Monday, March 19, 2007

Thanks to Akhmad Kadyrov's ghost, there's a new twist in Russia's extremely twisted politics.

This past Saturday, a bunch of DPNI/nationalist/anti-immigration folks held a rally against renaming one of the streets in South Butovo, Moscow, into Kadyrov Street: he used to kill Russian soldiers in Chechnya and doesn't deserve being glorified like this.

Several activists were detained - and one still remains behind bars, awaiting trial and, possibly, deportation.

Deportation to Ukraine.

Olga Kasyanenko, aka LJ user matilda-don, a native of Donetsk, a Ukrainian citizen, an active member of DPNI (Movement Against Illegal Immigration) and a few other groups, a journalist, a correspondent for DPNI-TV, recently married to Vyacheslav Makarov, aka LJ user slavamakarov, a 27-year-old Russian citizen and a comrade-in-arms in the fight against illegal immigration.

Turns out she was not registered in Moscow - because, according to her husband, the new registration rules are too confusing.

Back in 2004, as a favor to presidential candidate Yanukovych, Putin allowed us Ukrainians to stay in Russia for 90 days without registration; Russian citizens had three days - not 90 - to do all the paperwork when they moved from one city to another, and if they failed, they were fined and/or detained; eventually, however, they were granted the same rights as the Ukrainians living in Russia. Beginning this year, though, the rules for foreigners have changed, and no one can figure out how they apply to Ukrainians - not even those who enforce the new migration laws. Either we have very little time to get registered, like everyone else, or the 2004 agreement is still valid and we still have our 90 days.

Anyway, matilda-don/Kasyanenko has gotten herself and the anti-immigration movement in a very funny, very absurd situation. Below are some of the exchanges (RUS) on her husband's blog - hilarious:

prof_umoriarty: How come the husband hasn't registered his lawful spouse? Greed?

slavamakarov: Damn. Even now, they can't give me a clear answer at the Federal Migration Service on what the rules are for Ukrainian citizens staying in Russia. If we had known what's required, we'd have gotten her registered [...].

ryurikov: I no longer understand anything. Slava, I apologize, but what you write is strange. Registration is meant for everyone. Ukrainians were just allowed to stay longer, but this did not cancel registration. Which means that Matilda was an illegal immigrant, violating registration rules, but she had an excuse - a train ticket [certifying that she had entered Russia within the past 90 days]. DPNI is fighting against such excuses, if I understand it correctly. So here's what we've got: a leading member (as she's been described here) of DPNI has consciously become one of those NI [an illegal immigrant] (hiding behind a scheme). It's surreal.

But that's okay. However, here's what you write: "If we had known what's required, we'd have gotten her registered" - this is totally crazy. According to you, after three months [since the new laws have been introduced], folks at DPNI don't know the basic things about immigration? Information on the changes regarding Ukrainian citizens is completely in public domain. I didn't know about them - but I'm not following migration politics. But DPNI and DPNI-TV - it turns out they know nothing about ... what they are fighting against? [...]

prof_umoriarty: Why didn't you register her [in your apartment] as your lawful spouse? Don't you trust her? Why did you get married then?

slavamakarov: Damn. I didn't have enough time - we were going to deal with it in a week, I was finishing up my property ownership paperwork.

eduard_bagirov: He doesn't trust her. He's afraid she's gonna cut off half of his room, hahaha. Ukrainian Tatar women [khokhlyatskiye tatarki], they are like this, yes.

signamax: Maybe someone will explain to me: Matilda, a citizen of Ukraine, stays in Moscow in violation of the registration regime (or whatever it's called), and at the same time, she's a member of DPNI - and yet, she's currently an illegal immigrant herself. [...]

signamax: Can I write somewhere - to DPNI or the prosecutor's office - that I support in every way the movement against illegal immigration and believe that, above all, its members have to fight for the purity in their own ranks. To support the deportation of Matilda to her historical homeland would be a logical and extremely patriotic step on the part of DPNI - and following inner logic, they should gather near the place of her detention right now, with the corresponding demand. [...]


I think it's all very typical, part of the general pattern. People who make me think something like, OK, if this is an alternative to Putin, then perhaps it'd be better for him to stay. As fucked up and hypocritical as Limonov and Anpilov posing as Kasparov's allies. And it's such a waste of time to be taking any of these characters seriously. There is, of course, some entertainment value in it.


Here're a few related but more or less irrelevant links:

- DPNI-TV's YouTube video of matilda-don interviewing (RUS) residents of South Butovo - including some clueless kids - on their views of Kadyrov;

- a few photos of South Butovo;

- matilda-don's CV (RUS) - unearthed by some skinheads who don't seem to like DPNI, partly because the movement's leader, Aleksandr Belov, is believed to be a Jew hiding behind a Russian last name (his real name is Potkin); matilda-don started out as Vecherniy Donetsk newspaper reporter in 1996; from September to November of 2006, she worked at the youth TV channel O2TV but quit because she "didn't agree with her bosses' ideology" (Aleksandr Dugin and Mikhail Leontyev often appear on that channel, as well as Maria Gaidar and Oleg Kashin);

- matilda-don's "prose" (RUS) at;

- the skinheads' forum thread on matilda-don - includes pictures of her with Belov-Potkin from her LJ (oh boy, I've just realized he's two years younger than I am... here's a bio of his, in Russian);

- a wedding picture of slavamakarov and matilda-don - they look like Tolkien fans, like hobbits...


  1. Interesting story - when was the street named Kadyrov?
    and was it in response that in 1999 he left the separatist cause and became pro-Moscow to eventually become leader of the Republic?

    I am just trying to understand why the street was named for him, in the first place. Thanks.

  2. Thanks. I haven't looked yet, but my guess is that the street was named after Kadyrov following his death. The folks who protest it write that, according to some law, at least ten years have to pass since a person's death before they can begin naming streets after him/her, and in Kadyrov's case, it's only been three years, I think.

  3. Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if the street naming followed the Soviet policy that in the case of defectors, their prior crimes against the state were sanitized and they would be now lauded as heroes.