Yesterday, November 4, Russian nationalists gathered for a rally, the “Russian March,” to protest against immigrants and the policies of the Russian government that brings them there. Nazi slogans, racist posters, depictions of migrants as green aliens… some of the worst aspects of Russian society were on proud display.
The march is growing in popularity, according to recent polls, and many suspected that the rally would be large, and might break out into riots. Heavy and cold rain, however, tempered both the size and activity of the crowds. Still, the crowds that were there called for the riots that occurred in the southern Moscow district of Biryulyovo to be repeated across the country, and some even called for the killing of migrants.
Anti-Putin protests were also mixed in with the anti-immigrant protests, as many in the crowd believe that the Russian government is not doing enough to support their cause.
Below us Snob’s liveblog of events. More pictures are available on their liveblog. – Ed.
In the Moscow district of Lyublino, the march of nationalists is taking place. Snob broadcast live from the action.
Today in Moscow the Russian March took place. For the fourth year in a row now the nationalists are marching through the Moscow district of Lyublino on the Day of National Unity.
At the end of the parade, there was a concert by the group Kolovrat which had written several songs especially for the occasion. As Dmitry Demushkin, one of the organizers of the event, recounts, the organizers had to commission an expert review of the lyrics of their songs to confirm that they had no signs of extremism – in the past, several songs by Kolovrat, popular among nationalists, were pronounced extremist.
This year, the Russian March is taking place just several weeks after the events in Biryulyovo. Then nationalists and residents of the district West Biryulyovo organized a spontaneous protest action which escalated into pogroms in response to the murder of Muscovite Yegor Shcherbakov, alleged to have been committed by a citizen of Azerbaijan.
The Russian Marches have been taking place in Moscow since 2005. Usually they attract several thousand people.
Politician Alexei Navalny declined to take part in the Russian March and announced that on the one hand, “after the Moscow elections, he feels a great burden of responsibility,” and on the other, he did not want, “like St. Boniface,” surrounded by children, “to go into a crowd with 140 photographers and cameramen” who are trying to film him against a backdrop of “school kids saluting Sieg Heil.”
11:06 Here is how the metal-detectors look in Lyublino
11:07 At the starting point, police are walking dogs. Pererva St. is closed off. 11:20 Mikhail Prokhorov called on his supporters not to go to the Russian March. 11:23
У метро Люблино человек 50. В основном футбольные фанаты, 2 казака и сторонник Навального в характерных браслетах pic.twitter.com/cpwhOG9adi
— король тушканчиков (@Romenskiy) November 4, 2013
[Vladimir Romensky – @Romenskiy: There are about 50 people at Lyublino. Mainly soccer fans, 2 Cossacks and a Navalny supporter in characteristic bracelets.]
[Danya Turovskiy – @kubovich: They are checking with metal detectors at the exit from the metro] 11:30 Nika Komarova: On the metro car a group of guys in camouflage pants and sports jackets (look to be about age 17) are bothering migrants: one has taken off a man’s cap; others have surrounded him and are asking, ‘Are you Russian?’ Old women and mothers with children leave the car.
Вкратце о контингенте Русского марша в Омске pic.twitter.com/egL7bwnxZJ
— Здесь Шепелин (@ilya_shepelin) November 4, 2013
[Here is Shepelin – @ilya_shepelin: In brief on the Russian March contingent in Omsk..]
распродажа шарфов pic.twitter.com/4fxQNGaWgr
— Даня Туровский (@kubovich) November 4, 2013
[Danya Turkovsky – @kubovich: sale of scarves]
[Yegor Maksimov – @egor_mq: Here is the Russian March.]
[road blocks put up for the Russian March, of course, by Uzbeks. I love it.]
11:54 Nika Komarova: At Maryino and Lyublino stations there are cosmonauts on guard and they are chasing people away – they aren’t allowing them to wait for their friends in the center of the hall.
12:10 Mitya Aleshkovsky: Russian i-Phone stuffing for now.
Казаки начали петь у метро Люблино песни под баян pic.twitter.com/tIn6I97cCE
— Владимир Роменский (@Romenskiy) November 4, 2013
[Vladimir Romensky – @romenskiy: Cossacks began to sing songs at the Lyublino metro to an accordion.]
12:12 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
[Signs: Russian Survival Bracelets; We Accept Orders for Survival Bracelets]
12:14 Nika Komarova:
Almost all the cafes and shopping centers at Lyublino are closed. The signs say “for technical reasons.”
12:16 Mitya Aleshkovsky
слава перуну, говорят pic.twitter.com/dveTxT8wlp
— Егор Максимов (@egor_mq) November 4, 2013
[Yegor Maksimov – @egor_mq: They’re saying Glory to Perun [Russian pagan god of thunder]
русские дети pic.twitter.com/5iLR7qKewB
— васюнин (31+) (@fuckdaoutlaws) November 4, 2013
[Vasyunin (31+) – @fuckdaoulaws: Russian children]
12:24 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
12:29 Nika Komarova:
Volya [Will] Party hands out anti-Navalny fliers with the headline “Who has ordered and is carrying out the color revolution in Russia.”
12:30 Anna Karpova:
The Russian March began back in the metro, in the cars on the way to Lyublino packed with young sub-culture people with imperki [Russian imperial flags] and other such symbols. Comically, they are frowning, look around at the passengers in search of an Uzbek or an anti-fascist opponent. A few hundred nationalists of all stripes are crowding together at the exit from the metro. The level of boldness is ratcheting up, I see young guys with boxer’s bandages wrapped around their hands and mouth-guards. People like me trying to photograph them are rudely pushed away.
12:34 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
12:36 Dmitry Yekhilevsky: For now everyone is lining up into columns. It’s hard to count the number of people, but Pererva St., which was the starting point, is almost entirely filled. The standard slogans are being shouted: “Russians Forward, “Russia for Russians” and so on.
12:40 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
— Даня Туровский (@kubovich) November 4, 2013
Danya Turovsky – @kubovich:[sign in photo] Today mosques, tomorrow jihad.]
12:53 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
12:50 Anna Karpova:
There are metal detectors at the exit, 100 meters away, young people are packing knives, pepper spray and collapsible bats into backpacks. A girl is carrying a stuffed backback into the courtyards.
эта колонна сообщает нам, что москва — не кавказ, а аллах — представитель лгбт движения pic.twitter.com/QDtxhFp56F
— Егор Максимов (@egor_mq) November 4, 2013
[Yegor Maksimov – @egor_mq: This column tells us that Moscow is not the Caucasus, and Allah is not a representative of the LGBT movement.]
13:03 Anna Karpova
The standard selection of chants: “Moscow is a Russian city” and so on.
13:05 Nika Komarova:
Some drummer girls in red uniforms with the Russian tri-color are marching among the nationalists. They say they represent their organization, but they decline to give its name.
13:08 Nika Komarova:
The Nationalist Bolsheviks are marching with a banner “For Biryulyovo, take away and defeat.” They are chanting, “Today Biryulyovo, tomorrow all Moscow.”
13:11 Anna Karpova:
An old Russian tradition – come to a march with your children. It’s an awful sight: a boy of about five sitting on his father’s shoulders waves a flag with a Celtic cross. You inevitably recall the Pirates of Edelweiss [a Nazi youth movement].
13:15 Anna Karpova:
It’s difficult to tell how many people are here. Likely about five thousand. As always, the Internet is down, the photographs aren’t sending. I asked some young people of about age 25 whom they voted for in the Moscow mayoral elections. “But we’re not Muscovites,” they reply. Yet they wouldn’t say where they were from.
Русский марш на Октябрьском поле в Москве pic.twitter.com/u7aJVcEK9m
— Pavel Pryanikov (@netovetz) November 4, 2013
[Pavel Pryanikov – @netovetz: Russian March at October Field in Moscow (slogans on signs: Russia needs a Tsar!)]
13:17 Anna Karpova:
In one of the columns there are two portraits of Bolotnaya prisoners [rioters in prison] – the nationalists Yaroslav Belousov and Ilya Gushchin.
13:18 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
13:22 Nika Komarova:
Mariya Pesotskaya, age 25, member of Other Russia party, came from St. Petersburg especially for the march. “This is the first Russian March in which our party is officially taking part. Before, the Russian Marches were of a ritual nature, but after Biryulyovo, besides nationalists, they have attracted ordinary people as well. We are here in order to support our people. The situation now is critical. It has become dangerous to go out on the street. We demand a visa regime for migrants in our country.”
Ааааа. За Пеунову, За Русь pic.twitter.com/GaWZFdAWzp
— группа война (@gruppa_voina) November 4, 2013
[Gruppa Voyna – @gruppa_voina: Ahhh. For Peunova, for Russia (Voyna is a conceptual art group. Peunova is a town where riots took place. –Ed)]
13:31 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
13:42 Anna Karpova:
A kind of special harmony is sensed among the Swig Heil saluting teen-agers, the cold sleet and the gray cement walls of the Lyublino multi-story buildings.
12:36 Dmitry Yekhilevsky:
Everyone is waiting for the beginning of the march. For now all the columns are chanting their slogans. The most attention is drawn to the column where the majority of the marchers are school-age – which hasn’t prevented them from becoming the authors of the most radical slogans. Very quickly, they scorned the request to “go without swearing and Sieg Heils.”
13:46 Nika Komarova:
Ravil Bashirov, member of Other Russia, “We don’t support the ‘Biryulyovo methods,’ but we support the popular anger. We are for a total boycott of the government and for organized resistance – we should not take part in elections and should ignore the government. Then we can dictate our terms to it. We have to ‘attack and rout’ not migrants, but politicians, officials, and business people.”
13:48 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
13:52 Nika Komarova:
Cossacks (the Amur Cossack Troops): “The Lord gave every people their lands in order for them to build a good life there. But migrants come here and begin to taunt us, to steal and kill our Russian people. Go back to your homeland and build your great Tajikistan or Uzbekistan there. But do it without us.”
13:54 Nika Komarova:
The march has begun. The crowd is chanting: “Moscow is a Russian city! Russians – forward!
13:55 Anna Karpova:
The march has begun. Ahead of me I can hear a discordant “Freedom for Anders Breivik! Freedom for Russian political prisoners!” It’s a total feeling of post-modernism.
13:59 Anna Karpova:
You can’t say that the events in Biryulyovo have increased the numbers of people at this march. There are less people than usual. According to figures from the human rights advocates at Civic Action, a week before the Russian March, the number of victims of attacks from nationalists increased sharply.
14:04 Nika Komarova:
A column of teenagers (ages 14-17) from RZT [Russian Means Sober] are carrying a banner: “Be sober, be dangerous,” and are chanting, “Who doesn’t smoke or drink breathes evenly and beats hard.” The kids are mainly from the suburbs of Moscow.
Police officers of the Interior Ministry in Lyublino are reporting 8,000 people.
14:12 Anna Karpova:
Most of the chants are seriously begging for Art. 282 of the Russian Criminal Code [against incitement of ethnic hatred — Ed.]. There are calls for knifing, and Sieg Heils, and Hitler.
14:14 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
14:16 Dmitry Yekhilevsky:
The parade is proceeding under pouring rain. The weather conditions have heavily influenced the level of activism of the participants. Only a few columns are trying to chant something, but the only participant who can really be heard is the helicopter circling above the crowd. A column of school kids continues to chant slogans that are not only radical, but fall under the article concerning incitement of ethnic hatred.
14:17 Nika Komarova:
Yegor, age 16, from RZT: “We are speaking out against the extinction of the Russian people. We are agitating for a healthy way of life. I personally also take part in the ‘Russian Races,’ which is another youth nationalist organization. My parents totally support my views, they are happy that I don’t drink and don’t smoke and play sports.”
14:20 Anna Karpova:
I will risk citing one of the mildest chants so that you understand what is happening here: “Don’t smoke, don’t drink, but kill the khachi!” [pejorative term for people from the Caucasus — Ed.] There are some anti-Putin slogans: “Apartments cost as much as missiles. Thank Putin for that!”
14:27 Anna Karpova:
Along the parade route with the barriers, local residents are standing with eyes wide – young people in masks with calls to kill people don’t seem very friendly. There is definitely no unity with the people at a popular holiday for national unity.
About 100 people have broken through the police line and have run in the direction of the park. Inside the parade, some marchers have had clashes with OMON [riot police].
The OMON have broken up a column of national-socialists. Several people have been detained.
14:32 Nika Komarova:
Aleksandr Belov (Potkin), an organizer: “We hope that all of Russia will turn into one big Biryulyovo very soon. ‘Biryulyovo all over the country!’ is our slogan. Our people are only beginning to wake up and become aware of their identity. With every day, our movement will pick up more and more rating points. This year, the National Bolsheviks Party supported us. Good guys! It was long overdue.”
14:34 Dmitry Yekhilevsky:
The parade has reached the end – the stage on Lyublino Street. The middle and last ranks are still catching up to the front, the music is playing, the content is suited to the event. There’s a sense that due to the weather, some people have turned aside to the metro along the way.
14:35 Anna Karpova:
The beginning of the column has already reached the square where the Kolovrat concert will take place. I don’t know how many people will remain for a concert in the rain. All the more because some of the guys are waiting in the square for the girl with the backpack stuffed full of knives and telescope bats.
It seems the rally has been cancelled. The Kolovrat concert will take place. The march is over.
14:46 Dmitry Yekhilevsky:
The organizers of the Russian March have announced the cancellation of the rally due to bad weather. They have read a resolution from the stage that has 14 points:
1. Creation of a Russian national state, resignation of the current government.
2. Freedom of Unions, assemblies, and elections.
3. Abolition of Art. 282.
4. Re-certification of police officers.
5. Exit from the WTO.
6. Russia for Russians.
7. Dismantling of juvenile justice system, maternal assistance in cash.
8. Independence for the Russian Academy of Sciences.
9. Promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
10. Proportional ethnic representation in government agencies.
11. Stop paying the Caucasus.
12. Freedom to bear short-barreled arms.
13. Visa regime.
14. Combat illegal migration.
у метро люблино человек 10 начали бить кавказцев и стекла у их машины.
— Егор Максимов (@egor_mq) November 4, 2013
[Yegor Maksimov – @egor_mq: At the Lyublino metro about 10 people began beating up some Caucasians and broke the glass on their cars.]
15:10 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
15:15 Mitya Aleshkovsky:
15:18 Mitya Aleshkovsky: