Staunton, July 24 – In its new
report on “Xenophobia and Radical Nationalism” in Russia during the first six
months of 2015, the SOVA Analytic Center says that public actions and street actions,
including attacks on migrants and others by radical Russian nationalists are
“sharply down” as a result of intensified actions by the Russian authorities
But at the same time, the authors of
the report, Vera Alperovich and Natalya Yudina warn that the number of radical
Russian nationalist groups who are focusing on paramilitary training “grew
sharply” over this period, even though the authorities also focused on that
they point to a trend in which some of these radical Russian nationalist groups
are now working together with pro-government groups, something that could also
lead to a reduction in one kind of Russian nationalist activity but promote its
growth in other and perhaps more threatening ways.
SOVA analysts suggest that the authorities have “demonstrated to the opposition
nationalists new and harsher rules of the game” by arresting more of them,
charging them with more serious crimes, and sentencing many to far longer terms
of incarceration. That both removes from the scene some of the leaders and
discourages many of their followers.
the last six months, the analysts continue, Moscow has devoted particular
attention to restricting the activities of those Russian nationalists who
oppose the Kremlin’s policies in Ukraine; and many who had criticized those
policies have now fallen silent at least in public or become regime supporters.
to the report, preliminary figures show that four people died and 37 were
injured in attacks by Russian nationalist groups. “The figures are optimistic,”
Nataliya Yudina says, “but I would not become happy as a result.” She says that data about such attacks is now “catastrophically”
small, and the real numbers may be much worse.
and Yudina added that “the chaotic struggle against propaganda of hatred” had
not and will not on its own lead to “a reduction of aggressiveness” in Russian
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