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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 Russias 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 Moscows 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 countrys 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 Mondays Russian March, the countrys 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

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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