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For The Record  

FTR #118 Russian Fascism?

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The hypothesis was advanced in 1992 that Russia and perhaps other republics of the former Soviet Union might turn to fascism. Events that have taken place since suggest that that unappetizing prospect remains a distinct possibility. This program analyzes the political landscape in Russia in 1998. Just as national humiliation over defeat in World War I and the extreme economic hardship that Germany experienced in the 1920s and early 30s helped to drive the German people into the arms of Hitler, economic privation and national humiliation over defeat in the Cold War threaten to propel the Russian people in a similar direction. On the 57th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, Russian president Boris Yeltsin warned of the growing danger of Nazism in Russia. (A portion of the text of his address is read into the record in this program.) One of the primary elements in the rise of Russian fascism is the so-called “Red-Brown Alliance,” a political union of residual hard-line communists and neo-fascists, who share a common bond of extreme nationalism and anti-Semitism and who exploit the social turmoil produced by the economic hardship currently besetting Russia. Many Russians are openly discussing the possibility of intervention in the country’s political affairs by the impoverished Red Army and several former generals are emerging as potential leaders, notably general Alexander Lebed (an admirer of the social policies of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet). (See also RFA#36 and FTRs 94 and 95, available from Spitfire.) (Recorded in December of 1998)

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