Anti-Caucasian rallies continued. The public campaign “Stop feeding the Caucasus” culminated in a Moscow rally on October 22nd that featured anti-corruption and xenophobic slogans. Nevertheless, it failed to mobilize significant support with only 500 attendees. Meanwhile, the well-known blogger and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny was one of the key speakers along with the leader of the pro-democracy People’s Freedom Party, Vladimir Milov. These “liberal” politicians who are regarded as respectable opposition to Putin spoke alongside more odious nationalist leaders of the xenophobic “Movement against Illegal Immigration.”
There were also some important criminal verdicts. Recent migrants from the Caucasus were sentenced to prison for the death of “Spartak” football fan Egor Sviridov. (Spartak fans are known for their nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies.) Sviridov was shot during a brawl with Caucasian fans. His death caused a nationalist demonstration and clashes with police in Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square which resulted in five arrests and sentences of two-to-six-and-a-half years. The killer, Aslan Cherkesov, received 20 years in prison; his “accomplices” five years each.
In a related incident, Chechens involved in the death of a Spartak fan were sentenced to 17 and six years in prison respectively. These sentences were clearly intended to precede the Russian March, a massive nationalist rally that occurs annually on November 4th.
According to the SOVA Center, at least 14 persons in at least seven regions of the country were victims of hate crimes in October. Seven acts of neo-Nazi vandalism were also recorded.
As December 4th parliamentary near, parties continue to toy with the nationalistic electorate. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) included as a candidate on its list the son of an army colonel blamed for raping and killing a Chechen girl.# That is one of the ways LDPR intends to court the right-wing electorate. The party also invited various activists, including those from extreme-right groups to serve as observers for LDPR during elections. The party list also includes Maxim Korotkov-Gulyaev, the attorney of Evgeny Khasis, who was sentenced for the murder of human rights and anti-fascist lawyer Stanislav Markelov. The party caucus took place under the slogan «For Russians!».