Difference of dating from courting
He was doing things for which others would go to jail.For four to five years, the justice system did not touch him," says Savelev.They moved the allocated day off to November 4 - the day Moscow was liberated from the Poles in 1612, an official holiday in tsarist Russia until 1917.The authorities named the new holiday "National Unity Day", but there wasn't much public enthusiasm for it and most Russians didn't even know its history."Controlled nationalism is about using nationalists in some [political] games.In some cases, [the authorities] would support nationalists in order to keep the regime alive, to fight the threat of a colour revolution," says Anton Shekhovtsov, visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Austria.In the past few years, and especially since the conflict in Ukraine erupted in 2014, the Russian authorities have cracked down on nationalist groups under the guise of criminal investigations or accusations of extremism under the infamous "anti-extremism" Law 282.In the early 2000s, Russian President Vladimir Putin was finishing his first presidential term when two colour revolutions struck nearby - the first in Georgia in 2003 and the second in Ukraine in 2004.
On November 4, more than 10,000 nationalists, joined by opposition politicians like Alexei Navalny, marched in Lyublino with banners reading "Stop feeding Caucasus".
On one hand, the Kremlin was employing strong nationalist rhetoric claiming Crimea was "rightfully" Russian and that ethnic Russians living in Ukraine had to be protected; on the other, fellow Ukrainian far-right groups were supporting the Maidan and opposing the annexation.
"In 2014, the Kremlin demanded full loyalty from all Russian nationalists," says Shekhovtsov.
So when the ESM requested to hold a right-wing march on that day, the local authorities readily obliged.
Other ultranationalist organisations and skinhead groups joined the ESM and the turnout that year surprised many: Some 3,000 people marched, chanting "Glory to Russia" and "Russians forward", as young men made Nazi salutes in front of TV cameras.
"The Russian march is a protest march: against the government, against corruption, and for a change of power," he says, speaking to Al Jazeera via Skype from a location outside of Russia that he refused to disclose.