New amendments to
Among others things, the bill has measures to fine publishers who print material deemed “extremist” up to $4000. Explains the
The publishing industry could also be affected by a new provision that was added to the bill before its second reading. The provision says that if media outlets refer to groups that have been banned for extremism, the outlets must mention the fact that those groups have been banned. The provision appears similar to an initiative last year to prevent media outlets from referring to the unregistered National Bolshevik Party.
Newspeak in its finest form. Such and such organization only exists as the State deems them.
The Duma’s actions come at the same time the Interior Ministry arrested Maxim “Tesak” Martsinkevich after he and 20 others interrupted a debate between journalists Maxim Kononenko and Yulia Latynina at the
The NTV report on Martsinkevich’s arrest can be viewed here.
Can’t say I have any sympathy for Martsinkevich. For once I stand with the Interior Ministry.
Update: I forgot to add that Tesak was arrested under article 282, section 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, “Incitement of Ethnic Strife with the Threat of the Use of Violence.” Conviction caries a prison sentence of 3-5 years.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
Fifteen masked fell upon a camp of Russian anti-nuclear activists on Saturday near the city of Angarsk. According to a report of the incident on UK Indymedia:
The campers knew about the planned attack and had organized night guards, but they were much too few (1 to 3). The Nazis attacked the sleeping activists with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. At least two campers became seriously injured: A person suffered a head-fracture, one became both legs broken. All tents were set in fire, several belongings were stolen.
He protested against the dumping of waste in his native land. For him, Mother Earth meant not simply a pagan seance of young budding Hitlerophiles. He tried to defend it from real contamination. He was more a pagan than the majority of scum who take enthusiastic leaps over bonfires “in praise of Perun” and “to the glory of Rus’.”
He fought for the future races. The sole race we all belong. This is the race of PEOPLE, where only part of which has white skin.
The eulogy went on to suggest that the Nazi attack was connected. “No one believes that after several attempts to disperse the camp that his murder is not connected with “law enforcement” organs.
Few reports have stated the fact that the assailants were Nazi youth. The Associated Press report noted that the environmentalists said that the attackers shouted “nationalists slogans,” yet police and Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Grigakin “rejected suggestions that extremist groups had masterminded the attack.” Otherwise always quick to note the specter of neo-Nazism in Russia, the RFE/Rl also didn’t point the finger at Nazi youth. RIA Novosti also made no mention of who the perpetrators were or their political affiliation. In fact one of the few English language news reports that highlighted the fact that activists said their attackers were skinheads was the Kremlin sponsored Russia Today.
Police say that they’ve detained four of the attackers and are investigating the incident as “hooliganism” and “intentional grievous bodily harm resulting in death.” Grigakin claims that the attackers explained that “They wanted to run amok and get some money out of the tourists and the people at the camp.” Perhaps if the activists were really tourists and not anti-fascist, environmentalist leftists protesting a Russian nuclear plant, the cops would be taking the incident more seriously.
But such is the lot for the often ignored Russian environmental movement. In 1999, environmental activist and former naval commander Grigory Pasko was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a military court in Vladivastok for articles about the waste generated by Russian nuclear submarines. The FSB arrested him in late 1997 for treason and espionage. Pasko spent 20 months in pre-trial detention, 10 of which were in solitary confinement. The charge of “high treason” was later changed to “the abuse of service commission” and released.
Although he was freed, according to Amnesty International, “The treatment of Grigory Pasko is part of an emergent pattern of persecution of environmental activists by the Russian authorities.”
And Pasko isn’t alone. In 2005, renowned Russian environmentalist Sergei Kharitonov sought political asylum in Finland. He became a target of the Russian authorities after he published a report with the Russian environmental NGO Bellona on the safety of the Sosnovyi Bor nuclear plant. Kharitonov worked in Sosnovyi Bor for 27 years until his firing in 2000.
And as recently as 3 July, police arrested a protester in Moscow when after donning a Putin mask and skies he attempted to ski up to Putin and give him a medal for destroying Sochi’s environment. Activists believe that the Sochi’s revamp for the 2012 Winter Olympics will act serve as an excuse to privatize its surrounding nature reserves and accelerate the region’s ecological decline. Activists have promised to fight the Kremlin over Sochi. One wonders if they too will get a taste of neo-Nazis wielding metal pipes and air pressure guns.
Special thanks to Duat X for the ZheZhe and Indymedia links.Tags: Russia|environmentalism|anti-fascism|youth politics|Putin|media|terrorism|neo-nazism|Russian nationalismPost Views: 43
By Sean — 10 years ago
The people want to know is the eXile‘s demise the result of a government inspection or money? Well, you see, the two can’t be untangled. Already in dire financial straights, the impromptu inspection scared the paper’s investors away, leaving it in debt and flat broke. Searching for whether it was the chicken or the egg doesn’t say much here. I think for the eXile, government attention simply nudged it off the financial cliff. As Yasha Levine explained on the eXile blog, “News of the [polite chinovniks’] visit had our investors fleeing instantly.” Now broke, the eXile is now begging for money to keep its website’s server up.
Why the eXile has finally attracted the government eye is easy to explain. Limonov, it’s offensive articles, and its love of pissing in the face of anything and everyone. The big question everyone is asking is why now? After all, wasn’t Medvedev supposed to bring a thaw to Putin’s free speech freeze out? There is no easy answer to why the eXile got inspected at this moment. Was it the recent articles on the clan war? Was it Ames writing of the new President, “Don’t you just want to pick Medvedev up and hug him and squeeze him? Or zip him up in a squirrel costume and put him in a habittrail, then just watch him run around, gnawing on a salt lick or rolling around in wood chips? We do. And we’re not afraid to say it either.” I doubt it. They’ve said a lot worse in the last 11 years.
I don’t think asking why now is as important as asking from where. The answer from the latter is sure to shed light on the former. I doubt the order to inspect the eXile came directly from the Kremlin mount. Russia’s chinovniki are so obsequious to those above that I wouldn’t doubt one of them is make a little campaign to with hopes please the new boss. That or Russia’s middle management haven’t got the message to back off the media. Are they not getting Medvedev’s hints that he plans to “protect the media” and even going so far as to shoot down the proposed amendment to the media law?
Or did the order come one of Russia’s board of directors embroiled in a clan war. Ames has published a few articles on the matter. Did they finally prick the ears of the wrong silovik? Then of course there are the alleged complaints by some Russian citizens that they were offended by the eXile. At least this is what the chinovniki told Ames in their meeting. Could it be that the Federal Service for Mass Media, Telecommunications and the Protection of Cultural Heritage works like America’s FCC, which goes after “indecency” on radio and TV based on consumer complaints? Is the eXile Recession Penis merely the Russian equivalent to Janet Jackson’s nipple? Perhaps but unlikely.
Unlikely first and foremost because nothing in Russia seems to ever happen by chance or according to the rules. Conspiracy is always in the air and be sure there is always a Russian boyar plotting and pulling the strings. Given the long list of harassment and threats the eXile have gotten over the years, it’s hard to think that they recent salvo against has anything to do with chance.
Plus it’s not like the eXile is alone here. Over the last month, a number of media outlets have come under fire in what appears to be a larger campaign. In late May, the Novosibirsk nationalist newspaper Otchezna was closed by local authorities for extremism. Also in Novoskibirsk a TV show set in WWII called “Jeeps against Tanks” has been suspected of extremism. The fear is that the show’s popularity might inspire youth to wear swastikas. A little over a week ago, the largest Russian radio company, Russian Media Group, was raided by tax police. A week before that, the Moscow liberal paper Nezavisimaya gazeta got an eviction notice from the Moscow city government. Konstantin Remchukov, NG’s editor/owner, said the notice was retaliation for running articles critical of Moscow boss Yuri Luzhkov. Ingushetia authorities also moved to close down the opposition site Ingushetiya.ru for extremism. The site is still alive but only because its server is outside Russia. The Bashkir government adopted the “On the Working Against Extremist Activities” law. Finally, the Kursk Provincial Duma is seeking to “sharply strengthen” the extremist law.
It appears that alongside Medvedev’s anti-corruption campaign there is an anti-extremism campaign in the making. Just yesterday, Medvedev gave a speech calling for the media to help curtail extremism. “We will fight with these problems with all available means,” he said. These means include the security organs, the justice system, and the Russian press. I would assume that the 53 hate crime arrests the Russian authorities have made so far this year is part of this campaign. True enough Russia has a big problem with skinheads, nationalism, and racial violence. There are real extremists out there. But the extremism law is so elastic that anyone can be labeled as such if some lowly chinovnik desired it.
The crackdown on Russia media is a well worn story. The NY Times revisited the issue of media (self-)censorship again this weekend. Surprisingly the English language press which is always ready to point out the next tiptoe to Russian autocracy, authoritarianism, fascism, Stalinism or whatever is the political flavor the week, have been virtually silent about the eXile‘s travails. No outcry from the NY Times. No snarky editorials from WaPo. The London Independent, which two years called the eXile “a breath of fresh air” amid “tightly controlled and increasingly cowed Moscow media,” hasn’t made a peep.
Besides the Moscow Times, the Daily Georgian Times, and something called the Foreign Policy Passport, the English Language media either doesn’t know about the story (unlikely), doesn’t care (likely), and is in fact happy (most likely). In fact, the whole incident seems to have thrown people’s political conscious into contradiction with their emotions. As the Moscow Times reported, one American victim of eXile pranks would only speak to them “on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be quoted saying negative things about the newspaper as it was being shut down.” The anon-moron said, “[The eXile] never really called anyone to ask questions, and they made 90 percent of it up.” Translated: “I’m glad those fucks finally got what they deserve, but it’s not politically correct to say so.” I guess eleven years of farting in everyone’s face doesn’t exactly ingratiate you to the establishment. So there are no crocodile tears for the poor eXile. Oh well, I doubt Ames and the gang are expecting any.
Given the context, perhaps there is an answer, or should a say a theory, of why the eXile now. It is part of the overarching campaignism of Medvedev so he could establish his footing as boss. This is not to say that the eXile is more significant than any other Russian press organ. Their appearance on the radar is far more modest. The eXile as the sole English language forum for Limonov coupled with its own brand of uncompromising bile made it an easy target for the chinovnik looking to fulfill signals from above. Since the usual outcry from the English speaking Mandarins is unlikely to come (perhaps if they were some thieving oligarch they would get more sympathy), an irascible English language bi-weekly already teetering on financial collapse is an easy gnat to crush.Post Views: 58
By Sean — 10 years ago
For the last few days Russian Live Journal has been reeling over the posting of a video showing the execution of two men, a Tadjik and Dagastani, by masked figures claiming to be members of a little known fascist group called National Socialism/White Power, reports Kommersant. The two minute video, posted as “The Execution of a Tadjik and Dagastani” by one “Antitsigan” (i.e. Anti-gypsy) shows the men stating, “Russian National Socialists arrested us” before one masked figure in camouflage slits the throat of one and shoots the other in the head. The two masked men then give a “Sieg Heil” as the video fades to a Nazi flag with punk rock guitar barrage soundtrack.
RFE/RL calls the two minute video, which isn’t the first of its kind, a “hate crime video.” I call it a political snuff film. Some like Aleksandr Belov, the leader of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration claims that the video is a fake and a “provocation.” “There are two versions. This is either committed by someone who sincerely considers that this is how it is necessary to fight non-residents or this is a provocation to discredit the Russian idea and stir up a fight against its supporters,” Belov told Kommersant. Belov also noted that the video may be connected to the detention of Maksim Martsinkevich, aka “Tesak,” the leader of the Nazi group Format-18, during his trial in a Moscow city court.
Also speaking to Kommersant, Aleksandr Berkhovskii, an expert at SOVA, thinks that the video is the real deal. “It doesn’t look like this clip was staged. It’s very natural and looks genuine.” He also admitted to the Associated Press that “I’ve never seen anything that blatant.”
The identities of the two men are still unknown.
The Russian MVD has opened an investigation into the video, but a spokesperson stated that it was too soon to determine if the video was real or not. Legally the authenticity of the video is not as much an issue for it violates several statues of the Russian extremist law. Under the law, any representation that seeks to insight racial or ethnic violence is considered criminal.
Is the video real or a fake? That is the question that has made the video one of the most discussed topics on Russian Live Journal. The video has since been removed from most websites.
Writing on his site, ZheZhe user aleke writes, “It makes absolutely no difference to me who did the executing, who was executed, or whether it was an execution at all. . . Nationalism has shown for a long time now nationalism doesn’t mean love for one’s country but hated toward others. Can there be talk about some kind of “Russian nationalism” if Russians are only mentioned in slogans and speeches and at the center of attention are Caucasians?”
Another ZheZhe user, dimantrump, dismissed the video as a provocation by the FSB. “What is the motive?” he asks. “It still turns the screws. Still more strongly enslaves the Russian people. In the end, as past experience has shown that such incidents ultimately play into the hands of the occupiers.”
I personally think that the question of its “reality” isn’t important beyond the need to bring the murders to justice. After all, given the sophistication of media technology is there any absolutely sure way to authenticate such a video? Granted, I have not watched it, nor do I intend to. But to me this video’s political resonance says something more about spectacle of violence that inhabits our modern lives rather than anything specific about nationalism or fascism in Russia. As far as I’m concerned the members of “National Socialism/White Power” are merely reproducing what has already become a staple in our media diet. From the “real” videos of Chechens beheading Russian soldiers, Beslan, Daniel Pearl, Abu Ghraib, suicide bombings, and school and workplace shootings (and the media’s obsession over them) to the “fake” torture scenes of shows like 24 and other films, hasn’t the gap between the real and the fake long collapsed, making their distinction merely academic. What is important is the connection between politics and extreme violence, or really the use of extreme violence as political spectacle. After all, has not the previously virtually unknown National Socialism/White Power made an instant name for itself with nothing more than a two minute commercial?Post Views: 87