Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Anti-Immigrant Attitudes among Russians Intensifying as the War in Ukraine Goes On, ‘Novyye Izvestiya’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 17 – In the past, hostility among Russians to immigrants and support for the idea of “Russia for the Russians” declined whenever Moscow became embroiled in a conflict beyond Russia’s borders. But the war in Ukraine as it lengthens is having a different consequence, a survey of the situation by Novyye Izvestiya says.

            The paper concludes that “the growth of nationalism is noted in the strengthening of nationalist organizations not only in Western Siberia” but across the country and that “it is growing step by step along with the special military operation” (

            This difference may reflect the fact that as the war continues and Russians feel they have little chance to affect the behavior of their own government, they may lash out at minorities who are less likely to be defended by the powers that be. If that is the case, then more nationalist outrages are likely in the coming months. 

            The independent newspaper reports on a recent protest in Tyumen by a group of young people who are seeking the expulsion of all non-Russians from the country, including what is most striking the Armenians, a group with whom Russians traditionally have had good relations. The police and the regional authorities did nothing in response.

            Polls show that the nationalists have a great deal of support among Tyumen residents, although many people there are  horrified. The paper notes that this trend is expanding throughout the country and gives as evidence the growth of an online group, the Russian Community.

            It currently has some 94,000 online followers and is active in Moscow oblast, St. Petersburg, Smolensk, Tver, Krasnodar kray, Ryazan, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok, and Khabarovsk kray. Those who marched in Tyumen were affiliated with it as well.


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