In 2006, the Russian parliament (controlled by Putin's party United Russia) extended the interpretation of "extremism": all pro-White / racialist speech is "extremism", can be given additional penalties as such, under Putin's laws (and this extension). The State Duma has expanded the definition of extremism in the first reading / GoogleTranslate :
Quote: The State Duma adopted in the first reading amendments to the law on "Counteracting Extremist Activities", in which the expanding definition of the term "extremism." In particular, as a manifestation of extremism invited to recognize the riots, hooliganism and vandalism, if they contribute to the excitation of hatred for ideological, political, racial, national or religious grounds, according to RIA Novosti .
In addition, extremism under the new law will treat the propaganda of exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their attitude to religion, social status, race or ethnicity.
Article 13 of the Federal Law of 25.07.2002 № 114-FZ "On Countering Extremist Activity", paragraph 7 of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 13.10.2004 № 1313 on the Russian Ministry of Justice in charge for management, publishing, and Internet posting of the federal list of extremist materials.
Information materials of extremist federal court at the discovery, distribution or location of the organization that conducted the production of such material on the basis of the prosecutor or the production corresponding to an administrative offense, civil or criminal proceedings. [...] Russian law establishes liability for the mass distribution of extremist materials included in the published federal list of extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for mass distribution.
< a few snips from the large list of materials: > 1496 The brochure "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (decision of Lenin district court of Orenburg on 26.07.2010); 1491 A copy of the book "Rasologiya science of hereditary qualities of people" by VB Avdeev (decision Leninsky District Court of Orenburg on 26.07.2010); 1487 A copy of the book "The Truth about the Holocaust", by Mark Weber (decision Leninsky District Court of Orenburg on 26.07.2010);
In addition to banning materials, Putin's Federal Law On Countering Extremist Activities also serves as the legal basis for banning many nationalist, racialist and anti-immigration groups as well as White religious organizations that had members publicly expressing unPC views and/or publishing "extremist" materials. From Russian Ministry of Justice Website:
Quote: The list of non-profit organizations, for which the court accepted inured decision to remove or ban the activities on the grounds provided federal law "On Countering Extremist Activity"
1. Interregional Public Organization "National Bolshevik Party" (decision of the Moscow City Court of 19.04.2007 on the prohibition of the activity).
2. Religious group Krasnodar Slavic Orthodox community "Century's Office" (Vedic Culture Russian Arias) Scythian Vesey Russenia (decision of the Krasnodar Regional Court on 10.5.2006 to ban the activities).
3. Unregistered public association group "The Kuban Rada Spiritual Tribal Power Rus" (decision Pervomaisky district court in Krasnodar on the Elimination of 13.04.2006).
4. Local religious organization Asgardskaya Slavic Community Spiritual Board Asgardskoy Vesey Belovodye Old Russian Orthodox Old Believers' Church Ingliisticheskoy-Ynglings (decision of the Omsk Regional Court dated 30.04.2004 of liquidation).
5. Local religious organization Slavic Community temples of Vedas Perun Spiritual Board Asgardskoy Vesey Belovodye Old Russian Orthodox Old Believers' Church Ingliisticheskoy-Ynglings (decision of the Omsk Regional Court dated 30.04.2004 of liquidation).
6. Religious Organization Men Seminary Spiritual Foundation of professional religious education Ancient Russian Orthodox Old Believers' Church Ingliisticheskoy-Ynglings (decision of the Omsk Regional Court dated 30.04.2004 of liquidation).
7. International religious organization "Nurdzhular" (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation from 10.04.2008 to ban the activities).
8. Public association Akhtuba national movement "to Bogoderzhaviyu" (decision Achtubinskiy City Court of Astrakhan region of 17.07.2008 and against decisions in civil cases Astrakhan Regional Court on 17.09.2008).
9. International religious organization "Tablighi Jamaat" (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 07.05.2009).
10. Local Jehovah's Witnesses "Taganrog" (decision of the Rostov Regional Court on 11.09.2009 and against decisions on civil cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 08.12.2009).
11. Ryazan city public patriotic organization "Russian National Unity" (default judgment Railway District Court of Ryazan from 12.02.2008 and the definition of the Railway District Court of Ryazan from 24.12.2009).
12. International NGO "National Socialist Society" ("VAT", "NS") (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 01.02.2010).
13. Group "Jamaat muvahidov" (decision of Lenin district court of the city of Astrakhan 19.10.2007).
14. "United Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachai" (Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria on 09.07.2010).
15. Primorsky regional human rights organization "Slavic Union" (decision of Primorsky Krai Court of 28.07.2010).
16. International religious organization "Al-Takfir wal-Hijra" (Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 15.09.2010).
17. The local organization of Krasnodar - "Pit Bull» («Pit Bull») (October decision of the district court of Krasnodar on 24.08.2010).
18. Public association "National Socialist Workers' Party of Russia" ("NSRPR") (the Trial of the Civil Division of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court on 22.09.2010).
19. Interregional Public Movement "Slavic Union" (the decision of the Moscow City Court on 27.04.2010).
20. Interregional public association "Format 18" (decision of the Moscow City Court on 20.12.2010).
21. Religious group "Noble Order of the Devil" (Supreme Court of the Republic of Mordovia of 27.12.2010).
22. Interregional Public Movement "The army will of the people" (decision of the Moscow City Court on 19.10.2010).
23. Local NGO "National Socialist Initiative Cherepovets" (decision Cherepovets Vologda City Court on 05.16.2011).
24. Interregional public association "Spiritual Birth Country Rus" (decision of the Moscow Regional Court on 05.04.2011 and of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 07.12.2011).
25. Tatarstan regional branch of the All-Russian patriotic movement "Russian National Unity" (Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan from 21.05.2003).
26. Religious Group O. Sokolov, Russian Vladimir Petina AG and professing, cultivating and spreading ideas of the doctrine of "Old Russian Orthodox Old Believers' Church Inglisticheskoy-Ynglings" (Maikop decision of the district court of the Republic of Adygea 12.12.2008).
27. Interregional Association "Russian All-National Union". (Vladimir Regional Court decision dated 30.05.2011 and determination of the Board on Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 06.09.2011).[/b]
28. Interregional public organization "Movement Against Illegal Immigration" (decision of the Moscow City Court on 18.04.2011 and of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 09.08.2011);
29. International association of "Blood and Honor». («Blood and Honour/Combat18», «B & H», «BandH») (the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 05.29.2012)
This list sadly includes the most significant above-ground racialist and ethno-nationalist organizations in Russia. Movement Against Illegal Immigration aka DPNI (# 28 in the list), Russian All-National Union aka RONS (# 27 in the list) , Slavic Union (#19 in the list) were the key organizers behind the biggest annual nationalist event in Russia - the "Russian March" rally (see Russian March 2009 Stormfront thread for good video coverage).
Activists or sympathizers of organizations assigned such status, can be punished with fines or even imprisonment for organizing (or just participating in) any activities of the organization, due to these amendments to the Article 282 of criminal code: Quote: Article 282.1. Organizing an Extremist Community
1. Creation of an extremist community, that is, of an organized group of persons for the preparation or for the performance, with the motives of the ideological, political, racial, national or religious hatred or enmity, as well as on the motives of hatred or enmity towards any one social group, of the crimes mentioned in Articles 148, 149, in the first and in the second parts of Article 213, in Articles 214, 243, 244, 280 and 282 of this Code (crimes with an extremist thrust), as well as the leadership of such an extremist community, of a part of it or of the structural subdivisions included into such community, and also setting up an association of the organizers, leaders or other representatives of the parts or of the structural subdivisions of such community for the purposes of elaboration of the plans and or the conditions for committing crimes with an extremist thrust -
- shall be punished with a fine in the amount of up to 200 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wages or of other income of the convicted person for a period up to 18 months, or by the deprivation of the right to occupy definite posts or to engage in a definite activity for a term of up to five years, or by imprisonment for a term up to four years.
2. Participation in an extremist community -
- shall be punished with a fine in the amount up to 40 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wages or of the other income of the convicted person for a period up to three months, or by imprisonment for a term of up to two years with the deprivation of the right to occupy specific posts or to engage in a specific kind of activity for a term of up to three years, or without any term.
Federal Law No. 73-FZ of July 21, 2004 amended the third part of Article 282.1 of the present Code
3. The actions envisaged in the first and second parts of the present Article committed by the person with the use of his official status, -
- shall be punished with a fine in the amount of 100 thousand to 300 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wages or of other income of the convicted person for a period of one to two years, or by imprisonment for a term of up to six years with the deprivation of the right to occupy specific posts or to engage in a specific kind of activity for a term of up to three years.
Note. A person who voluntarily stops his participation in an extremist community shall be relieved of criminal liability unless a different corpus delicti is contained in his actions.
Article 282.2. Organizing the Activity of an Extremist Community
1. Organizing the activity of a public or religious association or of another organization, with respect to which the court has adopted an already enforced decision on the liquidation the prohibition of the activity in connection with the performance of an extremist activity -
- shall be punished with a fine in the amount of 100 thousand to 300 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wages or of other income of the convicted person for a period of one to two years, or by the arrest for a term from four to six months, or by imprisonment for a term of up to three years.
2. Participation in the activity of a public or religious association or of another organization, towards which the court has adopted the already enforced decision on the liquidation or on prohibition of the activity in connection with the performance of an extremist activity, -
- shall be punished with a fine in the amount up to 200 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wages or other income of the convicted person for a period up to 18 months, or by the arrest for a term of up to four months, or by the deprivation of freedom for a term of up to two years.
Note. A person who has voluntarily ceased participation in the activity of a public or religious association or of another organization, towards which the court has passed an already enforced decision on the liquidation or prohibition of the activity in connection with the performance of an extremist activity, shall be relieved of criminal liability, unless a different corpus delicti is contained in his activity.
Vladimir Putin, often described as a creature of the KGB, owed his rapid promotion to Moscow to the Family, Yeltsin's self-serving band of oligarchs and neoliberal economists, which were thought of by Bill Clinton as Russia's future. The nemesis of US's plans to reshape Russia in its image did not emerge from the communist party, but from the bowels of the regime Washington was supporting. Putin's career very nearly foundered on a scandal in which Petersburg lost $100m of food imports as barter for Russian timber, oil and other raw materials.
Russia’s back-in-office President Vladimir Putin can be sure that he has a steadfast supporter in Rabbi Berel Lazar, the country’s Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach.
With continued criticism against the Kremlin’s growing control and Russian Jewish leadership which doubted “Putin’s commitment to protecting Russia’s Jews,” Lazar stands out.
“There wasn’t a single thing that he was asked to do to benefit Judaism or the Jewish communities that he did not respond to positively,” Rabbi Lazar said about Putin, who has been ruling the country since 1999.
As President and Prime Minister, Putin “constantly took interest in the situation of the Jews in the country, showed care for their needs and has done a lot to eradicate anti-Semitism and returning Jewish buildings that were nationalized,” Rabbi Lazar told the Israeli haredi ‘Hamevaser.’
“We are nearing completion on a Jewish museum which will be one of the largest in the world. President Putin has contributed alot for the advancement of its building and he himself donated one paycheck of his, which led many others to donate as well,” he added.
Putin was inaugurated in lavish ceremony in the Kremlin on 7 May 2012 in front of the inner circles of the Russian establishment. Among the religious leaders attending were Rabbi Lazar and Alexander Boroda, the Chairman of the Board for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.
“I blessed him in the name of Russian Jewry and told him that the number three in Judaism symbolizes a ‘Chazakah’ (a Halachic term for permanence),” Rabbi Lazar said.
It is not known exactly when Putin and Lazar first met, but Putin, who is said to be impressed by Lazar’s strict religious observance, has showered Lazar with his appreciation. First and foremost among these privileges was his blessing of Lazar as chief rabbi of the Federation. This was not as simple as it may sound, since Gusinsky’s Russian Jewish Congress already had a chief rabbi—the Siberian-born Adolf Shayevich, the spiritual leader of the Russian capital’s prestigious Moscow Choral Synagogue. Shayevich refused to step down and has alleged that Leviev offered him $240,000 to resign. To this day, there are two chief rabbis of Russia and a deep enmity between the two men. Earlier this year, Shayevich called Lazar “an agent of the Kremlin” on Russian TV.
But Putin has found plenty of ways to express his preference for Lazar. He invited Lazar, not Shayevich, to his first State of the Nation speech in June 2000; the following year, he removed Shayevich from the government’s religious affairs council and appointed Lazar in his place. Lazar reciprocated by assuring the public that Putin’s actions against the likes of Gusinsky and Berezovsky had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, and that Russia at large was free of that scourge. In the face of growing Russian anti-Semitism in the middle of the first decade of the century, Lazar has toned down the latter point. He condemned a 2005 open letter signed by 500 nationalists, including members of the Russian Parliament, that called on Putin to ban all Jewish organizations. He also spoke out against violent attacks on Jews, including one on a Chabad rabbi in Moscow.
Lazar has consistently followed Putin’s lead. “Challenging the government is not the Jewish way,” Lazar has said. As a result of the Putin-Lazar bond, Chabad has become the dominant Jewish force in Russia, with synagogues, schools, festivals, extensive programming and representatives in nearly 50 cities across the country. It is reported to have a $60 million annual budget, much of it supplied by Putin’s Jewish allies, eclipsing all other Jewish denominations. In 2012, Lazar received what can only be considered the jewel in the crown: Putin gave him supervision of Moscow’s $50 million Jewish Museum and Center of Tolerance, which was largely funded by Jewish oligarchs Abramovich and Vekselberg. The Lazar-Putin relationship is so tight that during the 2014 Olympics, Putin gave the 50-year-old rabbi special dispensation to enter the stadium on Shabbat without passing through the electronic gate. Again, Lazar returned the favor: A month later, he attended the victory speech Putin gave at the Kremlin after the occupation of Crimea. He was the only Jewish leader present.
Even the secularly oriented Russian Jewish Congress, which has an annual budget of $12 million and 37 local chapters, rarely strays far from Kremlin policy. Investor Mikhail Fridman (net worth $15.6 billion), founder of Alfa Group—one of Russia’s largest privately held investment groups—and another of Putin’s Jewish oligarchs, sits on its board. The group is particularly proud of its flagship Memorial Synagogue, erected in 1998 in a huge park on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Gora, which is dedicated to the Soviet victory in World War II and to those who perished in it. The park is a reminder of the breakup of the Soviet Union into independent nations, an event that remains a gaping hole in the Russian psyche, especially Putin’s. The synagogue’s presence in Poklonnaya Gora is both a testament to the Jewish contribution to the war and an expression of allegiance to the Russian state. “Of course we support the political authorities that exist,” Russian Jewish Congress president Yuri Kanner tells me. “This is halacha.” He adds: “The most important thing is that the authorities do not hinder our efforts to rebuild Jewish life.”
Author Masha Gessen says that with respect to religion—all religions—Putin is simply continuing the policies adopted under Stalin.
“Religion is to be a subordinate part of the state,” she says. “Conflict, if there is any, is between independent clergy and their religious institution, but not between that institution and the state. And in the case of the war of the rabbis, from Putin’s perspective, both Shayevich and Lazar are subordinate to the state. Their personal rivalry might be intense, but it’s politically insignificant.”
Putin sponsoring the Jewish Communities
But in spite of the general absence of Jewish observance, Chabad, glaringly religious with a strong missionary agenda, has become the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. Its reach extends to more than 170 cities across Russia, where in many far-flung locales the community center set up by the Lubavitch emissary and his family represents the only Jewish institution in town. Lazar estimates that 90 percent of rabbis in Russia are affiliated with Chabad. On top of its religious work, Chabad sponsors hundreds of schools and social-service programs, publishes a well-respected magazine, L’Chaim, and even stages klezmer festivals. In 2012, it opened the $50-million Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center – with a sizeable donation from Russian Jewish billionaire Viktor Vekselberg – around the corner from Marina Roscha. Technologically dazzling and rooted in Russian history, the museum has become a token of Chabad’s acknowledgment of secular Jewish life.
It is easier to be Jewish in Russia
All the wars and splits notwithstanding, it is evident that—as both Putin’s supporters and detractors informed me—it has never been easier or safer to be Jewish in Russia than under his rule. In Moscow’s Marina Roshcha neighborhood, young Orthodox families throng to the kosher gourmet store, which recently opened conveniently near the small local synagogue and almost next door to the huge Chabad complex made up of a school, JCC and Jewish museum.
Though rapidly becoming something of a local Upper West Side, Marina Roshcha is only one of the capital’s 21 Jewish communities and synagogues listed in the latest issue of Moscow-Jerusalem, a free Jewish monthly. In September of this year, its glossy cover showed a pensive bearded gentleman with kippah and tzitzit, the director of a Jewish center, seated next to a red Soviet-style banner, the kind that used to proclaim the glory of the Communist Party. In the same white lettering, the banner says: “Glory to G-d!”
Glory indeed. Between glittering new synagogues and young Jews flocking services, images of Putin in a kippah attending Jewish events on state TV and the success stories of Jewish oligarchs, there is an unmistakable air of achievement among Russian Jewry today. And it is not just Chabad. Mikhail Simanovsky, who is in his late 20s, runs the Moscow Hillel from a small office in the back of a cluttered courtyard in the capital’s downtown. Hillel, he says, is thriving. Like other Jewish institutions, it suffered as a result of the crash of 2008, when funding became scarce and 11 of Russia’s 15 Hillel chapters had to close down. But just a few days before we met, four new centers opened. In Moscow, an average of 70 people come to Erev Shabbat dinner at the Hillel, but the first one this year, after the college summer break, attracted 120.
Simanovsky says the outlook for Jews is bright. “True, there is some social anti-Semitism, but there is also a growing opposite trend—Jewish is cool. People tell us we are lucky to be Jewish. This Moscow Day, we had a Hillel stand among the stands of many different organizations, and only one person of the hundreds that came to see it was unpleasant—and she was an old, obviously deranged woman.”
Putin Remarks and Support for Israel
"I am closely tracking what is happening in Israel," Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked in a meeting with a delegation of Chief Rabbis and representatives of the Rabbinical Center of Europe.
The purpose of the meeting, according to the Kremlin, was to discuss joint efforts to prevent the rewriting of history, the fight against neo-Nazism and neo-fascism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
"It is important to discuss the subject of the Holocaust of the World War II era. There are Holocaust survivors among the rabbis, they have their personal, dramatic stories," Rabbi Alexander Boroda, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, told Interfax-Religion.
Boroda was seated across from Putin during the meeting, alongside Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, TelAviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and others.
At one point during the meeting, Rabbi Yosef commented that "hours before I flew here, a rocket landed near my house in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish nation."
"It goes without saying there is great anxiety among my children and grandchildren who were forced to enter bomb shelters, for no fault of their own," he said, adding that it is "hard to describe the emotional damage that is being done to them. All this is just for the crime that they were born to the Jewish nation."
The Chief Rabbi concluded by asking the president to use his power "to bring a stop to the violence. There cannot be a situation where people use religion to slaughter the innocent."
Most of the Israeli population is currently living under the threat of rocket fire. Life between sirens, in and out of bomb shelters, has become the daily reality for millions of Israelis.
Hamas terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 200 rockets at Israel since Operation Protective Edge began on Monday, July 7 – and over 650 rockets since the beginning of 2014.
According a news report, Putin replied by asking Rabbi Yosef to pass along a message to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Russia is a true friend of Israel and of the Prime Minister.
“We have to clearly realize that any attempts to review our country’s contribution to the great victory, and to deny the Holocaust – a shameful page in the world history – isn’t just a cynical and unprincipled lie, but the oblivion of lessons from history which could result in a repeat of the tragedy,” ~ Vladimir Putin.
Quotes about Putin.
"Russia has in Vladimir Putin its “most pro-Jewish leader,” whom he credits with “fighting anti-Semitism more vigorously than any Russian leader before him.” - Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar.
Politicians in today’s Russia “would not risk taking anti-Semitic or a so-called anti-Zionist stand," "Any impartial observer should acknowledge Putin’s big role in this.” - Berl Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia.
"Putin’s pro-Jewish tendencies are part of the reason that anti-Semitic incidents are relatively rare in Russia. In 2013, the Russian Jewish Congress documented only 10 anti-Jewish attacks and acts of vandalism, compared to dozens in France". - Mikhail Chlenov, secretary general of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
“Putin has facilitated the opening of synagogues and Jewish community centers across Russia, at the Jewish community’s request. This has had a profound effect on Jewish life, especially outside Moscow,” Gorin said. “He instituted annual meetings with Jewish community leaders and attends community events. His friendship with the Jewish community has given it much prestige and set the tone for local leaders.” - Gorin, a Chabad rabbi and chairman of Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Zvi Gitelman, a professor of Judaic studies at the University of Michigan who studies the relationship between ethnicity and politics in the former Soviet Union, said “Chabad, with the help of Putin, is now the dominant religious expression of Judaism in a mostly nonreligious population,” Gitelman said.
"Putin is philosemitic and has a warm feeling for Israel, though he is a pragmatist. There are quite a few Jews among his close associates and personal friends." - Yevgeny Satanovsky, member and ex-president of Russian Jewish Congress.
"Medvedev will be wonderful for the Jews, just as Putin was" - Lev Leviev, billionaire tycoon in Israel, Jewish activist and big time Zionist.
"Friendship never hurt anyone. But I have great respect for this person [Putin] and I consider that this is a person sent to our country from God." - Arkadiy Rottenberg, Jewish-Russian multi-billionaire oligarch, personal friend of Putin and his former judo training partner. His nephew now plays for an Israeli team.
"Arkady Rotenberg proves time and time again that if you know the right people the sky is indeed the limit." - Jewish Business News.
"Putin’s pro-Jewish tendencies are part of the reason that anti-Semitic incidents are relatively rare in Russia. In 2013, the Russian Jewish Congress documented only 10 anti-Jewish attacks and acts of vandalism, compared to dozens in France.""Putin is not only not anti-Semitic, he’s philo-Semitic". - Mikhail Chlenov, one of Vice Presidents of World Jewish Congress and secretary general of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
"The status of Jews in Russia, is often a barometer of how Russia rulership treats its society, Putin has been better for Russian Jews than any in Russian history, and if you want evidence of that, just ask Israel." - Stephen Cohen, professor at Princeton and New York University, CBS News consultant as well as a member of the [American] Council on Foreign Relations.
"Few would dispute that Putin has been friendly to Jewish institutional life in Russia", "Putin is good for Jews" (non-verbatim, but generally implied). - Cnaan Liphshiz and Talia Lavin, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "Putin’s Jewish embrace: Is it love or politics".
Putin and Chabad sect in Russia. Leader of Russian Jewry, Rabbi Berel Lazar praises Vladimir Putin.