Russian National Unity
- (RNU)Banned ultranationalist political party and paramilitary group. Under the leadership of Aleksandr Barkashov, Russian National Unity (Russkoe national’noe edinstvo) grew out of the radical Pamyat party in 1990. The neo-Nazi party was legalized in 1993 and began publishing its propaganda vehicle Russian Order (Russkii poriadok). Most of its members have a strong Orthodox orientation, but the group also includes a following of neo-pagans, who collectively oppose what they call the “JewishCommunist yoke” on Russia. The party condemns ethnically mixed marriages and promotes forced birth control for Russia’s ethnic minorities. They also demand the expulsion of all immigrants and minorities possessing a homeland outside Russia, such as the Azeris, Armenians, Uzbeks, and so forth. The group is hierarchically organized by length of membership, including the ranks (from lowest to highest) of “supporter,” “co-worker,” and “comrade-at-arms.” During the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, the RNU participated in the defense of the White House. Despite the group’s swastikaadorned uniforms, Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoy granted them the right to bear arms to defend the building from “intruders.” While the use of violence is not currently part of the group’s charter, a subgroup known as the Russian Knights are organized as a “volunteer self-protection unit” and trained in the use of small arms and explosives. In 1999, the same year it was banned, the group reached its peak in popularity, with some 100,000 members. In 2000, Barkashov lost influence over the organization and established an alternative organization known as Barkashov’s Guards or the RNU of A.P. Barkashov.See also Jews; Neo-fascism.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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