The Russian National Union party (Russkii natsionalnyi soyuz - RNS), its leadership, membership, influence across Russia, and relationship with the Russian National Unity party (Russkoe natsionalnoe edinstvo - RNE) (1999-June 2000) [RUS34729.E]

According to different sources, there are several political organizations whose names are sometimes translated into English as the Russian National Union. Examples follow:

The 'Rossiiskii obshenarodnyi soyuz' (ROS) led by Sergei Baburin (Derksen 8 June 2000; Itar-Tass 5 Feb. 2000; ibid. 19 Dec. 1999a; ibid. 19 Dec. 1999b; ibid. 21 Sep. 1999) also translated as the 'Russian Union of the Whole People' (Itar-Tass 24 Aug. 1999) or the 'Russian All-People's Union' (Prism 5 Apr. 1996);
The 'Russkii obshenatsionalnyi soyuz' (RONS) led by Igor Artemov (Panorama n.d.;UCSJ 12 May 2000)
The 'Russkoe natsionalnoe edinstvo' (RNE) led by Aleksander Barkashov (Russian and Euro-Asian Bulletin Jan.-Feb. 2000; The Toronto Star 1 Sep. 1998; Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire 15 Feb. 2000);

However, sources mention only one connected with Konstantin Kasimovsky and Alexey Vdovin.

The Russian National Union (Russkii natsionalnyi soyuz - RNS), was founded in early 1993 when an "initiative group" led by Alexey Vdovin and Konstantin Kasimovsky split from the "ultra-nationalist" organization Pamyat (Memory) (Institute for Jewish Policy Research Dec. 1998). In 1997, Alexey Vdovin was expelled from the RNS and later joined the Russian National Unity group (Russkoe natsionalnoe edinstvo - RNE) led by Aleksandr Barkashov (ibid.). While an article published in 1999 suggests that Konstantin Kasimovsky was still leading the RNS alone at that time (Kontinent Feb. 1999), the Russian National Socialist Website claims that the RNS became the Russian National Socialist Party in November 1998 (Russian National Socialist Party n.d.). No corroborating information on this party could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

There is a reference in a 7 Dec. 1999 UCSJ position paper to Konstantin Kasimovsky, described as the editor of the newspaper Shturmovik (Stormtrooper), being "tried in court." No information on the charges against him nor corroborating information on this trial could be found in the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The RNS is described by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research as a "Neo-Nazi organization which adheres to an ethnic concept of Russian Orthodoxy", which reportedly established links with "neo-Nazi skinheads" and other similar youth organizations (Dec. 1998). Its membership ranges from 100 to 200 people, although no reliable statistical data exist (ibid.). The RNS also includes a "storm trooper detachment" whose members train at a facility provided by the organization (ibid.). Describing the activities of the RNS, an article published in Prism adds that:

The Russian National Union often holds rallies - small but obstreperous - in support of the Bosnian Serbs, Saddam Hussein, or the white population of South Africa. The leaders of the organization have extensive connections with ultraright organizations in the West. During the Duma elections, the Russian National Union, together with the People's Nationalist Party (led by A. Ivanov-Sukharevsky), tried to create an election bloc named "Russian Action." After the attempt failed, the Union nominated several candidates in single-member districts of Moscow. Some of these candidates were (for various reasons) refused permission to register, while those who did register failed to win the elections. Thus no one from the Russian National Union managed to enter the Duma (5 Apr. 1996).

According to sources, the RNS' publications include the newspaper Shturmovik and the journal Natsiya ("The Nation") (Institute for Jewish Policy Research Dec. 1998; Kontinent Feb. 1999; Prism 5 Apr. 1996). The readership of these publications is said to be skinheads (Kontinent Feb. 1999). These periodicals are described as "most extreme" by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (Dec. 1998). An April 1996 Prism article makes reference to the RNS having its own video studio.

No additional current information on the RNS could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Also, no references to relationship between the RNS and the RNE could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire [London]. 15 February 2000. "Russia Economy: Regional Snapshot - Voronezh Oblast." (NEXIS)

Electoral Web Sites (Wilfried Derksen). (updated 8 June 2000). "Elections in Russia." http://www.agora.stm.it/elections/election/russia.htm [Accessed 19 June 2000]

Institute for Jewish Policy Research [London]. December 1998. Antisemitism in the World Today. Russia. http://www.jpr.org.uk/antisem/countries/russia/index.html [Accessed 20 June 2000]

Itar-Tass [Moscow, in English]. 5 February 2000. Svetlana Alikina. "Russian National Union to Back Putin for President." (FBIS-SOV-2000-0205 7 Feb. 2000/WNC)

_____. 19 December 1999a. "Itar-Tass News Highlights of December 1999." (NEXIS)

_____. 19 December 1999b. Anatoly Petrov. "Duma Vice-Speaker Baburin Said to Lose Omsk Election." (FBIS-SOV-1999-1219 19 Dec. 1999/WNC)

_____. 21 September 1999. Larisa Reznikova. "Congress of Russian National Union Begins Work." (FBIS-SOV- 1999-0921 21 Sep. 1999/WNC)

_____. 24 August 1999. Natalia Mikhalchenko. "Russia's Baburin: Election to Change Duma Composition." (FBIS-SOV-1999-0824 25 Aug. 1999/WNC)

Kontinent. February 1999. Alexander Tarasov. "Skinheads are Calling a Hunt." (WPS 9 Feb. 1999/NEXIS)

Panorama [Moscow]. n.d. "Rossiiskii obshenacional'nyi soyuz. Lider - Igor' Artemov." www.panorama.ru:8105/works/vybory/spisok.html [Accessed 22 June 2000]

Prism [London]. 5 April 1996. Vasily Andreev. "The Seeds of Fascism in Russia." http://www.jamestown.org./pubs/view/pri_002_007_005.htm [Accessed 20 June 2000]

Russian and Euro-Asian Bulletin [Melbourne]. January-February 2000. Graeme Gill. "The Russian Duma Elections of 1999: The Main Game?" http://www.cerc.unimelb.edu.au/bulletin/00feb.htm [Accessed 22 June 2000]

Russian National Socialist Party. n.d. http://www.nationalism.org/rnsp/display_ENG.htm [Accessed 22 June 2000]

The Toronto Star. 1 September 1998. Olivia Ward. "Russian Jews Look to Future." (LEXIS)

Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ)[Washington] . 12 May 2000. Andrey Kolesnikov. "Surge of Fascism and Antisemitism in Vladimir Oblast." http://www.fsumonitor.com [Accessed 20 June 2000]

_____. 7 December 1999. Victor Zolotarevich. "Inciting Antisemitism. Legalizing or Combating It." http://www.fsumonitor.com [Accessed 20 June 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted


IRB Databases

LEXIS/NEXIS

Moskovskii Antifashistskii Tsentr. Informatsionno-ekspertnaya gruppa "Panorama" [Moscow]. 1996. Natsional-patrioticheskie Organizatsii v Rossii. Moscow: Institut eksperimentalnoi sotsiologii.

Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ). December 1999. Antisemitism, Xenophobia and Religious Persecution in Russia's Regions 1998-1999. Washington: Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

One oral source did not reply within the time constraints.

Internet sites including:

Elections around the world

Keesing's

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

Transitions

World News Connection (WNC)

Search engine including:

Fast Search

Google

Metacrawler

Rambler (in Russian)