Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

One of the largest Russian parliamentary parties that actively uses Xenophobia as an integral part of its ideology is Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPR), led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky (most serious political actors used xenophobia and migrantophobia in their propaganda, including the liberal Yabloko Party).Although, since LDPR is a “one-man party”, most xenophobic rhetoric is also related to Zhirinovsky’s statements.

Leader of the Rodina party, which was the main source of radical nationalism in the mid-2000s, is still in parliament (although, A. Zhuravlev passed into Duma on a United Russia list).

Among the officially registered nationalist parties, there is the “Russian All-National Union”, “Great Fatherland” party (anti-West Stalinists) and V. Milov’s "Democratic Choice" party, which combines liberal values with nationalism.

Majority of radical nationalist parties established in 2012, could not pass registration despite the liberalisation of political party rules, though some parties deliberately avoided it.

One of the largest Russian nationalist organisations is the Ethno-Political Association “Russians”, established from the banned Movement Against Illegal Immigration and the Slavic Union. Founders of “Russians” tried to register a Party of Nationalists in 2012, however for various reasons this project was not completed and the two brands exist in parallel. New Force party also remains unregistered (founded by MGIMO Professor V. Solovyov), along with the National Democratic Party (K. Krylov and V. Kralin), National Socialist Initiative (based in St. Petersburg and headed by D. Bobrov), “Restrukt” movement (M. Martsinkevich, recently arrested for inciting ethnic hatred), Black Hundred group (A. Shtilmark), “Union of Russian Nation” (A. Turik).

Besides these organisations (mostly based in Moscow and St. Petersburg), there are many smaller groups, largely represented on the Internet – some with loud brands, such as the Russian National Union (RNE). Of the regional organisations, Northern Frontier (Republic of Komi) is most noteworthy. Russian National Union, declares its opposition to the rights and freedoms “that are contrary to our moral values, embodied in the Russian Orthodox tradition” – referring to LGBT rights and other “mockery of Russian sanctities and insults to religious feelings of our people”. The Union advocates for privileges for the Russian Orthodox Church, while considering atheism as “propaganda for abandoning your traditions”. The main social function of women, according to the Russian National Union, is childbirth. In terms of domestic policy, RNU demands elimination of national republics.

"Democratic Choice" prioritises migrantophobia. “Open Doors for immigrants from Central Asia and Caucasus do not solve labour deficits, but cause dumping on the unskilled labour market, poverty and crime. Open borders with our southern neighbours is the main barrier for a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union,” party’s programme states – advocating for introducing a visa regime with Caucasus and Central Asia The party also supports restriction of immigration of Russian citizens from North Caucasus, “forgetting” that they have the full right to free movement within Russian Federation.

Programme of the “Russians” movement proposed to check everyone who stayed after the USSR collapse for their legal status, and grant citizenship to the children of mixed marriages and foreign nationals, only via a special commission. They also propose to introduce a property and age limit for marriages between Russian citizens and foreign nationals, and confiscate “property illegally obtained by immigrants”, introduce official segregation of immigrants, and introduce foreign nationality as an aggravating circumstance in a crime. “Russians” movement also proposed to make illegal immigration a criminal, rather than administrative, offence and set up a punishment of 10 years of compulsory labour.

The programme of this movement contains a racist definition of a Russian – “Russian is a person, at least one parent of whom is an ethnic Russian and a second parent – belongs to a European nation, but is perceived by others and considers himself as Russian. Children of mixed marriages with non-European elements can be considered Russians under a defined quota and after a positive assessment of a special commission”. To provide for “national justice”, it was proposed to introduce a national-proportional representation at all levels of the government. In areas where Muslims are a religious minority, it was proposed to introduce a monatorium on the construction of new minarets and mosques.

The National Democratic Party proposes a “zero-tolerance policy towards the natives from problematic territories in terms of crime rate” – i.e. immigrants from Caucasus and Central Asia – thus introducing a presumption of guilt. They also advocated for lower subsidies to the republics of North Caucasus and bringing back the Stavropol Region and the Southern Federal District. A notable place in NDP’s programme is given to migrantophobia. The party proposes to introduce a special tax for employing immigrants, which changes depending on the industry and immigrant’s qualifications. Support for national cultures NDP intends to link with the amount of tax on personal income paid by members of this nation and who clearly indicate their wish to support their respective languages. Thus, members of poor nations will be in diminished positions.

New Force” also proposes combating “excess and uncontrolled labour immigration from the CIS” as a measure to tackle unemployment in Russia. “New Force” proposes a visa regime with the “drug-producing and drug-trafficking states” (apparently referring to Caucasus and Central Asia) and restricting the money transfers abroad. They also plan to check all people who became Russian citizens since 2000.

National Socialist Initiative, in its “Racial Doctrine”, posits the inequality of races, assigning the white race a “special creative spirit”, which others are deprived of. “Racial idea is a supreme idea of the National Socialism”, their doctrine states.

The Black Hundred” (“Chernaya Sotnya”), advocates for “introducing articles to the Criminal Code that prescribe severe punishment for homosexuality,” as well as for “membership in masonic lodges, secret and satanic societies”, desecration of national and religious values and restricting the non-traditional religious organisations.

The cooperation between Russian nationalists and liberals continued in 2014, as part of the non-systemic opposition. In January, they jointly protested against the construction of a new hotel in Novokosino.

On February 15-18, 2014, 10 former members of the Opposition Coordinating Council signed the appeal in protection of a nationalist and their colleague N. Bondarik, who was arrested in October 2013. The signatories included not only nationalists (K.Krylov, V.Kralin, I.Konstantinov, I.Artemov, A.Palchaev) but also liberals (S.Davidis, E.Chirikova, G.Kasparov, A.Piontkovski, A.Illarionov).

Crisis in Ukraine has introduced some tensions in this relationship due to opposition and nationalists having different views on the events. In Saratov, a Russian March against the war in Ukraine was jointly organised by nationalists from RONS and liberals from RPR – Parnas and the Civil Platform.

On the other hand, xenophobia has not yet been converted into support for xenophobic politicians. Novosibirsk mayoral candidate Yevgeny Loginov actively used xenophobic rhetoric in his election campaign, but only gained 3.35% of votes.

Therefore, the influence of nationalist forces on the civil society can be considered limited in 2014. People in Russia generally consider nationalists as a destabilising factor, understanding that their rise to power would bring unwanted changes.

Nationalists are not represented in Russian parliament and do not have any significant influence over the government policy. However, there is a definite demand for nationalism in the society. At the federal level, nationalist influence is manifested through extreme right-wing statements made by certain government officials, such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky or Alexei Navalny. For example, in February the latter published an anti-Semitic joke on Facebook, proposing to chant “Medvedev goes to synagogue – spring goes, give spring a way” at an oppositional rally. The slogan was later replaced with the words, “Here used to be an unfunny joke about a synagogue”.

Sometimes, extreme right influence is reflected in the daily life of citizens, when Russians do not even realise that their actions are racist, for example. On March 4, 2014, Edlves corporation, trading in cleaning products, placed a billboard in Samara mocking President Barrack Obama’s race.

Radical Islamists are becoming more active in the country, particularly members of the so-called Islamic State. On March 23, Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus, Sergey Melikov, said that radical and extremist organisations are known to recruit local students to their ranks Nationalists are present in some local governments, but in small quantities. Thus, their influence over these bodies is limited.

It is worth noting government’s support for the Russian International Conservative Forum in St. Petersburg, organised by the Rodina party (Deputy Prime Minister D. Rogozin is its informal patron). Party’s press release said that the forum will aim to facilitate cooperation between national conservative forces in Europe and Russia. The event, held on March 22 in Holiday Inn, was attended by several infamous figures, including leaders of xenophobic and anti-Semitic parties such as R. Fiore (Italy), Nick Griffin (UK), U. Voigt (Germany).

However, a media storm around the Forum discouraged officials from attending the event (Rodina party was represented there by a member of its political council, F. Biryukov)/

The largest nationalist public action in the first half of 2015 was the so-called“Russian May Day”. However, this year’s “May Day” demonstrated the reducing popularity of nationalists due to their disagreements on the “Ukrainian issue”. Actions were held in only seven cities, most gathering only several dozen people. Events in Moscow and St. Petersburg gathered no more than 200 people, which can be considered a failure Other public actions were no more successful, except for the January “anti-cartoon” (Charlie Hebdo) demonstrations held in North Caucasus republic, which were directly supported by local governments.

On January 19, 2015 a large “anti-cartoon” march was held in Grozny, gathering approximately a million people holding banners that read: “No Charlie Hebdo”, “Hand’s Off Prophet Muhammad”, etc. Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov spoke at the rally and spoke against insults to religious feelings On January 23, a similar demonstration gathered around 20 000 people in Makhachkala.

The most ambitions both in scope and in number of participants were events included in the nationalist calendar, such as the “Russian march” on November 4, “Russian May Day” and “Day of Heroes” in late February – early March. However, in 2014 these actions gathered significantly less people that usual. Russian nationalists were more likely focused on events in Ukraine, which also introduced a lot of controversy between them.

"Russian March" – a mass public action of Russian nationalists held on November 4. However, the number of participants was significantly lower in 2014, which can be explained by disagreements among the nationalists regarding the events in Ukraine. In Moscow, the march was traditionally held in Lyublino where it gathered no more than 2 thousand people – significantly less than in previous years. The participants were both supporters and opponents of the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian issue was not avoided as a result. While the first column of marchers walked under the slogan “For Russian Unity”, the rear of the procession was split into supporters of Novorossiya and supporters of the Kiev government. Young people in the so-called “irreconcilable column” chanted, “DNR – burn in hell!” They marched behind a banner reading, “Russians against the war with Ukraine”.

There were also more traditional slogans, such as “Russians go”, “Moscow for Moscovites”, “Migrants – extra mouths, people can live without them”, and “Abolish 282”. The latter refers to Article 282 of the Criminal Code that deals with incitement to interethnic and religious enmity. National Socialists chanted “Beat a Jew – Save Russia” and bore a banner, “Thank grandfather for his attempt”. The latter implies glorification of pro-Nazi collaborationists. Another participant of the Russian March held a poster saying, “Putinoids are realising Zionist plans by provoking carnage between Russian and Ukrainian nations”.

Around 500 to 2000 people took part in an alternative, “Russian March for Novorossiya”.

Andrey Savelyev, chair of the unofficial "Great Russia" party said at the rally, “Our enemies are doing everything to shatter our unity. We are for Novorossiya and against the junta of Kremlin and Kiev! We need Russian power here and there.”

“Glory to the nation, down with the oligarchy,” he added. Before that, Savelyev trampled on a poster depicting opposition members and human rights activists – Olga Romanova, Artemy Troitsky, Lev Ponomarev, Dmitry Bykov, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, Altfred Kokh, Alexandr Podrabinek, and Tatyana Tolstaya This march was held under the slogans: “We got Crimea, we will get Donbass”, “Shame on Makarevich”. A letter by a convicted nationalist extremist V. Kvachkov about the “Jewish-Bandera revolution in Ukraine” was read at the rally.

A "Patriotic March" was held in St. Petersburg under slogans supporting Novorossiya – “Russians go!” and “Glory to Russia!” The procession gathered around 1000 people, led by deputy V. Milonov, known for his homophobic initiatives, and leader of the neo-Pagans V. Golyakov. Another right-wing Russian march of white supremacists and national-socialists gathered around 60 people.

Similar marches were held in Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Ulyanovsk (in these cities there were two kinds of marches – pro-Ukraine and pro-Novorossiya), Barnaul, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kirov, Nizhnevartovsk (where the march was held on November 16), Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Samara, Sevastopol, Syktyvkar, Tver, Tula and Khabarovsk. The largest marches were held in Novosibirsk, Perm and Tula (350-400 people). In Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod and Tver nationalists managed to attract 100-200 people. In other cities, the number of march participants was in the dozens The march in Chelyabinsk was prohibited by local authorities.

To summarise, Russian March was held in 24 cities, which is significantly less than in 2013 (70 cities and towns). The number of participants also decreased.

On March 1, “Day of Heroes” was held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Perm, Ryazan, Khabarovsk and Khimki. The event is dedicated to Pskov troops who fell in Chechnya in 2000. However, unlike previous events, this year’s commemorative ceremonies were limited to flower laying ceremonies.

On May 1, Russian March of Labour took place in 20 cities. This was nationalists’ attempt to make May 1st their own holiday, like they did with November 4th marches. However, events did not have a significant turnout.

On June 8, Global March on Jerusalem was held in Moscow, gathering no more than 100 people of Arab descent.

On July 17, anarchists held their traditional rally on Suvorov Square in Moscow, dedicated to the anniversary of Nikolai II murder.

On October 8, Cossacks took to the streets of Sergiev Posad, in a procession accompanied by Nazi salutes. Cossack Ataman P. Turukhin said, “Brothers and sisters, 25 years ago we raised our banners against the Jew-Bolshevik tyranny of corruption! But it is not over yet. Campaign against the Russian nation continues”. “Jewish corruption” was also the subject of another speech at the rally. Resolutions were adopted under Nazi salutes.

According to Levada Centre polls, the LDPR's rating in 2015 ranged from 5-7% (or 7-10% of those who reported their decision to vote), the ratings of the Rodina Party, known for its harsh nationalism in the mid-2000s - within 1%. In comparison with 2014, these figures remained unchanged. On the far left wing of the political spectrum, there are no large organisations of note.

There have not been any surveys on the popularity of radical Islamist organisations. The only indirect indicator on this topic is the poll conducted by the Levada Centre in June 2015 on the wearing of hijabs in schools. This measure was unconditionally approved by 5%, and another 13% supported with certain reservations. But, since the survey was conducted across the country, these figures refer not only to Muslims, but also to non-Muslims, who believe that Muslim women should wear headscarves. In addition, the conviction that Muslim women should walk in hijabs speaks rather about the respondent's religiosity, and not about their radicalism.

Factually, the mass nationalist movement in Russia, through the efforts of law enforcement agencies, was already defeated in the mid-2010s - the main organizations were banned, the leaders were imprisoned or fled abroad. On top of that, the events in Ukraine created a split between pro-government and pro-Ukrainian groups. One of the surviving "old" organizations, the Russian Imperial Movement, unexpectedly gained international notoriety in 2020 by being listed as a terrorist organization by the Trump administration.

Together, this has led to a dramatic drop in the number of mass events that were once a "show of strength" for nationalists. Of the "alternative calendar" that they built in the 2000s-2010s, only the "Russian March" on 4 November remained relatively mass-oriented, but even that event split into several marches in Moscow (sometimes up to four), whose numbers also fell sharply - to 100-200 people (the exception was one "march" in 2019, which drew 800 people, but probably that was because of the presence of leftist activists there), and in the provinces, it was increasingly limited to displaying banners and handing out leaflets.

That void is currently being filled by the Two Heads Eagle (renamed Tsargrad on November 22, 2020). In the manifesto of the society, the list of "Great victories of Russian arms" significantly begins with the victory over the Khazar Kaganate in the 10th century, which many nationalists see as "overthrow of the Jewish yoke," and as one of its main objectives, it sets "the reunification of the Russian people", that is, the incorporation of the territories of neighboring countries, where live (or should live, according to the authors of the manifesto) Russians. "Tsargrad" claims to "unite ... all the healthy forces of Russian society, ready not only in word but also in deed to oppose any revolutionary unrest in defense of peace and order in Russia. There are also other traditional nationalist statements too, about "fighting Russophobia in all its manifestations" and "protecting the domestic labor market from the influx of low-skilled workers from the Central Asian republics and Transcaucasus," with a clear failure to understand that given the current low wages, the local population simply isn't interested in the jobs taken by migrants. At the same time, the society is trying to extend its genealogy to the pre-revolutionary Black Hundreds, clearly stating that it "is a continuator of the ideas and traditions of the Union of Russian People".

The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky (died 2022), also flirts with nationalism and has its own faction in the State Duma and governorship posts in two regions. In 2018-2019, the LDPR held "International Congresses of Peaceful Forces" in Moscow, in the State Duma building, attended by far-right political organizations from different countries. In October 2019, the LDPR invited a delegation from the far-right party Britain First to Moscow . Other new organizations that have become prominent include the group Men's State, which emerged in the social network Vkontakte in 2016 and professes the so-called national patriarchy (nationalism with a strong admixture of male chauvinism). In 2020, the group's supporters went from Internet threats to actual attacks.

In 2018 and 2019, a community was discovered on the social networking site VKontakte that held a "Miss Hitler" beauty contest. Girls were invited to send in their photos describing why they "love and honor Adolf Hitler's Third Reich." We can also note the admission of nationalists to the public actions of the liberal opposition - the annual march in memory of Boris Nemtsov, the action of A. Navalny "He is not our king" in 2018, the protests against the non-admission of opposition candidates to the Moscow City Duma elections in 2019, etc.

We can note the old trend of some nationalists and leftists working together. This is primarily the work of the Standing Conference of National-Patriotic Forces of Russia (SPSR) coalition, which supported CPRF presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin in 2017. In addition to the CPRF, nationalists at the local level began cooperating with left-wing radical organizations Left Front and ROT-Front, participating in their rallies as well. Although such participation by nationalists is small in number, it poses a significant danger, accustoming the leftist and liberal opposition, respectively, to the "normality" of the far-right. On the other hand, we can note that part of the opposition is ready to ally with the nationalists for the sake of fighting the authorities. Such indiscriminateness has already resulted in the fact that during the "Smart Voting" campaign, organized by A. Navalny in September 2020 in Novosibirsk, a well-known local nationalist, Rostislav Antonov, who won the election as a member of the City Council, was among those recommended to vote for . The call to vote for Antonov sparked protests among the liberal opposition.

Radical Islamists are quite widely represented in Russia. The main organizations are Hizb ut-Tahrir and Tablighi Jamaat. Less popular are "Takfir wa-al-hijra" and "Nurjular. There are also adherents of the "Islamic State" in Russia. In 2018, 62 Islamists were convicted of extremist activity, 78 in 2019, and 34 in the first 11 months of 2020.

The number of convictions for extremist activity in 2018 was 62.

A large proportion of those convicted are adherents of Hizb ut-Tahrir (22 people in 2018, 38 people in 2019, 27 people in 2020). The party, founded in 1953 in East Jerusalem, is banned in most Arab and a number of Muslim countries, as well as in Germany, for anti-Semitism. Its officially declared goals are "total liberation from the domination of infidels, who now dominate every corner of the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir researchers E. Karazianis and K. McCauley note that the organization's actual position on the question of permissible means of struggle is not as unambiguous, and describe the situation as follows: "On the one hand we can say that they have been committed for 50 years to nonviolent methods of struggle. On the other hand, you could say that they have been waiting half a century for the right moment to launch such a struggle.

Otherwise, unlike the same IS, the party does not currently practice terrorist methods, so by recognizing it as a terrorist organization rather than extremist, the Russian authorities have automatically provided its activists with harsher sentences than their "colleagues" from other Islamist organizations, who receive not very long prison terms or even suspended sentences for the same thing, seem to be mistaken.

The second most popular (judging by the number of convictions) is the movement Tablighi Jamaat (21, 17 and 6, respectively, were convicted). In 2009, when it was prohibited by the Supreme Court, it was noted that "the activities of structural subdivisions of DT 'threaten inter-ethnic and inter-confessional stability in Russian society and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. In addition, it was noted that the version of Islam preached by DT is close to jihadist and, therefore, the movement has often been a "gateway" for a number of future terrorists.

With regard to the influence of radical Islamists on the situation in the country, on the one hand, the rallies they gather are few. For example, no more than 20 people showed up at a meeting to protest the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the Shali Elo magazine. But this was largely due to a fear of being "exposed" to the security services. On the other hand, it can be recalled that several thousand people (some reports say 5,000) from Russia have gone to help IS. Moreover, the Islamic support card is being actively played by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who actively supports the Islamization of his subordinated territories. In early December, he shocked France when the Chechen State Television and Radio Company he controls published a report praising Anzorov, the killer of a French teacher, as a result of which Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov had to point out specifically that the killing could not be justified.

The first Islamist attack in Tatarstan after a number of years of silence was an alarming signal. On October 30, 2020, an Islamist teenager armed with a knife attacked an Interior Ministry station in Kukmor, Tatarstan, but was shot and killed by police officers. He called the police officers "infidels" and shouted "Allahu akbar!" as he attacked them. One of the policemen was wounded.

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