Thursday, November 17, 2005

Here's a little something from RFE/RL on another potential alternative to Putin's regime - Dmitry Rogozin and his Rodina (Motherland) Party:

The Moscow prosecutor's office is considering whether to ban a controversial campaign video with racist and anti-immigrant undertones.

The video was made by the nationalist Motherland party ahead of Moscow legislative elections next month. The video also shows Motherland leader Dmitrii Rogozin and Yurii Popov -- Motherland's candidate for the city vote -- watching men of Caucasus descent throw watermelon rinds on the ground and demanding they pick them up.

A banner on the screen reads: "We're cleaning Moscow of garbage."

The background music played during the advertisement is ethnic music from the Kabardino-Balkariya region, which was the scene of violent unrest last month.

Prosecutors say they will rule on 11 November on the legality of the video, which is already airing on Russia's TV-Tsentr television.

Politicians and public activists have hotly criticized the video as xenophobic and hateful. Lawmaker Vladislav Reznik of the centrist Unified Russia party described the video as "tasteless and obscene," and a product of "redneck fascism."

TV-Tsentr has said it will continue to broadcast the video until the end of the election campaign on 2 December if it is not banned.

Prosecutors are also considering the legality of a statement made by Rogozin on Ekho Moskvy radio. In his comments to the broadcaster, Rogozin suggested the 4 December elections would be "stolen from Muscovites," and that Motherland was prepared to call "tens of thousands of people" onto the streets to protest any perceived voter fraud.


The video also features a bleach-blond girl with a stroller, and some old schmuck, Rogozin's companion, who asks one of the non-Russian-looking guys whether he speaks any Russian at all...

The video is available at Rodina's site - here.


The irony, of course, is that many - if not most - of those who keep Moscow's streets and backyards relatively clean do not look like ethnic Russians at all.

Here's my photo of three Moscow janitors walking down Nikitsky Boulevard in March 2004:


  1. hi Veronica, thank you for all your posts which i find fascinating. question: are you really online at the maternity ward? is it dialup access?
    good luck with your labor. is it your first child?

    thanks again for the posts.

  2. Yeah, though it's not an average Ukrainian maternity ward. There's a phone in every room, which makes it easy to go online if you buy a card. Very nice, doesn't feel like a hospital.

    Thanks so much for your wishes - this is my first pregnancy and I do need all the good wishes and prayers you guys can offer!

  3. Those Rodina guys are shameless and disgusting. I don't like to consider them a real alternative - I still think they are more or less allowed as much rope as the Kremlin gives them and will never be allowed any actual authority. Rogozin himself, though, is a different story - clearly an ambitious and very slick guy. The kind of politician who it's easy to imagine voters finding charming, even though he makes me cringe and want to throw something at the TV every time I see him. Anyway, you make a very good point about the people who actually keep Moscow clean. For better or worse, Russia is going to be dependent on migrant laborers for decades to come, so people would be wise to get used to it. I do wonder what the phrase "redneck fascism" sounded like in Russian, though...

    By the way, good friends of ours just had a baby via c-section...but only after 21 hours (!) of labor. So it seems like you're doing it the right way. Good luck.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful comment, Lyndon!

    I've been thinking of what 'redneck fascism' was in the original, too: 'zhlobskiy fascism' maybe?..

    All the vert best to you and your family!