MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — Day of National Unity was marked in Moscow on November 4. The most popular mass event in the RF capital was the “Russian March” of the pro-Kremlin youth movement “Nashi” (Ours) in the All-Russian Exhibition Centre (VVTs) where over 15,000 people gathered. According to observers, a nationalists’ rally under the same name has failed. According to police, it gathered twice less people than the action organised by Nashi.
The seventh Russian March, traditionally held on November 4, did not justify the hopes of the organisers, Kommersant writes.
They failed to get a serious increase in the number of supporters - instead of the planned 15,000 people only 7,000 attended the event, the same as last year, the newspaper states. When the nationalists in October submitted an application for staging the Russian March in the Lyublino district, they talked about 15,000 potential participants in the event. The ultra-right leaders also promised that the number of participants would be much greater. First, the nationalists were certain that the upcoming elections would stir up the interest in the event – it is at the Russian March that the ultra-right planned to express their attitude to them. Second, they said, the Manezhnaya Square riots in December 2010 added supporters to the nationalists. In addition, the popular blogger Alexei Navalny (more than 66,000 people signed up on his blog) urged the readers to take part in the action. It turned out in practice that the Russian March gathered exactly the same number of participants as last year. The march was led by the former leader of the banned Slavic Union, Dmitry Dyomushkin, against whom two criminal cases on charges of inciting ethnic hatred have been recently opened.
According to Moskovsky Komsomolets, the Russian March has turned out to be a failure. There was a complete mess. A crowd three times less than the promised number of participants turned out to be extremely difficult to control, the newspaper said. The organisers rushed along the people’s column and urged them to “chant with a message!” For example, “Glory to Russia.” “We need no extremism.” And they heard in response: “Ziga-ziga,” with arms rising in a Nazi salute, and in general, everyone was shouting exactly what he wanted, not what was demanded from them, the newspaper writes. Who will now believe that it is possible to come to an agreement with the nationalists? Who will believe there is a sane, organised nationalist movement in Russia? the publication asks.
At the same time, the participants in the Nashi action marched through the VVTs territory to one of the pavilions, where an improvised festival of peoples of Russia was held, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Till the evening the young people were preparing national dishes, electing the most beautiful girl in a folk costume and held the most popular national dance contests. According to organisers, their Russian March gathered those who know the Russian language, loves Russia and respects its laws and wants to live here.
Komsomolskaya Pravda recalls that the Nashi movement has held its Russian March, dedicated to Day of National Unity, for the third consecutive year.