"I am against the idea of tolerance and political correctness."
- - - A Russian Nationalist
- Mostly Muslim immigrants show no interest in assimilating into Russian society.
- "Moscow for Muscovites" chanted the Russians.
- But if you dare say out loud that your Western Christian culture has a right to exist then you are called a racist by the Left.
Thousands of Russian nationalists and Conservative Orthodox activists marched along a central Moscow embankment on Sunday to protest mass immigration and demand tougher internal travel restrictions on people from the country’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus.
“Russia for Russians, Moscow for Muscovites,” chanted protesters, many with their faces covered by scarves or surgical masks, as a police helicopter hovered above. Police said 25 people were arrested for displaying Nazi symbols as the march started.
“Immigrants show no interest in assimilating into Russian society,” said Sergei, a 25-year-old office worker, who declined to give his surname. “If things don’t change, we could see massive ethnic clashes,” he said, as protesters gathered opposite Gorky Park.
Police said some 6,000 people had attended Sunday’s approved march, but organizers put this figure at 10,000. Unsanctioned nationalist rallies also took place across the country, with dozens of arrests reported in St. Petersburg, the Tatar capital, Kazan, and Yekaterinburg in the Urals reports RIA News.
|A Russian nationalist looks on as he attends a "Russian March" demonstration on National Unity Day in Moscow November 4, 2012. Russia marks the National Unity Day on November 4 when it celebrates the defeat of Polish invaders in 1612. (REUTERS)|
Sunday’s march, which wound past the Christ the Savior Cathedral, was headed by religious activists wearing black “Orthodoxy or death” t-shirts and holding aloft religious icons and crosses.
“I am against immigration,” said Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich, the white-bearded head of the militant Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers movement. “And I am against the idea of tolerance and political correctness – the Bible makes no mention of tolerance.”
Racial tensions in Russia have been exacerbated by mass labor immigration from former-Soviet Central Asian Muslim republics such as Tajikistan, and by frequent clashes in Moscow and other major cities between ethnic Russians and Muslim youths from the North Caucasus.
Nationalists point to high crime rates among Muslim illegal immigrants as proof that the Kremlin’s migration policies have failed. Moscow investigators said earlier this year that illegal immigrants were responsible for around one-third of reported rapes in the city.
Nationalists demonstrate in Russia
"Russia for Russians, Moscow for Muscovites"
Ethnic Russians ‘Suffering’
“Putin may be an ethnic Russian, but he does not operate in the interests of his own people,” said Vladimir Tor, one of the organizers of the march, when RIA Novosti visited him in his plush downtown Moscow office ahead of the event. “He acts in the interests of the oligarchs and his own security elite, people from the former KGB.”
“Ethnic Russians are suffering,” added Tor, 44, one of the five nationalists in the opposition council. “All other ethnic groups in our country have their own republic within Russia, but there is no republic for ethnic Russians.”
“I am absolutely against immigration,” he said, sitting in front of a large map of Russia. “Sociological studies demonstrate that mass immigration from countries with different cultures, ethnic groups, and religious beliefs causes problems.”
“We can see this most clearly right now in France, where we see a conflict between the traditional population and immigrants from Africa and the Arab world,” he goes on. “It’s possible that Europe has crossed the point of no return, as far as immigration goes. We do not wish Russia to share the same fate.”
|Russian nationalists attend a “Russian March” demonstration on National Unity Day in Moscow November 4, 2012 (Reuters)|
|Waving the flag of the Russian Empire.|
Russian ultra-nationalists wave Russian Empire’s black-yellow-white flags as they take part in the so-called “Russian March” in central Moscow on November 4, 2012, marking the National Unity Day (AFP)