Sunday, February 10, 2013

Window on Eurasia: Civil Suit Seeks to Have a Siberian Regionalist Group Declared Extremist

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 10 – A resident of Orenburg has brought a suit against the Siberian Power Union, seeking to have it declared “extremist,” and thus subject to banning, an action that members of that group is simply a way for the Russian authorities to continue their persecution of their organization.

            On Thursday, Aleksandr Budnikov, the founder of the Siberian Power Union (“Sibirsky Derezhny Soyuz”), was notified that this suit had been lodged against him and his group for distribution of extremist materials on the Internet challenging the current structure of the Russian Federation. The first court date will be February 18  (

            At its founding conference in Novosibirsk on March 23, 2012, the SDS as its leaders typically refer to it announced that the group has three goals: “liberation from the political, ideological and economic diktat of Moscow,” establishment of a Siberian Power as an independent subject of international law, and “the formation of a Union of [Ethnic] Russian Lands” (

            During the conference, Budnikov and his colleagues discussed “the procedure for recalling” their representatives to the government of the Russian Federation and transferring their authority to the Supreme Council of the SDS which,”according to legal norms,” would thus “come out from under the jurisdiction” of the Russian Federation.”

            Budnikov in his speech to the delegates last yeaer noted that “all who take part in the activity of the movement must be repared for pressure and for being called separatists by the existing regie since any regional initiatives except those that are pro-Kremlin will be persecuted and suppressed.

            That was certainly the case of the pre-existing regional organizations from which the SDS sprung, including the Slavic Militant Brotherhood ( And Budnikov noted that four criminal charges had been brought against him for his activities up to that time, three of which he said had been dismissed while one remained open.

            At present, the SDS appears to have fewer than 25 members, and it has attracted attention only for its efforts to build a “capital” city in the Altay to serve as “a center to unite representatives of many confessions and religious doctrines free from dogmas and ideological barriers” and to issue special Siberian currency (

            Like many such groups at the margins in the Russian Federation, the SDS maintains a website -- – and regularly posts clips on Youtube and other social sites. It is thus less important as a movement than it is as an expression if in extreme form of how some Russians in Siberia may feel and as a measure of the paranoia some in the Russian regime feel.

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