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Nationalists Mark “Russian May Day” in Moscow

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Some participants defied stereotypes about the Russian far right.

Led by a flag bearer hoisting an image of Jesus, and six drummer girls in purple satin, about a thousand supporters of various nationalist causes marched for what they called “Russian May Day” in northwestern Moscow on May 1. 

Young and old, men and women shouted, “Russia is for Russians,” “Glory to the Russians,” and angrier slogans, such as “get out, black dirt” – a reference to migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus. 

Indeed, it was migration that seemed to unite this broad swath of rightwing Russia. 

Organizers from the Slavic Union and the Russian Ethno-Political Alliance, among others, called for the gathering – an alternative to the larger May Day rally on Red Square – to protest a new law that should ease Russian citizenship rules for people from Central Asia and the Caucasus. 

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Nationalists Mark “Russian May Day” in Moscow

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