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Rogozins Resignation No Surprise

The decision of Dmitriy Rogozin to resign as chairman of the Russian political party Rodina (Motherland) has been confirmed by party leaders. His withdrawal was announced on Friday and a new leader is expected to take over during congress on Saturday. The resignation of Rogozin was far from unexpected. Rodina has recently suffered a series of political failures, which lead to harsh criticism of the radical views of the Rodina chairman from many quarters.

Roundtable talks were called by the Congress of Peoples Deputies to discuss the problem of nationalism. Participants were united in the rejection of nationalistic sentiments and in asserting that xenophobia and fascism are a real and serious problem in Russia. Various facts were considered in coming to this conclusion: more than one hundred Russian newspapers are acknowledged to promote racial hatred and more than 200 Internet sites. Xenophobic literature fills the stalls at Russian book fairs and according to expert data there are around 50 thousand skinheads living in Russia.

However, members of the Congress of Peoples Deputies cited the most serious obstacle to tackling nationalism in Russia as being the fact that those extolling extremist ideas are permitted a political platform. Numerous deputies of the state Duma have espoused nationalistic sentiments. The chairman of the Duma committee on labor and social policy for the One Russia party, Andrey Isayev called Rogozins resignation a very positive step. Isayev maintained that this step marks the beginning of a war on fascism within Russian policy. I think that we must attain the political isolation of all politicians who take up such a nationalistic stance" Isayev stated.

Dmitriy Rogozin's resignation was also a hot topic of discussion in the lobbies, the general consensus being that the move was both right and expected. "Given Rogozin's ambitions and his recent expressions of confidence in his partys endurance, his resignation from the position of chairman appears to be a forced decision, resulting from overwhelming criticism, particularly from the Congress of Peoples Deputies, comments Valerie Tishkoi, chairman of the commission of the Congress of Peoples Deputies on questions of tolerance and freedom of conscience.

In the opinion of art critic and political scientist Marat Gel'man, the best way to oppose nationalism is not to attack xenophobic organizations but to target particular people within those organizations. Gel'man has composed a list of the names of one hundred public personalities who promote nationalistic sentiments. Those appearing on the list range from members of the communist party Makashova to Rogozin and a number of his comrades within the Rodina party.

The debate on how to tackle xenophobia soon will be continued by the Congress of Peoples Deputies, which plans to accept a resolution bearing the working name "activity plan".

Source: Vesti.ru >


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