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Rally Shows Rise of Nationalist Sentiment

Published: November 6, 2013 (Issue # 1785)



  • Participants in the nationalist Russian March, held across Russia on Monday, hold a banner at one of the Moscow events.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / SPT

Thousands of Russians poured into the streets of dozens of towns across the country Monday to voice nationalist sentiments on a holiday that was established by the government in 2005 to celebrate the unity of Russia’s diverse population.

Nationalism has been on the rise in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with both the state and numerous civil society organizations trying to pigeonhole it within formalized limits, but it has come to a fever pitch in the aftermath of ethnically charged riots in Moscow’s district of Biryulyovo on Oct. 14.

The riots, triggered by the killing of a young Russian man, allegedly by a migrant worker, led to numerous public calls to toughen the country’s immigration legislation, apparently emboldening many nationalists.

The task of keeping nationalism contained has proved to be a tough challenge for authorities, as radical nationalists are still able to attract many young people to their cause by providing what many say the nation as a whole lacks: a guiding ideology and a sense of purpose in life.

In a sign of the intensified nationalist atmosphere ahead of Monday’s Russian March, the country’s biggest annual nationalist rally, the Nazi flag was displayed during a football match Wednesday between Spartak Moscow and Shinnik Yaroslavl.

On Monday, crowds made up mostly of neo-Nazis put their discontent into words, chanting various slogans, perhaps the least inflammatory of which was: “Stop taking it and take up arms!”

Other slogans insulted Islam and urged violence and drastic measures against minorities.

The crowd, which according to police amounted to 8,000 people, consisted mostly of young men in tight jeans and black jackets. They marched across the southeastern Lyublino district, with a nationalist thrash metal band, Kolovrat, performing at the end.

The organizers claimed that at least 20,000 people attended the march.

“Who are we?” one of the ringleaders kept asking participants, with the crowd shouting “Russians!” in response.

The march was escorted by a helicopter and hundreds of policemen. Thirty people were detained for covering their faces and shouting Nazi slogans, police reported.

“There is no doubt that the Russian nation is in danger today,” said Gleb, 32, who declined to give his last name in order to conceal his identity. “People are losing patience — this is exactly what you see here,” he said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Nov. 23


Get in the holiday spirit at today’s Winter Bazzar at the Astoria Hotel. Featuring gifts from around the world such as French eclairs, Dutch cheeses and Indian jewelry, the annual event organized by the International Women’s Club will feature 18 international stands and raise money for charity through the sales of a diversity of products that further illustrate the city’s international connections.



Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their “Industrial St. Petersburg” Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the “Business With China” forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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