07MOSCOW1240, OTHER RUSSIA” STAND-OFF WITH NIZHNIY NOVOGOROD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1240 2007-03-22 16:33 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2750
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1240/01 0811633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221633Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8489
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 3900
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 1999
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2298

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001240 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: "OTHER RUSSIA" STAND-OFF WITH NIZHNIY NOVOGOROD 
AUTHORITIES OVER MARCH CONTINUES 
 
REF: A. 06 MOSCOW 12981 
 
     B. ST. PETERSURG 50 
 
MOSCOW 00001240  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (SBU) "Other Russia's" plans to stage the third in its 
series of marches, this time in Nizhniy Novgorod on March 24, 
appeared March 22 to be bumping up against much the same kind 
of problems it had encountered in earlier efforts in Moscow 
and St. Petersburg.  This time around, local law enforcement 
and the city authorities have reportedly confiscated "Other 
Russia" literature, questioned some of the organizers, 
organized a conflicting event at the same site, and spread 
misleading information about the nature of the march.  For 
their part, march organizers have rejected the meeting site 
offered by the city, allegedly on ideological/esthetic 
grounds and continue to include in their coalition an 
organization, Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Party, 
whose guerrilla theater tactics have attracted particular 
police scrutiny. End summary. 
 
--------------- 
City Overreacts 
--------------- 
 
2. (SBU) "Other Russia's" attempt to stage the third in its 
"March of Those Who Disagree" series on March 24 in Nizhniy 
Novgorod seemed, as of March 22, to be getting much the same 
reception as its two predecessors on March 3 in St. 
Petersburg and on December 16, 2006, in Moscow (reftels). 
Representatives of the Department for Combating Extremism 
confiscated 60 thousand copies of the second edition of a 
newspaper intended to advertise the march.  (At least part of 
the first edition was distributed without incident.)  March 
organizers have allegedly been told that the examination of 
the second edition for evidence of extremism would not be 
completed until after the date of the march. 
 
3. (SBU) Accompanying the confiscation of the newspaper, 
according to Oksana Chelysheva of the Nizhniy Novgorod 
Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS), have been visits 
to the apartments of march organizers, questioning of the 
director of the company who printed the newspaper and its 
publishers, and of the Kommersant Nizhniy Novgorod journalist 
who wrote articles about march-related events.  Chelysheva 
reported that RCFS offices are being watched by uniformed 
police. 
 
4. (SBU) It is also alleged that the city administration is 
attempting to undercut the march by concurrently holding a 
street carnival, which normally takes place on "city day" in 
September, and by hurriedly undertaking repair work on the 
main street of the march's proposed route.   Also in the 
city's bag of tricks, according to media reports, has been 
advertising alleging that the march is to be undertaken in 
defense of homosexuals. 
 
------------------ 
March Organizers 
Reject Compromise 
on "Moral Grounds" 
------------------ 
 
5. (SBU) According to Chelysheva and to media reports, the 
city had attempted to accommodate the March in negotiations 
preceding the current controversy.  During the course of that 
conversation, according to Chelysheva, Deputy Mayor 
Gladyshev, noted that the proposed route would take marchers 
through the city's commercial, pedestrian area, and he 
worried about possible damage.  He told organizers he would 
like impose a blanket ban on all rallies in the pedestrian 
area. The City Administration offered march organizers an 
opportunity to stage its event on Lenin Square one of the 
city's gathering points.  The organizers refused on "moral 
grounds."  Mayor Vadim Bulavinov described the "no" as a 
"provocation, designed to make march organizers seem like 
martyrs."  The organizers' appeal of the city's decision was 
rejected by the Nizhniy Novgorod district court on late 
afternoon, March 22. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
MOSCOW 00001240  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) As was the case in St. Petersburg and, to a lesser 
extent, Moscow, the Nizhniy Novgorod event features 
overreaction by the city authorities and an unwillingness to 
compromise on the party of the march's organizers.  Press 
reports suggest that the City Administration is unnerved, 
above all by Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Party. 
Nizhniy Communist Party local deputy Nikolay Ryabov told the 
local press that he has been fined only twice when he has 
staged rallies in the city.  On both occasions, it was when 
he invited the National Bolsheviks to participate.  The 
presence of Limonov's organization in "Other Russia" has 
caused a number of politicians and organizations --among them 
the Yabloko national organization-- to refrain from 
affiliating themselves with "Other Russia."  Events like the 
March 15 detention of National Bolsheviks for their possible 
role in explosions at Moscow State University wi
ll likely 
only reinforce the tendency of some to distance themselves 
from "Other Russia"-sponsored activities, and the proclivity 
of some authorities to take a harder line. 
BURNS

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