MOSCOW, Dec. 11 (JTA) — A recent convention of Russian extremists in St. Petersburg featured a large swastika and a leading member of the country’s Parliament. The two-day event in a hall adorned with a swastika attracted leaders and activists from 20 such groups, including the Liberal Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity organization, and a group called the Black Hundreds — a reference to a far-right nationalist movement in Imperial Russia that was responsible for several Jewish pogroms in the early part of the century. Among those attending the fourth annual convention of Russian ultranationalists was Sergei Baburin, the first deputy speaker of the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament. He told the gathering that he would like to head what he termed a “unified national opposition” to the Kremlin. According to Baburin, one of the Duma’s most influential members, a “fight for the annihilation of the Russian people” is being waged within Russia. To succeed in the fight for the public’s minds, Baburin said, Russian nationalists should attempt to win as many seats as possible in the federal and local legislatures.
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