Russian neo-Nazis rally to protest Kremlin’s policies in mostly Muslim Caucasus
Hundreds of neo-Nazis rallied in Moscow Saturday to protest the Kremlin’s policies in the violence-plagued Caucasus region and call on forceful expulsion of non-Slavic migrants from Russia.
About 300 protesters, including activists from banned or unregistered groups that preach white supremacy, waved red-and-white flags with German Nazi eagles and chanted “Hail Russia! Stop feeding the Caucasus!”
The predominantly Muslim, mountainous region hosts at least 100 ethnicities including Chechens, who have waged two separatist wars against Moscow after the 1991 Soviet collapse.
Analysts say the Chechen conflict, with atrocities and civilian slayings committed by both Russian forces and militant Islamists, has triggered the rise of xenophobia and neo-Nazism in Russia as well as growing resentment by Caucasus natives to ethnic Russians and Moscow’s rule.
After pacifying Chechnya, the Kremlin has spent billions of dollars on restoring the region and funding provincial governments that often include former warlords and jihadists, including the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has boasted of killing his first Russian soldier at age 15.