Fear and loathing in the Moscow suburbs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kislov – October 17, 2013) Daniil Kislov is a poet, journalist and essayist from Uzbekistan. He currently lives in Moscow. He is the main editor of the online news portal Fergana News. An ethnic Russian is killed at a Moscow street market, supposedly by a migrant from the Caucasus; the ensuing riot by nationalist extremists leaves one […]

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Presumption of innocence violated in Biryulyovo murder suspect’s case – Azeri Foreign Ministry

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Interfax – BAKU, October 17, 2013) Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Moscow has lodged a protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry over what it called violations of the rights of Azeri native Orkhan Zeynalov, who is suspected of killing ethnic Russian man Yegor Shcherbakov in the Biryulyovo district in southern Moscow. “The brutal detention and brutal treatment of Orkhan Zeynalov, whom they […]

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Ethnic Tensions Still High In Moscow In Wake Of Suspected Killer’s Arrest

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Claire Bigg and Arifa Kazimova – October 16, 2013) Footage detailing the heavy-handed arrest of an Azerbaijani native suspected of killing a Russian man in Moscow has escalated mounting ethnic tensions between the two nations. Russian police detained Orkhan Zeynalov on October 15 on suspicion of fatally stabbing a 25-year-old ethnic Russian man, Yegor Shcherbakov, in […]

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Regions join anti-immigrants riots in Biryulyovo aftermath

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – October 16, 2013) The conflict that started in the capital has spread to other major cities. In the Russian regions, people have started taking to the streets in support of residents of the Moscow district of Biryulovo, who staged riots in response to the murder of a young man […]

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Russia Again Caught Between Disintegration and Dictatorship, Editor Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 17, 2013) The Russian Federation finds itself in a Zugswang, a German term for a situation in which any move leads to a loss, according to the editor of “Kulturolog.” And in its case, the situation is especially dire because the country increasingly finds itself forced to choose between disintegration and […]

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Small Retailers Squeezed Out Of Moscow in Migrant Crackdown

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 17, 2013) Following a recent eruption of ethnically motivated street violence, Moscow’s migrant-populated food markets and warehouses continue to serve as the front line in an ongoing fight against illegal immigrants declared by mayor Sergei Sobyanin. The now notorious vegetable warehouse in Biryulyovo that became the site of violent riots Sunday […]

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Biryulyovo Killing Suspect Confesses, Investigators Say

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 17, 2013) The Azeri suspect in a deadly stabbing that triggered an anti-migrant riot in Moscow’s Biryulyovo district has confessed to the killing and requested an interpreter for his case, saying he “forgot Russian,” investigators said Wednesday. The news of the apparent language barrier further emphasizes the ethnic dimension of the […]

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Three Disturbing New Russian Legal Initiatives

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 16, 2013) The Kremlin’s moves against the principles of the Russian Constitution and basic human rights are currently coming at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up with its assault on what remains of democracy in that country. This week alone featured three initiatives that are particularly […]

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Russian government rhetoric worsens immigrants’ plight

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow) Moscow police rounded up and arrested more than 1,000 migrant workers at a vegetable warehouse on October 14, the day after rioters staged the most violent nationalist unrest in the Russian capital in three years, with more than 3,000 going on the rampage, smashing up a market, overturning and burning […]

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Ethnic Tensions in Moscow Spook the City’s Migrants

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Howard Amos, RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 16, 2013) Public prayers to mark the beginning of the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha were not as crowded as usual this year in Moscow. A violent nationalist rampage over the weekend has left the city’s migrant laborers, many of them from mainly Muslim former Soviet nations, feeling uneasy. Speaking outside the Cathedral […]

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Police Detain Suspect in Biryulyovo Killing

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 16, 2013) Police on Tuesday detained the suspect in a killing that provoked a wave of ethnically charged riots in Moscow’s Western Biryulyovo district on Sunday. The alleged murderer, Orkhan Zeinalov, 30, who came to Moscow more than 10 years ago from the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, was detained 100 […]

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RIA Novosti: No Need To Toughen Russian Immigration Law Despite Riots – Senior Official

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(RIA Novosti – October 14, 2013) Russia’s immigration laws do not need to be tightened, the country’s top migration official said on 14 October, in the wake of protests and rioting sparked off by the killing in Moscow of an ethnic Russian, allegedly by an immigrant from the Caucasus. Despite the unrest, Konstantin Romodanovskiy, head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service […]

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Russian Political Debate has Shifted from Liberals vs. Derzhavniki to Left vs. Right Nationalists, Pain Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 15, 2013) Nationalism is now at the center of Russian political discourse, that country’s leading specialist on ethnic conflicts says, and as a result, the core of Moscow’s political debate has shifted from one between liberals and derzhavniki to a very different one between left nationalists and right-of-center ones. Emil Pain, […]

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Alekseyeva backs police actions in Biryulyovo

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 14, 2013) Lyudmila Alekseyeva, the chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, said the police officers ‘ actions during riots in the Moscow district Western Biryulyovo were right. “In this case, what has occurred should be classified as hooliganism. It truly was hooliganism, and the law enforcement agencies should punish the perpetrators,” Alekseyeva told Interfax on Monday. […]

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Moscow – Riots and Working Class Antiheroes

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News – October 15, 2013) There is a kind of sad poetry to Moscow’s working class neighborhoods. The box-like Khrushchev-era buildings that seem like gigantic children’s toys rather than real housing, the hilariously poor grammar on thousands of tacked up advertisements, the cracked pavement, the whispering trees, and  the stars […]

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Biryulyovo Residents Warn of More Unrest

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 15, 2013) Surrounded by railroads, industrial estates and giant cooling towers from a local thermal plant, the Western Biryulyovo district where riots broke out Sunday oozes its own sense of disunion from the rest of Moscow ­ and residents say it has become a hostage to its own growing marginalization. “If […]

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Riot Called a Result of Growing Anti-Migrant Sentiment

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – October 15, 2013) In response to a violent race riot in southern Moscow over the weekend, federal and city authorities announced new measures to fight illegal immigration and detained about 1,200 migrants at a vegetable storage facility that had been attacked by rioters Sunday. With these actions, the government took a first […]

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Biryulevo Violence Only Latest Pogrom in Putin’s Moscow

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2013) The ethnic violence in Moscow’s Biryulevo district over the weekend is only the latest pogrom to have occurred in the Russian capital since Vladimir Putin became president, something that all those who are following this rapidly developing story need to keep in mind to comprehend what this latest clash. […]

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RIA Novosti: 1,200 Detained at Vegetable Warehouse Targeted in Anti-Migrant Riots

Kremlin and St. Basil's

[Video here http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131014/184131781/380-Held-Overnight-After-Anti-Migrant-Riot-in-Moscow-Suburb.html] (RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 14, 2013) ­ Russian police said Monday that 1,200 people had been detained at a vegetable warehouse in a Moscow suburb that was one of the main targets of anti-migrant rioters during a night of violent clashes in the area. Helicopters and over a thousand police officers were dispatched to Biryulyovo in […]

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Moscow Largely Powerless to Redirect Migration in Russia, Expert Says

Migrant Workers file photo

(Window on Europe – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 2, 2013) In the face of underlying economic and demographic trends, the central Russian government has almost no chance to redirect migration within the Russian Federation away from the major cities and toward the northern and eastern portions of the country, according to a new study by a leading Moscow demographer. […]

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95% Russian natives returning to Russia are from CIS countries – Federal Migration Service

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Over 18,000 applications of those wishing to move back to Russia within the framework of the state program to assist the voluntarily return of Russian natives from abroad were submitted in 2013. “Over 18,000 applications were taken this year. An analysis of the applications shows that the majority of (Russians) are of employable age. […]

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Russians Deeply Conflicted on Ethnic Issues, Poll Shows

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 19, 2013) Ethnic Russians often hold positions on ethnic issues that are at odds with one another, a reflection of the difficulties of tapping in to such sensitive questions and of real uncertainties among them about themselves, their nation and country, and about other groups. At the request of the Norwegian […]

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Russia shrugged: Searching for national identity

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – September 18, 2013) As the Russian government continues to search for a national identity unifying Russians, a recent study shows a society atomized along ethnic and economic lines. With so little holding a people together, the findings, sociologists say, challenge a long-held assumption that Russia is an inherently collectivist society. “We are […]

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EVENT & CALL FOR PAPERS: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> Subject: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 Call for Papers 19th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) International Affairs Building, Columbia University, NY Sponsored by the Harriman Institute 24-26 April 2014 www.nationalities.org ***Proposal deadline: 24 October 2013*** [Please note that the deadline is earlier than […]

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Russian citizens are not ready to live with people from central Asia in one country – VTsIOM

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Interfax – September 11, 2013) Less than 10 percent of Russian citizens are ready to accept people from Central Asia who have lived in Russia for a long time as equals, VTsIOM General Director Valery Fyodorov said. “Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kyrgyz – those who are in most cases called guest workers – only 8 percent of Russians agree to consider […]

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Russia Has Second Largest Number of Immigrants – UN Study

Migrant Workers file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 12, 2013) Russia hosts the world’s largest population of immigrants after the United States, according to a new UN study showing that the number of people living abroad across the globe has reached a record high. New figures released Wednesday by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in New York indicated that […]

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Increasingly Defined by Negation, Russian Nation Fraying at the Edges and Even at the Core

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 11, 2013) Their identity increasingly defined not by what they are or want to be but by what they fear and view as alien, Russians as a nation are fraying at the edges with some like the Siberians identifying in terms of a region, others like the Cossacks in terms of […]

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RIA Novosti – Sexual Orientation, Ethnicity Key for Russian National Identity – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Howard Amos – MOSCOW, September 11, 2013) ­ Besides drunks, who do Russians not want most as neighbors or work colleagues? The answer: homosexuals, according to new research examining national identity released by a state-run pollster, the Russia Public Opinion Research Center, on Tuesday. According to the survey, 51 percent of Russians would not like “under any […]

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From protests to pogroms

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Emil Pain – August 27, 2013) Emil Pain is a professor at the National Research University­Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and the General Director of the Center for Ethno-Political Studies. As the level of inter-ethnic violence reaches disturbing proportions, Emil Pain asks if Russia’s protest moment has turned nasty.   In the middle of 2012, Russia’s influential Centre […]

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About 1 Million Foreigners Registered in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 28, 2013) About one million foreigners are officially registered with the migration authorities in Moscow and 1.5 million in surrounding areas as of Tuesday, a senior migration official said. “We have a centralized database of foreign nationals. Today we have obtained the most recent figures: there is about a million of foreign nationals in Moscow […]

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About half of crimes in Moscow are committed by migrants – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – August 23, 2013) Half of crimes in Moscow are committed by migrants; in general, the situation with ethnic crime in the Russian capital remains tense; the head of the Moscow city’s central directorate of the Interior Ministry, Anatoliy Yakunin, told Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax on 23 August. “I’d like to say that 50 per cent of all […]

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Campaign Against Migrants Gains Momentum as Elections Loom

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 22, 2013) All illegal street markets will be closed in the Moscow region by the end of this year, acting Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov said Wednesday as the campaign against illegal immigrants amid two key elections was gaining momentum. During debates on regional television on Tuesday, Vorobyov boasted a 15 […]

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Russians Must Take Nationalism Away from the Nationalists, Writer Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 22, 2013) Like Americans, most Russians view nationalism in a negative way, according to a Russian Jewish émigré living in New York, but they will not  be able to integrate their society and escape from the Soviet past unless they take nationalism away from those who call themselves Russian nationalists and […]

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Why Russia fails in ethnic conflict resolution

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Patrick Sewell, special to RBTH – August 19, 2013) Flare-ups of nationalist conflict in July exposed the government as being either unable, or unwilling, to oppose a dangerous nationalist interpretation of Russian statehood with one based on civic identity. On July 8, 600 citizens in the southern town of Pugachev, angered by the […]

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Muscovites Somewhat More Xenophobic than Russians Elsewhere, Polls Show

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 14, 2013) Muscovites are more xenophobic than are Russians living elsewhere in the Russian Federation, a pattern that means that Sergey Sobyanin’s appeal to such attitudes may help him in his race for mayor of the Russian capital, according to the director of the SOVA Analytic Center. In an article in […]

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Putin’s Men Crack Down on Migrants as Moscow Mayor Race Heats Up

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Stepan Kravchenko – August 14, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened Moscow’s first detention camp for illegal immigrants as migrants become the main concern among voters preparing for the city’s first mayoral election since 2003. The tarpaulin tents for 600 people, surrounded by an eight-meter (26 feet) fence, signal the campaign for […]

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Movement Toward Catastrophe

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Tatiana Stanovaya – August 13, 2013) The issues of internal migration and relations between Russians and “newcomers” from the Russian southern regions have become major problems in the country. Political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya talks about whether the government has a strategy with regard to such issues. In July, an acute crisis broke out […]

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‘Migrant Camp’ Inspires New Facilities

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 6, 2013) The Federal Migration Service has drafted a bill to set up 83 new detention centers for illegal immigrants across the country as Moscow’s three holding facilities run out of space following a week of raids on city markets. Some 1,400 alleged illegal immigrants from Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Syria, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, […]

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Russia Looks East, Yet Again

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Dan Wisniewski – August 6, 2013) Moscow’s efforts to develop its eastern regions over the last couple of centuries could be encapsulated in the rallying cry “Go east, young Russians!” But perhaps nowadays that might be rephrased as “Go east, young Uzbeks,” according to EurasiaNet’s Evgeny Kuzmin. Kuzmin notes that more and more Central Asian migrants […]

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Russian nationalism: tip of the iceberg

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – August 5, 2013) Every few years, the specter of Russian nationalism rears its head, sending people who think they understand a thing or two about this country screaming in horror in all directions. The reason, I think, is that in Western democracies, “nationalism” is understood as a chauvinistic sense of supremacy that […]

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Federal strategy on ethnic conflict resolution emerges

Migrant Workers file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Arina Obrazkova, RBTH – July 25, 2013) The document emphasizes various preventive measures, as well as cultural and educational events. The government of Russia has developed a special, 82-point plan to deal with inter-ethnic conflicts. Among the proposals put forth by ministers are: the funding of nonprofit organizations involved in the integration of […]

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Influx of ‘Other Ethnicities’ Likeliest of Russia’s ‘Security Threats’ – Poll

Migrant Workers file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 22, 2013) ­ More than one in three Russians think the influx of people of “other ethnicities” is a very likely threat to national security, more so than terrorism or environmental disasters, according to a poll published Monday. Such an influx was cited as a “very real” threat by 35 percent of those surveyed by […]

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Defending the Indefensible

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Grigory Tumanov – July 11, 2013) Grigory Tumanov is a Moscow based journalist and blogger. He is a staff correspondent for Kommersant daily, one of Russia’s most respected publications. Favourite lawyer of the Russian far right, Dmitry Bakharyev is developing a network of ‘sports’ clubs for like-minded nationalists ­ teaching knife, rather than ball, skills. He hopes the […]

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After Fatal Brawl, Russia’s Ethnic Tensions Hard to Cool

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 10, 2013) ­ Russian officials and community leaders tried Wednesday to cool interethnic tensions by calling for a liquor ban, evacuating “radical” youngsters and promising justice, after a stabbing death in a small town triggered days of angry protests demanding that residents from Russia’s war-scarred republic of Chechnya be kicked out. President Vladimir Putin’s regional […]

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Inter-Ethnic Conflicts in Russia Reflect the Erosion of State Power, ‘Vedomosti’ Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 10, 2013) Russian officials have long sought to dismiss ethnic conflicts as being product of the everyday disputes people have rather than clashes between two nationalities, but today the editors of “Vedomosti” offer another and more disturbing diagnosis by suggesting that such conflicts “above all” are a reflection of “the continuing […]

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Collateral Damage from Three New Russian Laws

Russian Duma Building

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 6, 2013) Three new pieces of Russian legislation appear likely to inflict serious collateral damage on that country, eliminating a defender of Lake Baikal against industrial pollution, inflicting new suffering on the already hard-pressed numerically small peoples of the north, and destroying some of the last vestiges of federalism in the […]

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Ethnic Identity No Longer Primary One for Russians, Tishkov Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 4, 2013) Russians increasingly identify themselves not in ethnic terms but in others, a development that the director of the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology says should not lead anyone to conclude in “alarmist” terms that ethnic Russians are “losing their self-identification.” Instead, Valery Tishkov told a Moscow roundtable yesterday, […]

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Russia’s Liberals Share Blame for Survival of Moscow’s Imperialist Impulses, Rodionov Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 24, 2013) Russia’s liberals played a key role in pushing through the economic reforms which made a return to communism impossible, but they failed to help the country to make the transition from an empire to a nation and thus must bear part of the blame for continuing strength of Moscow’s […]

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Russian Security Service chief worried about extremism being spread online

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) The director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Aleksandr Bortnikov, has said that social networksand shortcomings in migration laws contribute to the proliferation of extremism in Russia. His comments at a session of the National Antiterrorist Committee were reported by the Interfax news agency on 11 June. “Part of the internet has become a […]

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Experts in Russia Say Moscow Should Heed Lessons from Wars in Syria, Libya and Yugoslavia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 101 – Valery Dzutsev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 29, 2013) On April 26, the authoritative Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta hosted a roundtable of experts on the situation in Syria. Although almost all the experts, as usual, accused the United States and the West of fueling civil unrest in Syria now and […]

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