The “Imperial March” Enters the Fray

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A few weeks ago, the Russian body politic heard from the Liberal-Left when about 3000 supporters of Other Russia clashed with police in St. Petersburg. Now the Right is planning a march for April 8th titled, “Imperial March.” The march is being organized by Alexander Dugin. The organizers boast that 1500 participants will attend. This list includes a virtual who’s who of the Russian far right: writers Alexander Prokhanov and Maxim Kalashnikov, television host Mikhail Leontyev, the National Bolshevik Front (a breakaway group from Eduard Limonov’s organization), the Ukrainian party Russian Bloc and the Ukrainian Labor Conference. As Kommersant explains:

“Among the people, there is great disappointment with the Orange, but the Orange are now raising their heads, as the recent March of Those Who Disagree in St. Petersburg showed,” Zarifullin said. “We need an imperial project that supports Putin. We don’t want a Maidan in this country.” Zarifullin made it clear that he considers pro-Kremlin groups such as Our, the Youth Guardian of a United Russia, Young Russia and the Local allies.

“We are also fighting the Orange revolutions,” Youth Guardian organizer for the Central Federal District Alexey Shaposhnikov said, “but they can be fought differently.”

“They, of course, will receive a permit to march,” observed Yulia Malysheva, leader of Mikhail Kasyanov’s People’s Democratic Union of Youth. “They are a completely Kremlin project, Putin-Jugend. I hope they have the brains not to dress up like Santa Claus this time,” she added, referring to an action by government supporters the day after the first March of Those Who Disagree.

National Bolshevik leader Eduard Limonov asked rhetorically “Who needs them? They are corrupt and disgraceful. Three strange men with beards will show up and march together.”

Orange Revolution. That is so 2004. Like the Other Russia march, I’m sure that the Imperial March will be little more than a fart in the wind. Though I won’t be surprised at all if the Western media doesn’t use the it as an opportunity to douse its readers with cries that Russian fascism is right around the corner.