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Archive for the ‘Russia to the Russians’ Category

The NATO Defence College review of the book ‘Enemy of the People’ by Dmitry Rogozin

Posted by Kris Roman on February 25, 2009

logo_rogozin_vrag_narodaThe curious reader might do well to start Ambassador Dmitri Olegovich Rogozin’s book by looking at the comments about him which the author has chosen to include as an annex – essentially abuse from prominent Russian political figures, including the leader of the LDPR, Vladimir Zhirinovsky (whose father Rogozin pointedly identifies as being named Edelshtein): “Rogozin is an agent three times over – of the Kremlin, the KGB and the Comintern. He is a villain three times over.” Anatoli Chubais, formerly head of electricity monopoly RAO UES, and whom Rogozin identifies as the “spiritual guru” of the liberal SPS party and author of the concept of “voucher privatization”, describes Rogozin as a National Socialist. The author records other attacks on him by some of his favourite targets of abuse.

It would be natural to suppose that these quotations were recorded by Rogozin in a spirit of irony. It would also be wrong. There is so far as I could teil no trace of irony or self doubt in what Rogozin writes in this account of his political development and ideas. He means every word. It is natural enough that an autobiography should centre on its subject’s actions. This one is deeply personal. The only people mentioned in it who come out consistently well are Rogozin himself, and why not, for it is his story; Rogozin’s distinguished military father (General-Lieutenant Oleg Konstantinovich Rogozin, Hero of Socialist Work, Doctor of Technical Sciences and professor); and Vladimir Putin – who has yet to earn Rogozin’s despair. The introduction to the fourth edition of the book, sent for publication as Rogozin was about to take up his appointment as Russian Ambassador to NATO in January 2008, records his view that Rodina “won” the 2003 Duma elections (Rogozin’s word, presumably implying a moral victory since the party did not come near to winning a majority of the recorded votes, even if its showing was better than the Kremlin had anticipated). Since then, he says, vital elements of Rodina’s programme have been adopted by the Russian government. Putin’s real convictions, (page 5) says Rogozin, are those of the patriotic opposition. His book is dedicated to President Putin, as he then was.

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Duma Speaker Wants Ban on Foreign Adoptions

Posted by Kris Roman on January 9, 2009

A court case in Virginia that ended in a not guilty verdict for a man accused of killing his adopted Russian child prompted the speaker of the Russian parliament to call for restrictions on adoptions by foreigners. Boris Gryzlov commented on the acquittal of the Virginia man, who left his adopted child in a car on a hot day.

“Russian children shoud stay in Russia, this topic should worry us,” the speaker said. “Why do foreigners adopt them? Because they genetically are heathier, more clever etc. than in the other countries.”


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Inter-Ethnic Clashes Becoming More Common on Moscow Campuses

Posted by Kris Roman on January 1, 2009

Inter-ethnic violence is becoming more common on the campuses of several of Moscow’s universities, according to a November 18, 2008 report by the Rosbalt news agency. 

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Russia Reduces Quotas On Foreign Workers

Posted by Kris Roman on December 15, 2008

Sharifbek Saddridin once taught geography in his native Tajikistan. But rampant poverty and unemployment drove him to migrate to Moscow several years ago.

Today, Saddridin toils at construction sites in the Russian capital alongside other migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus. The work is hard and the pay is paltry — some $600 a month, most of which he sends back home to his family.

Now, he faces losing even that precarious job after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week signed a decree aimed at cutting quotas for foreign workers by half.

“It’s going to be very difficult, because there is no work at home,” Saddridin says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after January, how it’s all going to end, how people will continue living.”

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Moscow Court Acquits political leader

Posted by Kris Roman on December 12, 2008

A court in Moscow acquitted the head of Russia’s leading far-right group, which has been linked to racist violence, according to a December 11, 2008 report by the web site. The Kuntsevo district court found Aleksandr Belov (Potkin), head of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), innocent of organizing an unsanctioned meeting. For some reason, Mr. Belov did not face hate speech charges, despite the fact that a court ordered expertise found that his speech at the rally “called for hostile action” against Jews and people from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Mr. Belov still faces charges of disobeying police orders. In other news posted on the same day, DPNI members held an anti-migrant rally in Nizhny Novgorod calling for mass deportations. As UCSJ reported yesterday, the Moscow city government granted the DPNI and a prominent right wing group  permission to march in the center of Moscow during an upcoming holiday, while at the same time denying non-violent political opposition forces the same opportunity.

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Migrant workers face jobs axe

Posted by Kris Roman on December 11, 2008

Russia may halve the labour quotas for CIS migrant workers next year as pressure mounts to protect jobs for Russian citizens.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decreed that the 2009 quota for migrant workers can be cut – or raised – by 50 percent. That means the quota of 4 million could be slashed to as little as 2 million – or raised to 6 million, depending on the demand for labour from employers across Russia.

Previously, the quota included an option to recruit 30 per cent more workers from CIS countries. 

In previous years, quotas have risen to meet demand for cheap labour in Russia’s growing economy. But with the economic slowdown, companies are now laying off thousands of migrant workers in manual jobs such as construction.

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Posted by Kris Roman on December 8, 2008

Activists from the youth wing of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling party held demonstrations against immigrant workers on Monday, demanding they return home and blaming them for Russia’s recent economic woes.

Russia is trying to prevent a deepening economic crisis from stalling an 10-year boom. But rising unemployment is starting to focus some discontent on more than 10 million immigrants who have flocked to Russia to find work.

Wearing white and red baseball caps, about 30 activists from Young Guard, a youth section of the United Russia party, gathered in the rain outside the Moscow office of the migration service. The group held similar protests across the country.

“Every second (migrant) should go home,” the group, mainly under 20-years-old, shouted about migrants.

Activists held banners which said “We will defend Russian citizens” and “Our country, our work.”

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Moscow Patriarchate Floats Idea of “Orthodox Militia,” Opponents Warn of Possible Vigilantism, Inter-Religious Conflict

Posted by Kris Roman on November 24, 2008

The Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church has proposed setting up “Orthodox militias” (druzhiny) in order to “keep order” on the streets, according to a November 20, 2008 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Church spokesman Father Vsevolod Chaplin pitched the idea to the MVD, which is reviewing the proposal. He argued in a recent radio interview that: “We have a lot of people and groups who could… bring order in the places where they live, and through that bring order to all of Russia.” Valery Girbakin, an MVD official, seemed to discourage the idea (though he did not rule it out categorically) by pointing out that there are no laws governing the use of druzhiny, a concept developed in the late Soviet period that involved local citizens, some armed with clubs, helping police, though usually not getting directly involved in the apprehension of criminals. Whether such a concept could lead to vigilante justice in the more unstable and violent climate of post-Soviet Russia is an open question.


At least one predominantly Muslim organization, the Russian Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus, blasted the initiative, expressing worry that it could lead to even more inter-religious conflict. 

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Kremlin’s Youth Group Holds patriottic Demonstration in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on November 15, 2008

The youth wing of the Kremlin’s party United Russia held a patriottic demonstration in Moscow, according to an October 31, 2008 article in the independent newspaper “Novaya Gazeta.” The Young Guards, who recently issued a statement that demonized migrants for the first time, gathered outside of the Federal Migration Service demanding

“Our money for our people!” Using the world financial crisis as an excuse to dabble in patriottic politics, the Young Guards demanded the abolition of programs that allow labor migrants to enter the country, in the name of Russia’s “national interests.” The Young Guards indicated their readiness to participate in vigilante actions targeting migrants, offering to patrol construction sites and identify illegal migrants working there. 

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Around 1,500 nationalists join ‘Russian March’ in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on November 4, 2008

The officially sanctioned “Russian March” went ahead peacefully in Moscow on Tuesday, as around 1,500 nationalists gathered to mark Unity Day.

The event, organized by the People’s Union and Russian Image, started with a march along the Moscow River and ended with a rally by Hotel Ukrain.

At the rally, the leader of the People’s Union laid out his vision for Russia: “Russia should be neither European, nor American. Russia should be Russian,” Sergei Baburin said. “Much has already been done, and we are happy with the new course and success of Russia. But there is still much to be done.”

Other nationalist groups had also applied to the city government to hold rallies on the public holiday, but their requests were rejected. An unsanctioned gathering on central Moscow’s Novy Arbat resulted in the detention of more than 200 far-right activists.

“More than 200 people came out for the march and tried to move along Novy Arbat in central Moscow. Police detained the public order offenders, and took them to police stations, where the organizers are being identified,” a police spokesman said.

Russia has marked Unity Day each November 4 since 2005, when the first “Russian March” was held in Moscow. It was the first legally sanctioned, large-scale nationalist event in post-Soviet Russia, and the practice has grown since.

In St. Petersburg on Tuesday, the far-right group Slavic Union brought together 150 activists for a Russian March, and a rally at the Chernyshevsky Garden. A group leader stood on a children’s climbing frame read out a statement on “freeing the Slavic people,” and was greeted by supporters with Roman-style salutes.

In Russia’s Volga city, Nizhny Novgorod, the Movement Against Illegal Immigration organized a rally in the city center. Around 200 people attended, waving banners with the slogans: “We Own Russia,” and “Nizhny Novgorod is a Russian City.”

And in Simferopol, in Ukraine’s predominantly Russian-speaking Crimea, about 300 activists held a march to mark Russia’s Unity Day.

“We celebrate this great holiday together with Russia,” said Alexander Svistunov, a member of the Russian Bloc in the Crimean parliament and one of the rally’s organizers. “We should feel that we are together, we are one, we own this ground, we live here and we will live here, on this eternal, Crimean, Russian ground.”

The Russian holiday was enshrined in a 2004 law signed by then-president Vladimir Putin and commemorates the liberation of Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian occupiers in 1612.

Unity Day effectively replaces celebrations of the Bolshevik Revolution, which had been held on November 7. Celebrations were moved forward by three days to avoid associations with the revolution.

According to various surveys, most Russians are not aware of the historical meaning of Unity Day. However, the event has become popular with nationalist and far-right movements.


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Russia’s president honors liberators on Unity Day

Posted by Kris Roman on November 4, 2008


President Dmitry Medvedev attended celebrations of Russia’s Unity Day in the Kremlin on Tuesday, and gave a speech hailing the 1612 liberation of Moscow as a key event in the nation’s development.

Russia has marked Unity Day each November 4 since 2005, following a 2004 law signed by then-president Vladimir Putin. The holiday commemorates the expulsion of Polish-Lithuanian occupiers from Moscow.

“The volunteer corps was led by Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin – these were true patriots, and their manliness, ability to rally the people, and loyalty to the fatherland defined the destiny of our country as an independent, self-reliant, and strong state,” Medvedev told guests at the Kremlin, including leaders of non-governmental and cultural organizations, scientists, and prominent Russians living abroad.

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Russia’s November 4 National Unity Day public holiday is again

Posted by Kris Roman on November 2, 2008

Russia’s November 4 National Unity Day public holiday is again set to see nationalist and far-right rallies in Moscow.One of the rallies has been sanctioned by the authorities, and is to take place in the center of the capital. It is expected to draw about 5,000 people. The organizers have promised that the event will go ahead without incident.

“The main motto will be ‘For a Russian Russia,'” Ilya Goryachev, a representative of the Russian Image movement, which is organizing the event with the People’s Union, earlier said.

A number of other groups have said they will hold unsanctioned rallies. Police have said they will clamp down on any illegal marches.

The first ‘Russian March’ was held in Moscow on November 4, 2005. It was the first legally- sanctioned, large-scale nationalist event in post-Soviet Russia.

In 2006, a planned National Unity Day march by nationalist groups was banned by Moscow authorities. However, far-right groups defied the ruling and marched. Some 200 people were subsequently arrested.


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People’s Union allowed to lead ‘Russian March’ on Unity Day

Posted by Kris Roman on October 24, 2008

Moscow authorities have allowed the People’s Union movement to hold a “Russian March” on National Unity Day, a co-organizer said Friday. The march, to involve about 5,000 people, will be held in central Moscow on November 4. The organizers promised their demands would be constructive and that the event would come off without incident.

“The main motto will be ‘For a Russian Russia,'” said Ilya Goryachev, a representative of the Russian Image movement, which organizes the event with the People’s Union. “We have set a conference in City Hall for Monday, where we will give final approval to the list of slogans and banners together with City Hall.”

This year, the organization of the Russian March was far from simple: several nationalist groups applied to hold it, and each wanted to do so separately. They included the People’s Union, the Movement Against Illegal Immigration and the Russian Movement Against Illegal Immigration.

The People’s Union and the Russian Movement Against Illegal Immigration agreed to hold a joint march.

The first Russian March was held in Moscow on November 4, 2005. It was the first legally- sanctioned, large-scale nationalist event in post-Soviet Russia.

In 2006, a planned National Unity Day march by nationalist groups was banned by Moscow authorities. However, far-right groups defied the ruling and marched.


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Russians officially permitted to fly national flag

Posted by Kris Roman on October 15, 2008


russian-flagRussia’s lower house of parliament approved legislative amendments on Wednesday allowing any organizations or individuals to fly the national flag, a privilege earlier officially enjoyed only by the state. (Russia’s State Symbols)

Before the new law was passed by the State Duma, the use of the national flag by ordinary citizens – including at international sports events and on homes – was technically a criminal offense. However, the ban was never actually observed or enforced.

The authors of the law said it would promote patriotic sentiment.

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Russia stands up from its knees

Posted by Kris Roman on August 28, 2008

Long-term consequences of the recent events in the Caucasus are still unclear. The sides involved in the conflict have said everything that they considered necessary to say under the current political situation. The unrecognized republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have survived another bloody conflict with Georgia. The conflict has proved that it is absolutely impossible for the three nations to live within the borders of one legal state. It means that the two republics will ask Moscow to recognize their independence again.

Georgia has had an objective impression of its own political administration and its aptitude to the solution of strategic goals. The Georgian military has proved to be absolutely incapable of waging civilized military actions, whereas the authorities of Georgia showed that they did not care to think about their people.

Russia was forced to launch a massive military action in response to Georgia’s aggression. The Russian troops tested their skills on the enemy armed with US, Ukrainian and Israeli weapons.

US presidential runoffs did not miss a good opportunity to exercise their views in foreign politics. For the first time in many years, Washington’s hawks and their secretary of state became honest in their statements about Russia.

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Russia celebrates Flag Day

Posted by Kris Roman on August 23, 2008

European Friends of Russia

Russia is celebrating National Flag Day. Almost 1,000 people gathered in the centre of Moscow at noon to sing the Russian anthem. Organisers handed out a large number of flags and white, blue and red balloons to be released into air.
Flag Day has been an annual celebration since 1994.

“Russia’s flag will always symbolise stability, reliability and security,” said State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov. “Respect to national symbols is the most important element of civic consciousness. It incorporates the knowledge of your history, love of your people and your country and the intention to make your own contribution to the country’s development.”

The white-blue-red tricolour was initially introduced in Russia in the 17th century by Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was officially re-established on August 22, 1991.

In 2000 Russia passed a law which allows its display only for official purposes and on national holidays.

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Russia emphasizes patriotic education

Posted by Kris Roman on August 9, 2008

In recent years, there have been growing calls to promote patriotic education in Russia, apparently reflecting a rise in the country’s renewed great-power chauvinism.

The driving force behind these moves is Russia’s success in restoring national strength and pride due to an abundance of capital resources from the trade surplus the country has gained as a result of natural gas and oil exports in recent years.

Former President Vladimir Putin has been leading calls for fostering patriotic sentiment among children in the classroom. Addressing a national convention of schoolteachers as president in the summer of 2007, Putin told delegates to teach children that they should be proud of being a victor in World War II, saying, “Distorting facts about the Great Patriotic War is an insult to Russians.”

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Russians pay last respects to Solzhenitsyn

Posted by Kris Roman on August 5, 2008

Russians lined up in the rain in Moscow on Tuesday to pay their last respects to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the writer whose books did much to reveal the truth about the Soviet system of labor camps.

Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel literature prize laureate, died of heart failure at his home near Moscow late on Sunday. He was 89.

The lavish ceremony saw the dissident writer’s body lying in state in the Academy of Sciences in the Russian capital. His open casket stood before a Russian flag as a guard of honor marched slowly past.

Prime Minister and former president Vladimir Putin placed a bunch of red roses by the coffin and offered his condolences to Solzhenitsyn’s widow, Natalia, and his sons. The ceremony was also attended by a host of other top officials, leading cultural figures and scientists.

World leaders have also sent their condolences to Solzhenitsyn’s family since the news of his death broke, calling him “a symbol of freedom.”

In a telegram from the Russian government to his family, Solzhenitsyn was called “the country’s conscience and an embodiment of internal freedom and dignity,” and “a man, whose books and life served as moral guidelines for the nation.”

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DPNI will respectable imago

Posted by Kris Roman on July 29, 2008

The ultranationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration, or DPNI, intends to abandon radical action and join politics, its leader, Alexander Belov, told the organization’s congress.

The organization plans to become a European-style nationalist party, Kommersant reported Monday.

“We are interested in nationalism as a respectable movement. Not with beards and jackboots, but suits and ties,” he said, Kommersant reported.

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Russia’s Day shows more Russians feel proud of their nation and citizenship

Posted by Kris Roman on June 13, 2008

All Russians across the nation celebrate the most important state holiday, Russia’s Day on June 12. The country goes on a long holiday for four days from June 12 to June 16. The holiday was introduced in 1992 in memory of political events which took place in 1990, when the first congress of deputies of the Russian Federation approved the Declaration of Russia’s State Sovereignty. The document became the reference point in the new history of the nation.

The holiday was officially introduced in 1994, when it was named Independence Day. In 2002, the holiday was renamed to Russia’s Day. About a half of the Russian population are certain that June 12 is the day which celebrates the national unity.

Opinion polls show that three-third of all Russians are proud of their citizenship. Most of Russians are familiar with national symbols, which evoke only positive emotions with them.

The holiday already has it traditions. On June 12 the Kremlin holds a special ceremony to present State Awards of the Russian Federation. There will be a grand gala show held on the Red Square at night.

A series of significant events have been timed to Russia’s Day this year. The X International Congress of the Russian Press started working in Moscow yesterday. Representatives of Russian publications from almost 70 countries of the world participate in the Congress. President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attended the meeting on the first day of its work.

Making a speech at the forum, Medvedev said that his administration would ensure media freedom and respect for human rights. He said that his government sees freedom of speech and adherence to law as essential to building a free and responsible society.

Putin said at the meeting that Russia was one of the major newsmakers of the modern world. He added that the Russian press, one of the largest in the world, is unique for its openness to people of various nationalities.

About 37 percent of Russian citizens know that the correct name of the holiday sounds like Russia’s Days, not Independence Day, sociologists of Levada Center said.

Five percent of Russians believe that the holiday celebrates the approval of the Declaration of Russia’s Independence. One percent of Russians think that June 12 is the day to celebrate the election of Russia’s first president. Three percent of the polled said that they did not consider June 12 as a holiday at all.


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Fight between Russians and immigrants in Moscow – Russia to the Russians !!!

Posted by Kris Roman on June 4, 2008

Police have reported five people injured – one of them seriously – in a mass brawl in Moscow. News website claims up to 200 people took part in a pre-planned fight between football fans and an immigrant community.
The melee lasted several minutes before police came and dispersed the crowd, the report said.

Meanwhile, Interfax news agency reports a much smaller number of 20 battlers, citing official information. The agency said baseball bats and non-lethal weapons were used in the fight resulting in the injuries.

And RIA Novosti news agency said up to 30 people took part in the clash, which took place at a construction yard in Moscow’s south-east.

Russia to the Russians !!!

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Uzbek couple murdered in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on May 7, 2008

An Uzbek couple were beaten and stabbed to death in northeast Moscow early on Wednesday, a police source said.

Shortly after midnight, a group of three young people set upon the man and the woman, both in their forties. The couple were employed as street cleaners.

Routine attacks by young Russians on foreigners and people with ‘non-Slavic’ features have been reported across Russia in recent years. Some of the worst cities for attacks are Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the central Russian city of Voronezh.

2008 has seen another rise in the number of attacks on people of Central Asian origin in Russia. In February, the Kyrgyz embassy in Moscow sent an official note of protest to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office protesting at the murders of at least four Kyrgyz nationals in Russia since the start of the year.

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North Korean stabbed to death in Russia’s Volga area

Posted by Kris Roman on April 29, 2008

A North Korean man was found stabbed to death in the early hours of Monday in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s third-largest city, local investigators said on Monday.

“The body of a North Korean national was found with stab wounds soon after midnight on a building site where he had been working,” a spokeswoman for the investigators said.

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Chinese national stabbed in St. Petersburg

Posted by Kris Roman on April 22, 2008

A Chinese national is in a critical condition in a St. Petersburg hospital after being stabbed by an unknown assailant in Russia’s second city, a police source said on Monday.

The man, who works for a local construction company, was stabbed in the stomach. An investigation into the attack is ongoing.

This year has seen a further rise in the number of attacks on foreigners in the city. Late last month a Ghanaian student was beaten and stabbed in the city center. In mid-March an Uzbek national was stabbed to death in St. Petersburg and another was found dead in the Leningrad Region.

Russians are not like many people in the West. They want to defend their territory.

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Wave of Attacks on Jews in Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on February 26, 2008

Russia’s Jewish community reported three attacks in the last two weeks, including a raid on a synagogue and desecration of a memorial to Holocaust victims.

In Ulyanovsk, a group of about a dozen young men Tuesday ‘visited’ a synagogue and cursed at members inside, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia said.

In Volgograd, anti-Semitic slogans were scrawled on a memorial to the Holocaust Industry Sunday, the group said.

Last week, several young men burst into a synagogue in Nizhny Novgorod, throwing religious books out a window and beating up a security guard, it said. All three cities are in western Russia.

The federation said it was concerned about the rise in attacks targeting Jews, calling it part of “a recent surge in anti-Semitic manifestations” in Russia.

In 2007, 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured in ethnically motivated attacks, according the SOVA rights center, which monitors hate crimes.

In a report issued Tuesday, SOVA said hate crimes in Russia have grown increasingly brutal and deadly. Authorities are doing little to combat xenophobia, it said.

According to varying estimates, between 300,000 and 1.5 million Jews live in the nation of 142 million. After an exodus in the years before and after 1991 Soviet collapse, the Jewish community is experiencing a moderate revival, with new synagogues, schools and cultural centers being built across the country. They have also great power in politics (oligarchs) en press.

During the Soviet era, thousands of Jews were imprisoned or executed as part of nationwide purges, and many more were forced to conceal their Jewish identity. 


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