches: of “The Russians” Association, the NDP, etc., and the second one was organized by the Russian Action Coalition (Russkaia koalitsiia deistviia), which emerged this spring. This coalition includes the NOMP, the Great Russia and the Russian Rescue Committee (Russkii komitet spaseniia), that is, the general Russian May Day participants of previous years. Now, the coalition separates itself from the pro-regime patriots and from the nationalists, who collaborate with the liberals and participate in general opposition actions.

The alternative May Day march was called the Russian Spring (Russkaia vesna) and was held in Lublino, Moscow on May 1. In addition to the groups listed above, it was attended by supporters of the Y. Mukhin, RPP, SRN (Mikhail Nazarov), Svetlana Peunova’s Volya party, the Black Hundred (Chernaya sotnya), a few Cossacks, etc., a total of about 150 people. (Small groups, which organized the alternative May Day in the previous year, were not seen this time.)

In contrast to the previous year, the organizers of the traditional May Day march in Moscow made no attempts to turn it into a general oppositional action and adhered to the usual format of nationalist events. According to our estimates, about 500 people took part in the march from the Oktyabrskoe Pole Metro station to the Shchukinskaya Metro station; same as in the previous year.

Several Orthodox Banner Bearers traditionally walked in front of the procession. Then, marched the columns of the Nationalist Party and the “The Russians,” followed by two men with drums; the columns of the “Restruct!” (Restrukt!) movement (led by Maksim “Hatchet” (Tesak)” Martsinkevich) and the activists of the Russian Runs. The Russian Khimki (Russkie Khimki) activists marched behind them to the accompaniment of bagpipes and drums. The second column of “The Russians” carrying a big banner “Tomorrow belongs to us” (Zavtra prinadlezhit nam) completed the procession

A brief rally after the end of the march started with the words of welcome by Belov, and then Roman “Zukhel” Zheleznov and D. Dyomushkin addressed the gathering. Their speeches were followed by a performance of the music bands, popular among the right-radical crowd (Yulia Andreeva, Shepot Run, and Kolovrat).

In St. Petersburg, nationalists managed to bring more supporters than last year out to the streets, but, in this case, the far right decided against holding a separate event, and, instead, joined a citywide oppositional march. They marched in separate columns, interspersed with the columns of other movements. The joint column of the Civic Committee (Grazhdansky Komitet), the Russian Imperial Movement, the Russian Runs and the Motherland party marched in front. This column consisted of about 300-350 people. The column of the National Democrats of Petersburg walked in the middle of the procession far behind the first nationalist column. It consisted of about 30-40 people. Representatives of the Freemen group, about 20 people, walked behind them. In the tail end of the procession, following the column of A Just Russia (Spravedlivaya Rossiya), there was a small group of the NDP activists, only about 15-20 people. The joint neo-Nazi column of NSI and the Slavic Force North-West, numbering at least 100 people, closed the procession. Another small group represented the movements the City without Drugs (Gorod bez narkotikov) and the Common Cause.

Altogether, about 500-550 ultra-right activists came out to the streets of St. Petersburg on May 1, compared to no more than 400 in the previous year.

The May 1 events took place in 22 cities across the country, adding three cities compared to the preceding year. With the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the ultra-right attendance for one of the most important nationalist events of the year showed no significant increase. Moreover, the attendance has declined in a number of cities. Notably, in 2012, the marches in the two capitals were unsuccessful for the nationalists, while their regional actions were well attended. This year, the situation was reversed. Nevertheless, there were cities (Yegoryevsk and Khabarovsk), where such actions took place for the very first time, and the nationalists managed to repeat their events in the cities that had previously seen only a single Russian March in the fall (Cheboksary and Kostroma), and where such actions could now become a tradition.


While the major nationalist organizations barely “marked their presence” during the general oppositional march on June 12, the Russian Action Coalition once again held a separate march “For Legitimate Authority and Genuine Sovereignty” in Lublino, with the Great Russia (Velikaya Rossiya) as the official organizer. According to various estimates, between 100 and 300 people took part in the march. As expected, the Great Russia’s column turned out to be most numerous. It was followed by the members of Volya party, RPP, the Black Hundred, and several other organizations.


The “people's gathering” in Udomlya, Tver Region, held on June 8, deserves a separate note. Well-known St. Petersburg ultra-right activist Nikolay Bondarik, a member of the KSO, directly participated in the organization of the gathering and actively promoted it. Other far-right movements also picked up on the theme, and it quickly gained popularity in the radical right-wing segment of the Russian Internet.

The gathering was held in protest against “ethnic crime” and followed a fight between some local residents and migrants from the Caucasus. According to police estimates, it was attended by 300-400 people, while N. Bondarik estimated the size of gathering as at least three thousand people. Fortunately, the gathering did not lead to a Kondopoga-style deterioration of the situation in the city. At the time of writing, this story has already lost its relevance.


Other Nationalist Activity

Holding various public events with a social, rather than political, agenda remains a popular ultra-right tactic. Previously, if nationalists got involved in any non-political story, it was usually directly or indirectly linked to ethnic relations. Now, this rule no longer holds. For example, the New Force has spent the last two months campaigning against the exclusion of a number of St. Petersburg’s suburbs from the list of world heritage sites protected by UNESCO, demanding the road repairs from the Omsk city authorities, and fighting for a freeze on utility prices. The NDP, “The Russians” Association, the NOM, and other far-right organizations engaged in similar campaigns. Since pickets, rallies and collection of signatures for such campaigns are usually carried out by a small number of activists, they attract little media attention, but allow the ultra-right to demonstrate their interest in social problems to local residents, to express themselves and, sometimes, to improve relations with small regional initiative groups that address specific issues.

Nationalists also don’t shy away from their traditional social activities such as donating blood, visiting orphanages, building playgrounds, etc. The main actor here is Roman Zentsov’s Resistance movement, but many right-wing organizations conduct such actions from time to time. These initiatives allow nationalists to improve their reputation and to gain access to schools and orphanages.

Various raiding initiatives were very popular during the previous year and, this year, they have continued to evolve. The most popular initiatives of this kind are “pedophile hunts”, started by M. Martsinkevich and his Occupy-Pedofiliay project, and anti-immigrant raids, popularized by Igor Mangushev’s Bright Russia (Svetlaia Rus’) movement.

Occupy-Pedofiliay developed in an unexpected direction. Ninth Grader Philip Denits,[25] who had formerly worked for Martsinkevich as “bait” to lure pedophiles, started his own movement called Occupy-Gerontofiliay. This movement also conducts raids, but targets not pedophiles, but boys, who agree to meet with adult men. The movement’s participants, posing as adults, lure children between the ages of 12 and 16 to a meeting, and then use threats to force them to talk about themselves on camera, humiliate and insult them, and, finally, upload the resulting video online, and send it to the child’s acquaintances.

In the past six months, the Northern Border movement in Syktyvkar has joined “pedophile hunts”, faithfully copying the format of their actions from Martsinkevich. Syktyvkar also launched its own local initiative - the Northern Border activists initiated a campaign to “protect the greenery” in the city and opened a phone hotline for the residents to report on the gardens being chopped down. Based on these phone calls, the nationalists’ rapid response team would go to “deal” with the perpetrators. The activists have conducted at least one action of this campaign – on February 24, they patrolled the Botanical Garden of Komi State Pedagogical Institute in camouflage, with masks on their faces and armed with bats and imperial flags, guarding trees and shrubs from unspecified offenders. The abovementioned Bright Russia movement was much less lucky this year than the year before. On January 23, they planned to raid a dormitory for migrant workers jointly with the Federal Migration Service. However, just before the raid, they were detained by the riot police. Their leaders pinned the blame for detention onto two drunken participants, who had attacked someone near the Shchukinskaya metro station. The raid against a migrant workers dormitory on March 6 was even more unfortunate. Several activists scuffled with a native of Kyrgyzstan; the police was called, arrived and took everyone into custody. The Bright Russia activists claimed that they only acted in self-defense, but the police opened a criminal case for assault motivated by ethnic hatred (the Criminal Code Article 116 Part 2). Subsequently, the Bright Russia raids were temporarily suspended until May 20, when their re-launch was announced.

The NDP and “The Russians” Association also joined the raiding initiatives against “illegal immigrants.” “The Russians” recently conducted a raid together with the TV channel Moskva-24. Reviving a long-standing practice of the Movement against Illegal Immigration (Dvizhenie protiv nelegal’noi immigratsii, DPNI), “the Russians” initiated their own separate “Guestbusters” project.

Activist of the Russian Runs – Shchyolkovo Alexei Stepkin used a somewhat different method of hunting “illegals”. He and several activists from his group staged a provocation – they offered a job to 50 migrants, but when the prospective employees came, they were handed over to the police. The level of the organizers’ engagement with the police is not known.

Yet another group of “immigrant hunters”, the Shield of Moscow movement, attracted media attention - one of their raids provided the source material for the REN-TV video program about the life of immigrants. The Shield of Moscow emerged in late 2012, and carried out its first raids in March 2013. Their leader Alexey Khudyakov is an ultra-right fan of Lokomotiv Soccer Club, an activist (as he says, a former activist) of the Young Russia (Rossiya Molodaya), a participant of the “anti-drug” raids of the Youth Anti-Drug Special Forces (Molodezhny Antinarkotichesky Spetsnaz, MAS), associated with the same Young Russia.[26] During a raid in late June, there was a clash between the Shield of Moscow activists and the people being raided. As shown on the video, recorded by the raiders, the masked young men broke into the migrants’ dormitory and ordered them to leave the building and line up along the fence. The raiders acted aggressively, so the migrants apparently decided that they were being attacked by neo-Nazi skinheads and tried to fight back. The mass brawl with serious injuries was avoided, but the video shows that the activists were armed with traumatic guns, knives, batons and gas sprays.

While nationalists always emphasize the fact that they are fighting to enforce the law, broken by the housing management centers which hire and house migrant workers, the raids constitute acts of vigilantism and, as the last example clearly demonstrates, they pose the danger of serious confrontations.


Counter-action to Radical Nationalism

Public Initiatives

The annual action, commemorating the deaths of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, which took place on January 19 in 15 Russian cities, was the most visible effort of civil society activists to counter xenophobia and radical nationalism in the first 6 months of 2013. About 600-700 people attended the anti-Nazi march and rally in Moscow. In St. Petersburg, the authorities did not grant a rally permit, so the picket was held instead. The Moscow rally went without any incidents, but in St. Petersburg the ultra-right tried to attack anti-fascists on their way to the picket.

In some cities, the organizers faced problems with the authorities. In Kirov and Syktyvkar the city administrations denied permits for the actions. In Labinsk (the Krasnodar Region), the action has been curtailed due to police arrival. In Irkutsk, the police have accused the participants of “illegal gathering,” and detained three people after the event.


The first half of 2013 was a period of increased legislative activity in the area, tackled previously by legislators on several occasions - criminalizing the “rehabilitation of Nazism.” The problem with these attempts lies not only in their wide range of underlying political considerations, but in the challenge of putting these restrictions into legally appropriate formulas.

For example, in March, three members of the Federation Council submitted to the Duma a bill on “the impermissibility of actions aimed at rehabilitation of Nazism, glorification of Nazi criminals and their accomplices, and denial of the Holocaust.” This draft bill had many potential controversial issues,[27] but its main proponent, Senator Boris Shpigel, left the Federation Council , almost immediately afterwards, putting its prospects in doubt.

In June, Deputy Irina Yarovaya announced her plans to introduce her own version of the bill,[28] but, at the time of writing, she has not yet submitted anything; meanwhile, one of the co-authors of the above-mentioned bill expressed his eagerness to compete with Yarovaya. It is premature to discuss the wording of Yarovaya’s bill, but even an article in the Izvestia newspaper suggested that the bill “is tailored to the specific case - a scandal with politician Leonid Gozman, who compared the Soviet SMERSH counterintelligence with the Nazi SS.”[29]


Criminal Prosecution

For Violence

The scope of criminal prosecution for violent crimes, where hate was a motive recognized by the courts, was about the same as in the previous year. During this time period, there were at least 19 convictions in 16 regions involving 31 people. Over the same period in 2012, there were 14 convictions in 12 regions; 32 people were convicted.)

To qualify penalties for racist violence in 2013, the judiciary used hate motive as a qualifying attribute in the following Criminal Code articles: Part 2 of Article 105 (“murder”), Part 2 of Article 213 (“hooliganism”), Part 2 of Article 111 (“deliberate infliction of grievous bodily harm”), Part 2 of Article 116 (“beating”), and Part 2 of Article 115 (“deliberate infliction of bodily harm”).

Article 282 (“incitement of ethnic hatred”) appeared in three verdicts. In the first case, it was utilized in the sentence to the neo-Nazi skinhead group Simbirsk White Power for a number of separate instances of ultra-right propaganda. Part 2 paragraph “a” of Article 282 (“incitement of ethnic hatred, committed with violence or threat of violence”) was used in the other two cases. Over the past two years, there were practically no cases that involved Part 2 paragraph “a” of this article. Meanwhile, the composition of this article permits its use for qualifying a violent action in a particular situation. In accordance with Resolution No. 11 of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation “Concerning Judicial Practice in Criminal Cases Regarding Crimes of Extremism,” adopted on June 28, 2011, [30] the application of Article 282 to violent crimes is considered appropriate if the crimes were aimed at inciting hate in third parties, for example, through public and provocative ideologically motivated attack.In both cases, the attacks, accompanied by xenophobic shouts and insults, were committed in public places, and the victims suffered only minor injuries, so the use of the article in these cases is justified.

Two convictions included the motive of hatred against a “social group.” This term was applied to “punks” and “anti-fascists”. As we have mentioned before, the use of the term “social group” is highly problematic due to its ambiguity. Therefore, we advocate for excluding the concept of “social group” from the anti-extremist articles of the Criminal Code. The attack against anti-fascists, if motivated precisely by their anti-fascist stance, could be qualified as an attack motivated by ideological hatred.[31]

Verdicts for violent crimes were distributed as follows:

  • 1 person received a life sentence;
  • 1 person received a custodial sentence of 24 years;
  • 1 person received a custodial sentence of 17 years;
  • 3 people –10 to 15 years;
  • 3 people –5 to 10 years;
  • 8 people – 3 to 5 years;
  • 3 people – up to 3 years;
  • 3 people were sentenced to mandatory labor;
  • 8 people received suspended sentences without additional sanctions.

One-third of the convicted offenders only received suspended sentences. Some of these people were defendants on large group trials (including two minors), and it is possible that the prosecution failed to prove their direct involvement in the attacks, or that they received a light sentence in exchange for assisting the investigation. The suspended sentence received by a Nazi skinhead in Kaluga, who attacked punks together with his “associates”, armed with sticks and a gas pistol, is problematic, in our opinion. We also believe that the suspended sentence issued in the Kostroma Region for an armed attack on a Chechen woman was outrageously inappropriate. We are concerned about a rebounding trend to impose suspended sentences for violent crimes, which almost disappeared in 2012. The years of our monitoring repeatedly confirmed that suspended sentences for violent racist attacks tend to engender the sense of impunity and do not stop offenders from committing such acts in the future.

Unfortunately, we only know of two verdicts where the offenders were required to provide financial compensation to their victims for moral harm and to cover their medical expenses. Regretfully, the prosecutor’s offices very rarely report about such measures. We believe that the offenders, whose actions brought the victims to seek treatment in the first place, should pay for their treatment and rehabilitation.

One of the verdicts granted a long reprieve to an offender, 22-year-old Darya Botvinskaya. She was convicted by the Moscow City Court in May for the attack against the migrants from Dagestan, committed on a Moscow train as a part of a group in June 2007. At the time of the murder she was under 18. She was on the federal wanted list for three years until her apprehension in 2011. As the investigation went on, Botvinskaya managed to get married and give birth to a son. The court sentenced her to five years in prison, which she would have to serve in 14 years, when her child grows up.

The majority of the offenders (20 people) were sentenced to actual prison terms. Most of them had previously been convicted of other crimes, or belonged to major racist groups (such as the three neo-Nazi skinheads from the Simbirsk White Power group in Ulyanovsk and two members of the Sverdlovsk neo-Nazi group Volksturm


The capture of former leader of the Russian Image Ilya Goryachev and former member of OB-88 skinhead group Mikhail Volkov in Serbiaand Ukraine, respectively, generated a great deal of resonance.The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation reported that the two nationalists were on the international wanted list in relation to the case of the Military Organization of Russian Nationalists (Boevaia organizatsiia russkikh natsionalistov, BORN). They are suspected of being involved in a number of high-profile murders in Russia, including the murders of Moscow City Court judge Edward Chuvashov and lawyer Stanislav Markelov.[32]


Arrests of Known Ultra-Right Activists for “Non-Ideological” Criminal Activity

Over the past six months, the members and leaders of well-known far-right organizations were found to be involved in scandalous and purely criminal plots at least three times. It was evident that some “ideological fighters” don’t shy away from looting, violence and pimping.

The most notorious incident was the arrest, in April 2013, of Georgy Borovikov, the leader of the RFO Memory (Pamiat’), the former head of the Moscow office and the head of the “court of honor” of “The Russians” Association.[33] Together with his two “associates” Vladislav Bragin and Andrei Shishkanov he is accused under Part 2 paragraphs “a” and “d” of Article 161 (“robbery with violence or threats of violence committed by a group of persons by prior agreement.”) According to the investigators, the nationalists accused their “associate” Artem Tomsky, who had arrived from Ulan-Ude, of being “a rat” and staged a “court of honor” in Borovikov’s apartment. According to Ridus (a “citizen journalism” agency), “they took the victim’s documents and money, beat him with a whip and with a mop, and branded him with a red-hot knife. Then ...wanted to rape the victim and capture it on video. As a result, the video was recorded (according to the investigators, it was even posted on YouTube for a period of time “to intimidate the enemies,” but was removed, and the original was submitted as evidence in the case).” [34] The victim was able to escape. According to the investigators, this was not the first “court of honor,” in which Borovikov may have been involved. It is possible that he was also involved in the death of Oleg Nikitenko, the Kursk branch leader of “The Russians,” who was brutally murdered and then thrown from a balcony to simulate an accident.[35]

In May 2013, Victor Konshin, the leader of the local branch of the far-right organization Slavic Force (now part of “The Russians” Association) was arrested in Orel. The charges against him were filed under Part 2 paragraph “b” of the Criminal Code Article. 241 (“organization of prostitution using the threat of violence”). It was reported that six girls worked for the nationalist on the permanent basis and were forced by threats to continue engaging in prostitution.

Finally, an almost comic story took place in late May in Moscow. Two far-right activists - Roman “Zukhel” Zheleznov[36] and Alexey “Anti-Gypsy” Kasich - were detained and arrested for stealing food from the Auchan store. They were charged under Part 2 of the Criminal Code Article 158 (“theft”). Notably, both detainees are the associates of neo-Nazi Maksim “Hatchet” Martsinkevich, who gives “lectures,” including the ones on the shoplifting techniques, to anyone who is interested.[37]


For Vandalism

For the first half of 2013, we know of 3 sentences for ethno-religious and neo-Nazi vandalism, delivered to 3 people in Moscow, the Orel Region, and the Chelyabinsk Region. This figure is not much higher than the corresponding number for the same period last year (2 convictions of two people).

In all cases, the charges were brought under Part 2 of the Criminal Code Article 214 (“vandalism motivated by ethnic or religious hatred”). In one of the verdicts the article was aggregated with Article 282, and in another one - with Articles 282 and 213 of the Criminal Code.

One person received a suspended sentence, another one was sentenced to compulsory work, and yet another one received a custodial sentence. In the latter case, the vandal, who poured ink over two icons in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, also lost the right to visit Christian churches for a year. We do not see any of these penalties as excessive, since they are usually imposed for graffiti on buildings and monuments.

In addition, the Oktyabrsky District Court of Novosibirsk delivered a sentence for attempting to set fire to a mosque. The defendant was sentenced to a prison sentence under the Criminal Code Article 167 (“attempted destruction of other people’s property by means of explosion”) and Part 2 of Article 223 (“illegal manufacture of an explosive device by a group of persons in prior conspiracy”). Article 214 was not utilized in this case, and we have no information whether the hate motive was applied via paragraph “e” of Article 63.


For Propaganda

In 2013, the trend, observed since last winter, of rapid growth of the propaganda-related prosecution in comparison with the persecution of violence has continued and strengthened. The number of convictions for xenophobic propaganda was over was 2.5 times greater that the number of convictions for violence, and the number of those convicted for propaganda exceeds the number of violent convicted offenders by 60%. At least 50 convictions for xenophobic propaganda against 50 people were delivered in the first half of 2013. The verdicts were issued in 33 regions of Russia. For the same period in 2012, 39 verdicts were issued against 53 people in 31 regions.

As usual, Article 282 was utilized in most of the sentences (47 out of 50, Part 2 in three of them); three cases only involved Article 280 (“public incitement to extremist activity”); in three additional cases people were sentenced under the aggregation of Articles 282 and 280.

Article 282 was the only Criminal Code article utilized in the verdict in 37 cases, but occasionally it was just one of the articles and, in addition to the already mentioned Article 280, was combined with Article 318 (“use of violence against a representative of the authorities”), Article 2821 (“organization or leadership of an extremist community or participation in it”), Article 213 (“hooliganism”), Articles 213 or 214, or Article 222 (“illegal acquisition and possession of ammunition”).

The court verdicts for all these cases were distributed as follows

  • 5 people received custodial sentences;
  • 6 people received suspended sentences without additional sanctions;
  • 4 people were sentenced to various fines;
  • 13 persons were sentenced to correctional labor;
  • 18 people were sentenced to mandatory labor;
  • 3 people were released from punishment because the statute of limitations had expired;
  • 1 person was referred for compulsory medical treatment.

Significant reduction in the number of suspended sentences for propaganda constitutes a positive development, since such sentences have long been shown to be ineffective.This year, the majority of the convicted offenders were sentenced to correctional or compulsory labor, or to small fines (35 people); this number significantly exceeded the number of persons with suspended sentences (6 people).

Sentences involving incarceration were imposed either in aggregation with other charges, including violence (as in the cases of the leader of the Union ofthe Russian People of Volgograd and Volzhsky (Soiuz russkogo naroda Volgograda i Volzhskogo) organization or the Simbirsk White Power members) or when taking into account the previously committed crimes (as in the case of Peter Molodidov, who had served asentence in a penal colony for prior criminal activities).


As in the previous two years, the vast majority of propaganda convictions were issued for material posted on the Internet. The number of convictions for online materials in the first 6 months of 2013 was 38 out of 50 total propaganda convictions.The details about specific online materials, which resulted in criminal conviction, and the Internet resources that featured them are as follows:

  • VKontakte social network – 25 items, including 14 videos, 5 audios, 2 movies, 3 images, 1 text;
  • My World (Moi mir) and In the Circle of Friends (V krugu druzei) social networks – 1 (text);
  • unidentified social networks – 8 items, including 3 videos, 1 movie, one comment, 2 audios, 1 image
  • blogs – 1 (text, image);
  • file sharing networks – 1 (movie);
  • forums and comments to articles – 2;
  • unspecified online resources – 1 (text).

Thus, the prosecution of online propaganda has remained qualitatively unchanged for over 1.5 years. [38] Most sentences are imposed for re-posting video and audio materials in the VKontakte network. The extent of public exposure,[39] which constitutes a crucial criterion for the “propaganda” articles of the Criminal Code, is not taken into account at all. The Investigative Committee and “E” -Centers focus on easy targets. It seems that most ofthese cases were initiated for “reporting purposes.” The convicted offenders tend to be minor characters, but, just to be fair, we have to point out one exception - during the review period, Dmitry Bokov (“Dima the Pooh”), the leader of the Union of the Russian People of Volgograd and Volzhsky and, uncharacteristically for Vkontakte offenders, a rather popular online personality among the radical right-wingers, was convictedfor creating a user group on thesocial network Vkontakte.

As for the prosecution for the offline propaganda activities, the 12 relevant verdicts were distributed as follows:

  • Newspaper articles – 1;
  • Shouting slogans during rallies – 2;
  • Xenophobic insults during a conflict – 1;
  • Unspecified charges against members of ultra-right groups – 2;
  • Graffiti – 6.

We have no reason to deem these verdicts inappropriate.[40] However, we consider criminal prosecution for the nationalist and racist street graffiti to be excessive.


Prosecution of Extremist Groups

In the first six months of 2013, prosecution under Part 1 and Part 2 of the Criminal Code Article 2821 (“creation or leadership of extremist community or participation in it”) was more prevalent than in the previous year. We know of four such convictions against nine people, while the entire 2012 only resulted in three sentences. Note, that this count does not include manifestly inappropriate sentences.

As expected, Article 2821 was applied to groups that were systematically committing violent crimes, including a Rostov-on-Don group, which tried to plant a bomb in the building of the local FMS office, Ulyanovsk right-wing group Simbirsk White Power (already mentioned in this report several times), and two supporters of the People-hate movement from the Irkutsk “mallet-killers” gang, accused of committing a series of attacks on random bystanders in Irkutsk Akademgorodok in November 2010 through April 2011.[41] In all these cases the defendants were sentenced to long prison terms, and the charges in every single case included other “violent” articles of the Criminal Code.

We also would like to point out a very unusual verdict delivered in Vorkuta under Part 3 of the Criminal Code Article 30 and Part 1 of Article 2821 (“attempted creation of an extremist community”). According to the investigation, in addition to making aggressive graffiti, the defendant, along with his accomplice, planned to create an ”organized group to prepare and commit extremist crimes against citizens of different ethnic backgrounds” in Vorkuta. However, their efforts to recruit teenagers were unsuccessful, and their activities were stopped. A would-be extremist community organizer received a suspended sentence.


No sentences were issued in the first half of 2013 for continued activities of organizations recognized as extremist.


Here we should also mention the sentences to the NOMP leaders in Moscow and Yekaterinburg under Article 2051 (“involvement in terrorist activity”), which is almost never used. The Moscow City Court convicted NOMP leader retired GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov and Captain of the St. Petersburg Criminal Investigation Office Alexei Kiselyov to 13 and 11 years in a maximum security penal colony, respectively for attempted armed rebellion (Part 3 of Article 30 and Article 279 of the Criminal Code) in aggregation with Part 1 of Article. 2051. Meanwhile, the Sverdlovsk Regional Court sentenced paratrooper Reserve Colonel Leonid Khabarov and his accomplice Victor Kralin to 4 years and 6 months in a penal colony under Part 1 of Article 2051 and Article 222 (“illegal possession of weapons”). A third defendant, Aleksandr Ladeyshchikov, was found guilty only under Part 1 of Article 222 and received a suspended sentence of 2 years. [42]


Administrative measures

The Federal List of Extremist Materials

In 2013, the Federal List of Extremist Materials continued its rapid growth. It was updated 22 times in the first six months and added 331 items, growing from 1589 to 1920 positions.

In the first six months of 2013, the new items consisted mainly of Russian nationalist materials in the genres ranging from VKontakte posts to books of well-known nationalist authors. This category also includes translated books that are popular in the ultra-right milieu, including the ones that are over 100 years old. Many updates on the list pertain to Muslim materials, ranging from the items produced by terrorist groups to completely innocuous religious texts. The list also added a small number of materials from other radical groups, such as the Armenian nationalists or the Altai nationalists.

The list is becoming increasingly cumbersome and useless; it continues to grow in size, but its quality continues to drop - and its quality has long been unsatisfactory.

Thus, over the past six months, the List repeatedly ended up in the center of media scandals. The most resonant one[43] occurred when the entire contents of Issue No. 2 (2011) of the Radical Politics newspaper was added to the List. The Central District Court of Omsk provided a comma-separated list of materials in the banned issue, and everyone could see that prohibited items included the texts that were far from radical, and even the text of “President’s Congratulations” identical to the one posted on The latter mishap was the fact that attracted media attention.[44]

Frequently, new items on the List are impossible to identify due to bibliographic, grammatical and spelling errors. The same materials are entered several times due to parallel judicial decisions (true for at least 42 items).[45] In other cases, the same materials are entered several times with different imprints or as published on different websites, in case of online materials; the content is identical, but the materials cannot be formally identified as duplicates.[46] Of course, some materials were just inappropriately recognized as extremist.


Banning of Organizations

On July 28, 2013, the Moscow City Court banned the Autonomous Military Terrorist Organization (ABTO), whose members committed eight terrorist attacks against law enforcement officers and migrants from the Caucasus in 2009 and early 2010.[47] The ABTO was banned specifically as terrorist organization, not simply as an extremist organization; once this decision enters into force, the ABTO will become the twentieth organization on the corresponding list.[48] This is the first case of such a measure being applied to a right radical organization in Russia; all the previous cases pertained to radical Islamist groups.

The Federal List of Extremist Organizations[49] added three entries in 2013.

The first one was the Northern Brotherhood (Severnoe bratstvo) interregional public organization, formed a network structure around the websites Severnoe bratstvo, V Desyatku and Bolshaya Igra: Slomai Sistemu [The Big Game: Break the Sysem]. The Northern Brotherhood was banned by the Moscow City Court in early August of 2012.[50] The organization was de facto destroyed back in 2009; its key members were convicted, and thus, the organization had long ceased to exist by the time it was banned. Therefore it is not clear, who could possibly be charged under Article 2822 in connection with it. Nevertheless, the ban demonstrates the willingness of the state to deal with such organizations and in this respect has a positive symbolic value.

In March the List also added the Horde (Orda) religious association, recognized as extremist by a decision of the Kizilsky District Court of the Chelyabinsk region in November 2012. However, we doubt the validity of that decision. The finding that the followers of the organization experienced psychological effects and practiced non-traditional treatment methods (such as the holy water, appeals to the spirits, lashing, and visiting the holy places) was sited as the reason for the ban. These actions, even if illegal, do not fall within the definition of extremism. The same Horde organization (the successor to the Ata Zholy [The Way of the Ancestors] religious organization, banned in Kazakhstan) was shut down in July 2011 by the order of the Leninsky District Court in Ufa. However, we do not know whether it was recognized as extremist at that time or simply liquidated for violating the law “On freedom of conscience and religious organizations.”

The third organization, included on the List, was the Omsk office of the Russian National Unity (Russkoe natsional’noe edinstvo), recognized as extremist back in October 2002 (sic!) by the decision of the Omsk Regional Court.

Thus, the Federal List of Extremist Organizations currently includes 32 organizations (not counting the organizations recognized as terrorist), whose activities are legally prohibited, and the continuation of these activities is punishable under the Criminal Code Article 2822 (“organizing an extremist organization”).


Other Administrative Sanctions

In the first six months of 2013, Roscomnadzor issued 14 warnings to media editorial staff for extremist activities (there were 17 warnings in the entire 2012). We view only three of them as appropriate: the warnings to the editorial boards of the newspapers Pretenziya Agentstva zhurnalistskikh rassledovanii (for publishing the article “Size Matters “), Svoimi Imenami  (for an article M. Shendakov’s article “An Open Letter to an Enemy of the Homeland and a Traitor of the Russian People”), and Komsomolskaya Pravda (for Ulyana Skoybeda’s column “Politician Leonid Gozman said that Pretty Uniform is the only Difference between the SMERSH and the SS’”). The other warnings were issued to various media outlets for posting the Pussy Riot videos and for publishing the news about Artem Loskutov, who was fined for creating t-shirts with a Pussy Riot image stylized to look like an icon. Thus, the efficiency of the department is, in our opinion, quite low.


The Svoimi Imenami newspaper has already received a number of warnings over the past two years, [51] and, since the fall of 2011 Roscomnadzor has been requesting that the Moscow City Court shut it down (it must be noted that decisions to close media outlets for publishing extremist articles are exceedingly rare).

Sentences under the Administrative Code articles related to extremism are not uncommon. However, the prosecutor’s offices don’t always inform the public about such measures, thus making their dynamics difficult to analyze. The data below does not include the court judgments that we view as clearly inappropriate.

In 2013, we are aware of 22 cases of penalties under the Administrative Code Article 20.29 (“mass distribution of extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for the purpose of mass distribution”).

The verdicts under these Administrative Code articles were imposed for dissemination of xenophobic material on the Internet and through file-sharing networks (Kolovrat songs and music -  6 cases, the songs of Chechen armed resistance bard Timur Mutsurayev - 5 cases, the book Azbuka Domashnego Terrorisma [Home Terrorism Primer] - 2 cases, Hitler’s Mein Kampf - 1 case, the movies Rossiia v Krivykh Zerkalakh [Russia in Distorting Mirrors], Rossiia s Nozhom v Spine [Russia with a Knife in Its Back], Evreiskii Fashizm i Genotsid Russkogo Naroda [Jewish Fascism and the Genocide of the Russian People] , the Eternal Jew and Jew Süss - 1 case each), chanting the “banned songs” during a march, selling books listed on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The perpetrators were fined from 2 to 12 thousand rubles.

We also know about four cases of penalties under Article 20.3 (“propaganda and public demonstration of Nazi attributes or symbols”). In three cases, the offenders were fined for openly posting photographs of themselves in Nazi uniform on the online social networks or for an image of Nazi swastika. In the fourth case, a man was subjected to administrative detention for racist graffiti at a bus stop.

One sentence was imposed under the aggregation of two Administrative Code articles mentioned above. A resident of Togliatti was fined for posting a photo with the swastika and a song by Kolovrat on the VKontakte social network.

In Rostov-on-Don, the mother of a 15-year-old girl, who made “Glory to Russia” graffiti in the hallway of her apartment building, was found liable under the Administrative Code Article 5.35 (“improper fulfillment of child-rearing responsibilities by parents or other legal representatives of juvenile”). However, we do not know whether the punishment was related to the content of the slogan.


Among other measures of prosecutorial response, we, once again, have to mention motions on the impermissibility of extremist activities issued to school administrators in reference to lack of content filtering software in their educational institutions. We know of at least 15 such motions.[52] We can only repeat thatperfect content filters don’t exist, and school principals shouldn’t be held accountable for the filters’ imperfection.

The primary tools for fighting online extremism are prosecutorial motions demanding that local Internet providers block access to “extremist” websites. We know of at least 12 such cases in the first six months of 2013, excluding the obviously inappropriate ones.

The prosecutors are still fighting against neo-Nazi graffiti and slogans on the city streets by submitting motions to the corresponding municipal services. However, we can not vouch for the effectiveness of these measures, since the number of racist graffiti and the like on the streets doesn’t seem to decrease.

In general, anti-extremist activity of the prosecutors remains non-transparent. The prosecutor's offices press services often report about acts of the prosecutorial response to “extremist activities”, but provide no specific details on the character of these acts.


[1] This report is based on daily monitoring conducted by the SOVA Center. Monitoring was made possible through the support of the State Club (Gosudarstvennyi Klub) Foundation.

[2] In mid-July of 2012 we reported 2 dead, 77 injured and one murder thread. See: Racism and Xenophobia in Russia. June 2012 Results. // SOVA Center. 2012. 2 June (

[3] The law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors, was passed by the State Duma in the second and in the third and final reading on June 11, 2013.

[4] Vera Alperovich, Natalia Yudina, The Ultra-Right on the Streets with a Pro-Democracy Poster in Their Hands or a Knife in Their Pocket: Xenophobia and Radical Nationalism in Russia, and Efforts to Counteract Them in 2012 // SOVA Center. 2013. 15 March (

[5] A Homophobic Murder in Volgograd // SOVA Center. 2013. 12 May (

[6] For more on the “Big Game”, see: Galina Kozhevnikova, Anton Shekhovtsev, “Radical Russian Nationalism: Structures, Ideas and People,” Мoscow, SOVA Center, 2009.

[7] The Ministry of Justice Denied Registration to the National Majority Party // Novaya Sila: Partiia natsional’nogo bol’shinstva, 2013. 28 June.

[8] According to NDP, the provisions of the Party Charter providing the regional offices of the party with the authority to make decisions on liquidation and reorganization of local offices, and conferring upon regional and local offices the right to engage in electoral blocs with other electoral organizations, do not comply with the applicable regulatory acts. The Party Charter also provided for the convening of the Constituent Assembly of regional office at the time of the primary registration of the party by its organizing committee, while according to the Federal law "On political parties" the organizing committee of a political party ceases its activities after the constituent assembly.

[9] Also occasionally known as “Komitet spaseniya EPO Russkie Moskvy.”

[10] More information in the following chapter of this report: “Arrests of Known Ultra-Right Activists for “Non-Ideological” Criminal Activity”.

[11] Borovikov and the others // [Blog of N. Kholmogorova]. 2013. 13 April.

[12] Statement of Georgy Borovikov regarding his criminal case and the actions of the police // Pravye Novosti. 2013. 1 June.

[13] This anarcho-nationalist group, very visible in the recent years, ceased to exist in the Spring of 2013.

[14] For example, in January, "The Russians" almost simultaneously with their public refusal to participate in joint projects with other members of the opposition, started distributing a video, featuring Vladimir Basmanov, in which he, among other things, said that the KSO should establish relations with the authorities of other countries, each of whom needs to delegate a dedicated person as a KSO liaison. If a state refuses to provide such a liaison, it is considered "an accomplice of the Russian tyrant", which must then be announced to the citizens of that state.

[15] For more details on the campaign see below.

[16] 30 out of 40 members participated in the vote, with 23 votes in favot, 0 against, and 7 abstained.

[17] Vote on the Statement on Migration // Demokratiia 2. 2013. 4 February (

[18] For more details see The ultra-right at the rally “For Freedom” // SOVA Center. 2013. 7 May (

[19] For more details see: Nationalists Comprised Fifty Percent of the Protest Marchers on 5 May // SOVA Center. 2013. 5 May (

[20] Two words on ESO // [Blog of N. Kholmogorova] 2013. 5 May.

[21] Nationalists took part in the March Against Executioners on June 12 // Official Site of “The Russians” EPO. 2013. 13 June.

[22] Likely a pen name of Oksana Rusakova.

[23] International Passport to Enter (V’ezd po zagranpasportu) // Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 2013. 15 April (

[24] Moscow Nationalists Celebrated the May Day 2013 // SOVA Center. 2013. 1 May (

[25] Denitz - not the real name and nick name, take in honor of Karl Doenitz, who led Germany after Adolf Hitler's suicide at the end of the WWII.

[26] Venik Dmitroshkin, Anti-Immigrant Raids Turn Into Mass Brawls // 2013. 1 July (

[27] We discussed them in "The Shpigel’s Bill" is submitted to the Duma // SOVA Center. 2013. 29 March (

[28] Svetlana Subbotina, Five Years in Custody for Apology of Nazi Crimes // Izvestia. 2013. June 27 (

[29] Petr Kozlov, Senators developed an alternative law against Nazism // Izvestia. 2013. 27 June (

[30] The text of Resolution No. 11 of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation “Concerning Judicial Practice in Criminal Cases Regarding Crimes of Extremism,” adopted on June 28, 2011 // the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Website. 2011. 29 June ( See also the SOVA Center’s commentary on of Resolution on Extremism of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court // SOVA Center. 2011. 1 July (

[31] The legislation of some countries explicitly mentions the option to qualify such an attack as an attack "by association" with an ethnically defined group, defended by an anti-fascist. For example, an attack against the spouse of a person from a certain ethnic group is similarly qualified in these countries. Such application of the law is possible even in the absence of clearly prescribed standards.

[32] For more details see: N. Yudina, Rytsar russkogo obraza // 2013. 14 May (

[33] For additional information on Borovikov see: G. Kozhevnikova, A. Shekhovtsev, ibid.

[34]The Occupy vigilante from “The Russians” arrested for attempted rape // Ridus. 2013. 11 April (

[35] Ibid.

[36] R. Zheleznov got an early release from the penal colony in August 2012. He was sentenced to 4 years of penal colony in 2009, because Zheleznov, as the leader of the Anti-Antifa movement, shot member of a youth subculture Matvei Tal with a traumatic pistol.

[37] Lectures of M. Martsinkevich are posted on right-wing websites. His "Forgot to pay" video is available on YouTube.

[38] For more information about the prosecution of online propaganda in previous years, see: N. Yudina Virtual Anti-Extremism: On the use of anti-extremist legislation on the Internet (2007–2011) // SOVA Center. 2012. 17 September (

[39] See Vera Alperovich, Alexander Verkhovsky, Natalia Yudina, Between Manezhnaya and Bolotnaya: Xenophobia and Radical Nationalism in Russia, and Efforts to Counteract Them in 2011. // SOVA Center. 2012. 24 February (

[40] Unlike Konstantin Krylov's sentence for his anti-Caucasus speech at the rally, which did not contain any illegal incitement. Therefore, this sentence is not included in this statistics For more information about his case, see: Maria Kravchenko. Misuse of anti-extremist legislation in Russia in 2012. // SOVA Center. 2013. 24 April (

[41] For more details on the Irkutsk "mallet-killers" see Vera Alperovich, Alexander Verkhovsky, Natalia Yudina, ibid.

[42] Other members of Khabarov's group were convicted in May 2012. A former criminal investigator Vladislav "Termite" Ladeyshchikov received a suspended sentence of 6 years; Sergey Katnikov received a suspended sentence of5.5 years and a fine of 100,000 rubles. In the case took place and Aleksandr Ermakov, also charged in this case, was declared insane.

[43] Valeriya Zaitseva, Surprises of Combating Extremism // 2013. 4 March (

[44] The Ministry of Justice is Watching: materials from Ogonek, Charter-27 and the United Russia websites are now on the Federal List // SOVA Center. 2013. 22 February (

[45] In the first six months of 2013, two duplicates were added: item 1601. Dobroslav (Alexey Dobrovolsky). Yazychestvo Kak Volshebstvo [Paganism as magic]. 2nd ed. Kirov: VYATKA Printing House, 2004, 32pp, by the decision of the City Court of the Krasnoyarsk Region, 08.13.2012). [compare to Item 7 of the List], and Item 1641. Katekhisis Evreia v SSSR [Catechesis of a Jew in the USSR] / / Appendix to Russkie Vedomosti, by the decision of Leninsky District Court of Vladivostok, the Primorsky Region, 10.09.2012. [compare to Item 1495].

[46] For example, the decision of the Temryuksky District Court of the Krasnodar Region recognized as extremist the book Udar Russkikh Bogov [The strike of the Russian Gods] by V. Istarkhov (collective pseudonym of V. Ivanov and V. Selivanov) for the fourth (!) time, and the brochure Racial Hygiene and Demographic Policy in the National Socialist Germany” - for the third time.

[47] For more details on the organization’s activity see, for example, The Moscow City Court Issued a Verdict in the Case of the Autonomous Military Terrorist Organization // SOVA Center. 2012. 12 April (

[48] The Joint federal list of organizations, including foreign and international organizations recognized as terrorist by the courts of the Russian Federation / / The FSB Website (

[49] The official name - A list of public and religious associations, and other non-profit organizations, in respect of which the court accepted is a valid decision on liquidation or ban on activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal Law "On Combating Extremist Activity".

[50] For more details about the organization, see: G. Kozhevnikova, A. Shekhovtsev, ibid. The organization's website was recognized as extremist in March 2008. Ideologist of the Northern Brotherhood Petr Khomyakov was sentenced under Part 1 of Article 2821 and Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code ("fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale") to four years in prison in October 2012. Other members of the group, A. Mukhachyov and O. Troshkin, were convicted under the same articles.

[51]The Svoimi Imenami newspaper is a successor of the K Bar’eru newspaper, closed in April 2011. K Bar’eru, in turn, succeeded the Duel newspaper, also closed after a multi-year court proceedings.Remember thatSvoimi Imenami had previously received three Roscomnadzor warnings.

[52] Sanctions against the administration of educational institutions // SOVA Center. 2011. 30 June (