Andreas Umland on the ultranationalists and Russia's civic movement

posted 18 Jan 2012, 01:34 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Jan 2012, 01:36 ]
Knowingly or not, the ultranationalists in Russia’s civic movement might play a useful role for theancien régime.

"The Kremlin’s current strategy may not be identical to that of its Soviet predecessors, but it does seem somewhat similar. The current neo-Soviet authorities, like their Soviet predecessors of the late 1980s, are under threat to lose their power and unsure how to confront the growing democratic movement. Knowingly or not, the ultranationalists in Russia’s civic movement might play a useful role for theancien régime. Their presence at the protests could both divide the democratic movement and provide a pretext for a clampdown by the authorities. Moreover, the participation of former neo-fascists at demonstrations has proven damaging to the protests’ reputation of the protests abroad. The Russian democrats would thus be well advised to limit the leadership of future mass meetings, as well as the ranks of those who speak, to individuals of clear democratic orientation."

from Andreas Umland, 'Could Russia’s Ultranationalists Subvert Pro-Democracy Protests?', World Affairs, 18 January 2012


Andreas Umland is senior lecturer at Kyiv’s Mohyla Academy with the German Academic Exchange Service. He is administrator of the webarchive and biweekly bulletin “Russian Nationalism” at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/russian_nationalism/.
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