Russia for Russians?

Vladimir Ruvinsky, Russia Beyond the Headlines, November 10, 2011

“Give Russia back to the Russians,” “Stop Feeding the Caucasus,” “Freedom, Nation, Order”–these were the slogans chanted by approximately 7,000 nationalists at a rally called the Russian March, which took place on the bleak outskirts of Moscow on Nov. 4, the day Russia officially celebrates National Unity Day.

Young people clearly prone to violence against non-Russians still form the core of the Russian March, which took place for the seventh time. But this year, the rally was also attended by many respectable-looking, middle-aged nationalists who identify as moderates.

The march itself was far from unified, though. The nationalists split into columns: skinheads in masks, Orthodox fundamentalists, typical retirees carrying icons of Christian saints, and perfectly ordinary-looking parents with children. Bringing up the rear of the procession was a group of Nazis carrying an SS Division Totenkopf flag. The march participants also had a variety of slogans, from traditional anti-Caucasian chants and anti-Semitic tunes to slogans against the ruling United Russia party and Muslims. The SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, which specializes in monitoring xenophobia in Russia, reported that the participants shouted slogans inciting ethnic hatred, which is a punishable offense, but the police did not respond.

Nationalism in Russia: The Origins

Sociologist Lev Gudkov, director of the Levada Center polling agency, believes that as many as 60 percent of Russians support the nationalist slogan, “Russia for the Russians,” while about 50 percent of Moscow residents support limiting the flow of migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia to the city. “The problem is not even the spread of xenophobic sentiment from the lower classes to the general public, but the fact that social resistance to xenophobia is weakening,” Gudkov said.

Experts cite a few reasons for this trend. First, many people are disillusioned with the authorities, said Igor Bunin, head of the think tank Center for Political Technologies. A good example of this is the December 2010 rally by soccer fans in Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square during which tens of thousands gathered with nationalist slogans to demand an investigation into the murder of a fellow fan by immigrants from the Caucasus.

“It was the first time that nationalism was combined with a social protest. It was a reaction to a sense of injustice, the failure of the judicial system, and the lack of legal forms of influencing authorities,” Lev Gudkov said.

The second reason is the authorities’ inconsistent migration policy. On one hand, the administration welcomes inflows of migrants from poor regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia in light of Russia’s population decline and labor shortages. But on the other hand, these migration processes are often unmanageable and corrupt.

Human rights activists are sure that the roots of Russia’s radical nationalism lie in the wars in Chechnya. Before 1994, Russians were treated with respect in the Chechen capital of Grozny, but later this was not the case. The second Chechen campaign broke out in the wake of a spate of Russian nationalism that saw Chechens treated like enemies. The increasing hostility and hatred brought about the so-called moral crisis,” said human rights activist Svetlana Ganushkina.

Another reason for the increase in nationalism, according to Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Moscow Center, stems from Russia’s search for a national identity. In the late 1980s, as the Soviet Union began to break apart, republics gained independence through national liberation movements. Because the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic was the dominant part of the Soviet Union, the Russians had no one to liberate themselves from. Besides, nationalism would be difficult in Russia, which has 140 ethnic groups, Petrov pointed out. “Each ethnic group in Russia has its own historic territory; therefore, nationalism would mean the disintegration of the country.”

Russian Identity

Sociologists argue that a typical nationalist perceives himself in opposition to other ethnic groups, so one of the main questions in the Russian nationalist community is: “What is a Russian?” Some who consider themselves Russian nationalists are trying to gain footing through concepts that go beyond racism.

“The Russians are a people, who, irrespective of their ethnicity, construct their self-awareness on the tradition of a thousand years of Russian statehood, on belonging to the Russian culture and speaking the Russian language,” said historian Yury Krupnov. This interpretation is supported by the state.

Distinct from Europe

All nationalist movements are officially illegal in Russia. “I am certain that more or less any large nationalist organization, if allowed to develop legally, would have leaders who would ultimately evolve to be no more radical than any right-wing European politicians,” said Alexei Navalny, a prominent anti-Kremlin activist, who attended the Russian March.

Others are not so sure. “Europe has institutions and public movements that officially oppose this; there is heated public debate, which to a large extent alleviates the aggressive nature of nationalism. Russia has none of that,” said Lev Gudkov.

Furthermore, European nationalism is aimed at restricting the inflow of immigrants. “In London, Lisbon, and Paris no one is saying that new migrants should be expelled,” Gudkov added, whereas according to Levada Center data, up to 40 percent of Muscovites are in favor of the forced expulsion of foreigners from the city.

Gudkov believes the rally in Manezhnaya Square last December showed the ruling party “the significant threat nationalism poses,” which is why the authorities have tried to control the nationalist sentiment in Russian society. “The authorities try to absorb these sentiments, as happened at the social protest, rather than fight them by tackling underlying problems,” the sociologist concludes. Nikolai Petrov is certain their efforts are ineffective because problems either continue or are aggravated. “They should be broadly discussed in public,” Petrov said.

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  • Anonymous

    None of this makes any sense to the typical American liberal who equates “nationalism” with “hate”. There is alot of hate involved because there is a lot of injustice involved, including a list of victims that ranges from the tens of millions (adults killed) to the hundreds of millions (if you start counting the abortions).

    But that is not what makes nationalism powerful. Pull up any Youtube clips of Hitler and footage of the Nazis. Notice the crowds of people and their behavior. There is no hate in those faces, only love and adoration.

    Hate can make people do terrible things. But love will make people do anything. An important distinction.

    Nationalism won’t be much of anything in Eastern europe until love of each other, nation, kith, kind and kindred, manifests….then it will quickly steamroller over all Eastern Europe then Western Europe.

    White people are concerned about Islam. But it is a selfish concern born out of a desire to protect their own and screw everyone else. When that changes, however…..

  • Question Diversity

    Russia for Russians?

    That there is a question mark at the end of this statement speaks volumes. “Russia for Russians” ought to be self-evident, without even saying it, much less defending it, much less opposing it, much less implying that there’s another option, much less trying to explain it away.

    Russia for Russians? Oxygen for living beings on Earth? Water for fish?

  • ATBOTL

    “Before 1994, Russians were treated with respect in the Chechen capital of Grozny, but later this was not the case. The second Chechen campaign broke out in the wake of a spate of Russian nationalism that saw Chechens treated like enemies. The increasing hostility and hatred brought about the so-called moral crisis,” said human rights activist Svetlana Ganushkina.”

    This is an outrageous pack of lies. Russians and other minorities were being robbed, raped, kidnapped and killed at a genocidal rate in Chechnya during the early 90’s. This is very well documented and I’ve never heard anyone other than this woman claim otherwise. The attacks against non-Chechens were one of the main reasons that Moscow sought to reassert control over Chechnya after letting it run it’s own affairs for several years.

    The second war was started after de facto independent Chechnya perpetrated several mass civilian casualty terrorist attacks against Russia and then invaded Russian territory.

  • rjf101

    “The Russians are a people, who, irrespective of their ethnicity, construct their self-awareness on the tradition of a thousand years of Russian statehood, on belonging to the Russian culture and speaking the Russian language,” said historian Yury Krupnov. This interpretation is supported by the state.

    I thought most non-ethnic Russian didn’t speak Russian as a first language and aren’t really part of Russian culture? That’s the way things have historically been in Russia.

    Furthermore, European nationalism is aimed at restricting the inflow of immigrants. “In London, Lisbon, and Paris no one is saying that new migrants should be expelled,” Gudkov added…

    I’m pretty sure there are a lot of European nationalists who DO want to expel at least some foreigners. The BNP, for example, advocates expulsion of non-natives who commit crimes (I think, can’t remember for sure).

  • white is right, black is whack

    The white Russians (as well as other whites in Europe and everywhere) need to start having larger families while they’re at it. It’s great they are waking up and willing to fight, but now they need more whites to ensure their future of their nations.

  • Deniz

    Russia for Russians? Oxygen for living beings on Earth? Water for fish?

    ___

    I said it many times but Russia is NOT ONLY for Russians, maybe European Russia but not the vast territories in Siberia or Central Asia. Neither culturally, nor historically.

    The Caucasus are for Caucasians and Central Asia for Central Asians. They are now reaping what they sow, imperialistic behavior yielded many non-Russian ethnicities who are in fact not immigrants but the indigenous ones to the soil…

    Russians would continue to remain as hypocrites and their movement will never succeed unless they stop their imperial politics, particularly in the Caucasus.

  • Anonymous

    “In London, Lisbon, and Paris no one is saying that new migrants should be expelled,” Gudkov added

    There most certainly ARE people in Britain, Portugal and France saying this — you just haven’t heard about it over in Russia yet because these Nationalist voices from Western Europe are suppressed, vilified, persecuted, and stamped “Not For Export” by the liberal-totalitarian elites of these countries.

  • Jack in Chicago

    How come Pat Buchanan couldn’t take a pro Russian, pro Western civilization position back in the 1980s when he was in power, working for Ronald Reagan when these idiot old Conservatives were wasted the 80s fighting the Russians, the Evil Empire.

    Buchanan and Reagan conservatives gave US high tech Stinger missiles to the Afghanistan Muslim Jihadists to yes….

    FIGHT THE RUSSIANS!

    Only now these same, dark, hairy, 8th century Muslim bandits are fighting US troops in Afghanistan – they can’t tell the difference between White Russians/Soviets and White American soldiers.

  • Netzach

    #7,

    “There most certainly ARE people in Britain, Portugal and France saying this — you just haven’t heard about it over in Russia yet because these Nationalist voices from Western Europe are suppressed, vilified, persecuted, and stamped “Not For Export” by the liberal-totalitarian elites of these countries.”

    There are some people saying such things, but no real parties. There are plenty of big organizations saying “enough is enough” to immigration, demanding expelling of criminals and asking for programs giving cash to people migrating back to their homelands. This may change. The economic crisis is shuffling the deck in unimaginable ways. Right now, though, the people saying such things are mostly crazy extremists with no hope of having their demands heard.

  • Anonymous

    Europeans across the world are awakening to this disaster! No other time in history since the Muslim and Hun invasions of Europe have we ever been as endangered as a race. Whether they are Danish or French, Australian or American, we are waking. As traditional white majorities become minorities within their own countries a sense of European racial identity is emerging. The Russians are probably just the beginning of a movement across the Western world. Many whites will never recover, but those who waken will be the creators of a new world for our children.

  • RegvlvsSeradly

    I still REALLY do not get the tendency towards explicitly Nazi imagery in Russia. Did communism cause a creativity shortage in the Russian nation?

    ““The Russians are a people, who, irrespective of their ethnicity, construct their self-awareness on the tradition of a thousand years of Russian statehood, on belonging to the Russian culture and speaking the Russian language,” said historian Yury Krupnov. This interpretation is supported by the state.”

    Oh bollocks, “irrespective of their ethnicity”. Did this Krupnov say this in English, or did he say this in Russian? I do not want to condemn him out of hand, if the translator is at fault.

    In that language, there are two terms that translate as “Russian”. “Russkiye” is the term referring to ethnic Russians, regardless of birthplace, citizenship, or residence. “Rossiyánin” is that which refers to citizens of the Russian Federation of any ethnicity. A Rossiyánin can be a Russkiye, but not all are. And not all Russkiye are Rossiyánin, as an ethic Russian is not necessarily a citizen of the Russian Federation.

    And ethnic Russian an Eastern Slav: put most simply, a Russian is an Eastern Slav who is not ethnic Ukrainian or ethnic Belorussian.

    The situation is similar to that in China. In everyday English, speaking of the “Chinese” is in reference to the majority, dominant, Sinophone ethnic group: the Han. However, there are 50+ other ethnic groups native to China, and all of these groups are considered part of “Chinese” nation and civilization.

  • Pandemonium

    If memory serves, I think Putin did establish October as “make a new Russian” month. He did it, obviously, to encourage the growth of the White population in Russia which means that he is well aware of the demographics extant.

    That is encouraging. That Putin is doing this does not necessarily mean that he has broken with the “destroy the White race crowd”, but it’s encouraging nevertheless.

  • RegvlvsSeradly

    4 — rjf101 wrote at 9:13 PM on November 11:

    “I thought most non-ethnic Russian didn’t speak Russian as a first language and aren’t really part of Russian culture? That’s the way things have historically been in Russia. ”

    This goes back to my previous comment (#11), pointing out the difference between an ethnic Russian and a subject (citizen) of Russia.

    Russia is historically- and still functionally- an empire more than a nation-state. The present government of Russia is interested in maintaining Russia as an empire, which makes it useful to give a level of inclusion the the minority ethnic groups- if they are alienated from their overlords, they may rebel (and would almost certainly do so on ethnic lines).

    I would say that although the minority ethnic groups do not contribute as members of the ethnic culture of the Russians, they have a influence and contribution with the imperial culture. It is like how a Scotsman isn’t a participant English culture, he does to the super-ethnic “British” culture.

    The differences is, although we have different words to seperate “British” and “English”, for Russia the same English term is used both for the ethnic and the super-ethnic contexts.

    The real question for the Russian nationalists has to be, how can Russia be made “for Russians”? Through a separation from non-core territories? By kicking the out the non-Russians from the Federation, off land they are often indigenous to and sending them to some foolish place like America? Or perhaps with a new compromise, entailing true federalism that will give real autonomy to the actual Russian motherland and to the non-core areas: true autonomy that can include, even, limits on the free movement of labor.

    I agree with poster 6 — Deniz, who rightly states that the lands of the Russian Federation do not belong in their entirety to ethnic Russians.

    Of course, it does not follow to claim that the lands of the Russian Federation belong to all the people of the world, from Mexico’s Pacific Coast heading eastward to Indonesia and the Cook Islands, either. Those migrants are true outlanders can rightfully be expelled.

  • Anonymous

    There is only one problem here. If by any miracle these Russian Nationalists were to take power we are all dead. Especially if it is a full on anti-Semetic type leaders. With our present government there would be a nuclear war within 3-5 years.just keep that in mind. I believe the only way our dreams will come true is if it happens here in the good old USA first. The rest of White world would follow us within months. However the opposite, I do not believe is possible. The scenario I pointed to above would be a sure thing.

  • Dennis

    I live in Ukraine, but as many of us here, I have strong ties with Russia, and as far as I can see, Russian government is starting to realize the horror and abyss of the modern “tolerance” and “integration” policies, as illegal immigrants from Caucasian and Middle-Asian areas turn whole towns into places of street crime, racket, drug trafficking, not to mention uncontrolled spread of diseases

  • Anonymous

    #14 You are projecting the kind of militant american nationalism (like the ideas of “american exceptionalism” or the “shining city on the hill” that leads all other nations) that led to the present American Empire on other peoples nationalist movements.

    Modern nationalism in Europe and Russia is not powered by wishes for external conquest but by purely defensive political desires. Or put in simple terms – hordes of non white caucasian chaos darkies trash the local community, wealth generating industry is shipped abroad because of ideologically motivated reasons, the nations leadership is corrupt and sells out its independence to UN/EU/WTO for far less than 30 silver coins and much more.

    As far as I know russian nationalists want to abandon central asia to its fate and kick out the caucasians in Russia. I dont see any reason for them to start a nuclear war with USA. It would be like murdering a dying old man. Strategically it makes no sense. Hes gonna die anyway, its better to just wait for his ticker to give up.

  • Sardonicus

    Yes, I know that Russia has endemic corruption, abysmal crime, high rates of AIDS and alcoholism, declining demography and poverty, and yet, I remain optimistic about the future of Russia. Why? Because the Russian people are without the debilitating guilt and self-doubt we see in the West. Problems that we can’t even acknowledge in Western countries are discussed at the highest levels of government in Russia. Moreover, the Russians have a real sense of history and love for their country, which seems unfashionable in contemporary America and most of Western Europe.

  • Anonymous

    “Hate can make people do terrible things. But love will make people do anything.” Isn’t that the same thing, and wasn’t it Camus who said: “I know of one thing more dangerous than hate. Abstract love.” Russians are just as divided in outlook as any other country and these nationalists represent a minority view, even if it’s a large minority. They had their chance in the 1990s and all of them proved to be just as incompetent and corrupt as their liberal opponents, so it’s better to mind your own country than fantasize about what’s going on in other countries.

  • Preston Wiginton

    Poster #18 I have been to Russia many times. I have spoken at Russian March a few times. 68% of Russians agree Russian for Russians!!!. There are very many mainstream that are waking up to nationalism in Russia. I even have friends in universities over there that tell me their professors tell them that America represents everything that is wrong with the world..when they say this they are speaking of a multicultural society.

    Was Barkashov corrupt or did he just want to be Furher that kept Russia from having a BNP style of political party?

    I don’t fantasize. I have been there.

  • Anonymous

    #16 you have completely misunderstood my post. It is not the Russians that would start a war with us but US starting a war with them. And it would be within 3 years. Could imagine the Neocons, Liberals, the media watching pictures of Russians in control of the government openly praising Adolf Hitler. Many people in Washinghton right now are absolutely going insane over Iran. Could you imagine these same groups with Russia having the government I described in my post. Any White American who did move to a place where maybe they could ride the coming nuclear war out would be in denial. If it happens in Europe we will just use NATO like we did in Serbia.

  • Holditsky

    This is complicated. We feel like standing up and cheering whenever a white people stands up for itself… but that crowd (whether “Russian” or “Soviet”) has brought little more than trouble, misery and death on others — you know, sort of like the ameriKan and British empires?

    As soon as Putin started to look human (too bad nobody from Brezhnev to Yeltsin ever did) it was alleged that his goal was to get back to the good old days when Russia was the violent, rabid bear nobody would dare mess with. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s what many of these young Russkies dream of too.

    Chechnya? It’s one of Russia’s more recent and spectacular rape victims. OK, why should Chechnyans should regard Russians with brotherly love? This I’ve got to hear!

  • Anonymous

    #20 The general approach of USA/NATO when trying to destroy a nation protected by nuclear weapons is by subversion and sabotage, including the arming and financing of domestic terror groups (“freedom fighters”). Its not possible to openly challenge such states in conventional warfare. Just look at the little turd nation of North Korea and its antics. Besides, USA would not only have to nuke Russia, it would also have to nuke China, or the Chinese will inherit the scattered remains of the American Empire by virtue of being the only one left standing.

    Another angle is that a nuclear exchange between USA and Russia would eliminate not only those in the present American power structure that were too slow in reaching the shelters, it would also eliminate the structures on which their wealth and power is based. They would literally lose everything they own or control.

    These people haven’t reached their positions by taking personal risks with their lives or wealth. They are not going to start over from scratch in Neutron Flats (formerly known as New York). So, its going to be more CIA money funneled into Russian liberal political movements, more money funneled into central Asian jihadists, more money funneled into anti Russian propaganda and much more. CIA has a load of NGO front organizations it uses for these purposes. Here, read this back issue of TBRnews and educate yourself. http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2979.htm#001

  • Anonymous

    #22 as much I thank your invitation for educating myself. I have a counter proposal. The same people you claim are so cool and collected in our government are the same ones now literally screaming for a war vin Iran. Every person I have seen that knows is going on with the realnworld has said it will completely destroy the world economy within weeks. How about the Strait of Hormoz closed! That will give you 10-20 dollars at the pump. And instantly driving the world into a serious depression and for what? So ten or twenty Neocons can have their way? How about Iraq, no sane country would have spent three trillion for nothing. These neocon would have a 1000 times of the animosity towards a real White nationalist government in Russia. You are way overestimating the rationality of our present government. Maybe you will see my point in the next few months if these neocons get their way in Iran. Speaking of educating yourself try http://www.antiwar.com. I start every morning with AmRen first and then Antiwar.com.