By Ruslan Linkow
Russia is gradually sinking into the abyss of fascism. Its seeds have been sown by those in power and are now shooting forth in society. The Kremlin, using the patriotic feelings of its own subjects, has created a political force with a name vivid and dear to every Russia’s heart – Rodina, or Motherland. This organization, with the support of President Vladimir Putin’s administration, has not only gained access to all mass media (television, radio, and newspapers), but surpassed the 5 percent barrier and made it into the State Duma.
For the purpose of strengthening its own power, today’s Kremlin went further than mere exploitation of chauvinism, patriotic, and fascist slogans. It has drawn the Russian extreme right – militant Orthodox fundamentalists, professional xenophobes and homebred Nazis – to the work and leadership of the Rodina party.
The sleek National Patriot [political party] Dmitry Rogozin became the head of the party and of its Duma faction. Despite his views, rather strange and dubious for the contemporary politician, he has worked as assistant to the [sic] Putin. This is yet another sign of demand for personalities similar to that of the Rodina leader in Russian politics.
In the early days of their sharing official power, Russian National Patriots limited themselves to attacking neighboring countries and people (mostly the former republics of the Soviet Union [Emphasis Ed]). Today, however the State Duma deputies from the Rodina faction openly and unceremoniously demand a state ban of all Jewish organizations in Russia. At the same time, Rogozin’s party claims to “protect the interest of the Russian ethnic majority living on the territory of Russia.” In protecting “Russian” interests. Rogozin’s colleagues are guided by a racist ideology.
One of the leaders of the Rodina parliamentary faction, deputy Andrei Savelye not only edits racists literature (he edited the book Racial Meaning of the Russian Idea, issued by the Moscow publishing house Beliye Alvy), but actually writes racist articles himself, such as his preface to V.B. Avdeyev’s Racial Studies (Beliye Alvy, 2005) from the series entitled Library of Racial Thought. Savelyev describes Racial Studies as a “remarkable” and “impressive work on the history of racial studies and racial thought,” since “Russians represent a racially pure homogeneous, primarily Nordic branch of the European race…And this legacy must be protected from being destroyed by floods of immigrants…”
Could Savelyev and his like from the Rodina party find themselves among Duma deputies by pure chance? In today’s Russia this would be utterly impossible. Nowadays, all candidates for the Duma must be approved by the presidential administration. This also explains the uninhibited distribution of xenophobic, nationalist, anti-Semitic, and outrightly racist literature through the country’s public book shops. In today’s Germany, one can hardly imagine the publication and open distribution of the writings by Ernst Kriek, creator of the concept of the Third Reich and friend and associate of another Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg.
The preface of the Russian edition of Kriek’s Overcoming Idealism: The Basics of Racial Pedagogy (Beliye Alvy, 2004) proclaims the reading of “this masterpiece of philosophical literature gives on the feeling of a rapturous and heady bewilderment, as does the touch of everything that is new, beautiful, and life-asserting.” The colleagues of Rodina members, racists from other countries, admit, that “in comparison with Western Europe, Russia enjoys greater freedom of speech…The protectors of the race may write and speak.The favorable climate is only to be found in Russia, which makes it the avant-garde in the battle of the with races” (from Racial Meaning of the Russian Idea, vol.2).
It is flattering to see the world admitting that Russia leads the world in something, but in this particular case, it is rather a shame. Indignant with the many cases of kindling interethnic, racial and religious conflicts in Russia, eminent Russian scientists, cultural figures and human rights activists have written to Putin. These include the popular film and theater actor Oleg Basilashvili, film director Alexei German, writers Boris Strugatsky and Nina Katerli, Dmitry Shagin, artist and leader of the Mitki, artist and human rights activist Yuly Rybakov, Pavel Yegorov, professor at the St. Petersburg Conservator and associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Pavel Egorov, Rafail Ganelin, professor at the Historical Institute and associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rock musician Svetlana Surganova, and others.