Pamyat

   Ultranationalist political party. Led by Dmitry Vasilyev from 1985 until his death in 2003, the group, officially known as the Pamyat (“Memory”) Patriotic Association, was once the most powerful right-wing organization in Russia. Established under glasnost, the organization viewed itself as a spiritual successor to the Union of Russian People, a proto-fascist mass movement that emerged in response to Russia’s disastrous war with Japan (1904–1905). While Pamyat generally supported the Soviet state, the group was antidemocratic, opposed to Gorbachev’s reforms, and virulently anti-Semitic.
   As a result of its late 1980s push for a “renaissance” of environmental awareness, spirituality, and national pride among the Russian peoples, the movement won the support of a significant number of intellectuals and members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, even holding a 1987 meeting with future Russian president Boris Yeltsin. In 1990, the new, even more anti-Semitic party platform declared the organization to be at war with “aggressive Zionism, Talmudic atheism, and cosmopolitan usury.” Also that year, more violent activists under the leadership of Aleksandr Barkashov split off, forming the Russian National Unity party.
   After the collapse of Soviet power in 1991, the organization abandoned its support of national Communism in favor of monarchism, as well as pan-Slavism. Despite its strong support of Russian Orthodoxy, the party’s main theoretician, Valery Yemelyanov, author of the infamous Dezionization (1979), urged its membership to embrace neo-paganism and neo-Nazism, and built links with like-minded organizations. The group’s influence precipitously weakened in the late 1990s as it competed with a raft of neofascist parties. After Vasilyev’s death, the party experienced a minor revitalization and participated in the right-wing Russian March in 2006.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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