Even Russian Nationalists Now Reject Slogan ‘Russia for the Russians,’ Demushkin Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 9, 2013) Dmitry Demushkin,, the leader of the “Russians” political movement, says that “even Russian nationalists do not support the slogan ‘Russia for the Russians’ because it has to be qualified in so many ways that it is useless as a mobilizing tool and dangerous it if is applied in a narrow sense.

“From the point of view of Russian nationalists,” Demushkin said at a meeting last week, “this slogan is incorrect because even for us there are an enormous number of qualifications. We begin with the fact that even the Russian nation includes Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians (nazaccent.ru/content/7634-demushkin-russkie-nacionalisty-ne-podderzhivayut-lozung.html).

Moreover, he continued, Russians nationalists have “always spoken out on behalf of and reflected the interests of the indigenous peoples of Russia who have taken part in the construction, defense and strengthening of Russia and who do not have beyond its borders their own national formations. These are the Mordvins, Komis, Tatars and the like.”

According to the Russian nationalist leader, “inter-ethnic tensions are the result of the resettlement within Russian of socially mal-adapted citizens. That is “a problem not of the Russians,” he said; “it is a problem for all.”

“Try to build an Uzbek village in Karachayevo-Cherkessia and you will right there get an inter-ethnic conflict as a result of the lack of correspondence of cultures, customs and traditions” between the Uzbeks, on the one hand, and the Karachays and Cherkess, on the other. Everything “does not need to be hung on the Russians.”

Demushkin concluded his remarks by saying that he “has Chechen friends, but that this absolutely does not prevent me from being a Russian nationalist.”

In reporting Demushkin’s argument, Nazaccent.ru underscored just how sensitive issues of inter-ethnic relations are for the Russian nationalist movement.  The Penza branch of Demushkin’s own “Russians” movement has decided to suspend its operations as a result of disagreements with the Moscow leader.

The Penza group was upset by a provision in Demushkin’s latest draft program. That document specifies that “A Russian can be considered someone at least one of whose parents is an ethnic Russian and whose second parent belong to one of the European peoples and who is viewed by those around him as a Russian and who considered himself such.”

Apparently, the Penza nationalists are also troubled by another provision that specifies that “the ruler of the Russian State and the Corps of Guardians of the National State must be the basic guarantors of the protections of the rights of Russians. The Ruler must be over 35 and must be an [ethnic] Russian by nationality.”

The Penza group wants the program to be revised and to include “a denunciation of fascism, racial discrimination and national chauvinism,” apparently in no small part because the head of the “Russians” movement in Penza is Ruslan Barmakov, a Tatar by nationality, and thus someone excluded by Demushkin from coming to power in “a future nationalist state.”

Article also appeared at: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-even-russian.html