Monday, October 9, 2023

Extreme Right Telegram Channels Say Kremlin Removing Crosses from Pictures and Symbols to ‘Appease’ Muslims But Others Say This is a Kremlin Game

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 6 – Telegram channels identified as being the mouthpieces of Russia’s extreme right say that the Kremlin is “deliberately removing Russian Orthodox crosses from images of Orthodox churches on posters, murals and other symbols” in order “to ‘appease’” Muslim immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

            Across Russia, these telegram channels report, officials are taking these actions which they say are highly offensive to Russian traditional values (e.g,, and and reflect a caving by the powers to Muslim demands ( and

            But Russian commentator Fyodor Krasheninnikov tells Novaya Gazeta that such an interpretation of what is going on is simply wrong. All these telegram channels are creatures of the state, and they are raising this hullaballoo to distract the population. Whe the state tells them to stop, they will (

            What is on view, he says, is “a game among pro-government telegram channels. Some pretend that there are many of them, but in reality there are none. Some are looking for crosses that have been removed; others are looking for something else. That is their job … Since they aren’t allowed to talk about big topics, they try to hype” lesser or nonexistent ones.

            Krasheninnikov says he doesn’t see “any kind of movement here, especially some deep and large one threatening the authorities. Why? Because the propagandists involved receive money from the authorities and as soon as their superiors tell them to stop, they will. That is all” that is going on.

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