Russia continues to look for ways to prevent national-religious extremism in the face of new challenges and threats. Data of the latest sociological surveys shows normalization of interethnic relations and decrease of xenophobic sentiments in Russian society over the past four years.
Alexander Brod, Member of Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, listed several risks that may cause interethnic tensions: "Legal nihilism and corruption of certain authorities, lack of educational and cultural measures to form Russian civil identity, insufficient level of interdepartmental and intercultural coordination in implementation of state national program, insufficient regulation of migration processes and work in the field of migrants' adaptation."
At the same time, Alexander Brod noted that he recently participated in meeting on interethnic relations in the Southern Federal District, and it turned out that none of the subjects have centers for adaptation and integration of migrants.
Speaking about external factors potentially contributing to interethnic tensions, he mentioned growth of international terrorism, religious extremism and international organized crime: "Neo-Nazi, right-wing and radical sentiments flourish in the world. Supportets of these views become government officials more and more often. Anti-Russian sentiments, discrimination, persecution of journalists, diplomats and human rights activists who support Russia are actively growing. This affects minds of people, young people, and these ideas have many supporters."
At the same time, Brod highlighted decrease in cases of aggressive xenophobia and radical nationalism: "Between January and May of this year, we recorded 9 cases of aggressive xenophobia in Moscow, St. Petersburg, as well as in the Republic of Dagestan. At least 6 were killed and 10 got injured. During similar periods of past years, over the past 4 years there have been much more cases... I also would like to talk about developments in Chechnya and Dagestan. We regularly hear that activity of radical extremist groups has been prevented. Radicals are returning to Russian regions from Syria, continue to recruit people, so there are still some risks."
Meanwhile, according the deputy chairman of the Coordination Council on Counter-Terrorism, deputy chairman of the Public Chamber Commission on Harmonization of Interethnic and Interreligious Relations, Albir Krganov, there are almost no cases of murder of religious figures in Russia in recent years, while nearly 200 religious figures were killed over the past 20 years by extremists and terrorists.
Speaking about strengthening of interethnic peace, Krganov said: "Together with our Patriarch, we traveled to Kemerovo for 40 days, where a terrible tragedy occurred in one of the malls. We supported our citizens. They told us that administrator of the shoe store, a Tajik, Farzan Salimov, saved almost 40 people. But no one talks about him!... We need social advertising about friendship between peoples. We're multinational country, and it's never too late to remind people about this. The entire world does it. We're a great country, we can do everything, but somehow we haven't made this decision yet."