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Nashism (Russian: нашизм) and Nashists are post-Soviet[1] Russian political neologisms derived from the word "наши" ("ours"). The word is used to refer to various forms of worldview based on the primacy of "ours" (i.e., of the ingroup) over the "outsiders" (comparable to la cosa nostra, "our thing"). Various Russian journalists, politicians and politologists put different meanings into this word, as described below. The words "nashists" and "nashism" have also been used in reference to Nashi (youth movement), a Russiаn political movement with the word "Ours" in its title.

Nashism is not Russian nationalism, although the two overlap substantially in that the Siloviki (Chekists) encourage Russian nationalism/chauvinism as a power base and Russian nationalists take pride in Siloviki power. But the core of Nashism is more like organized crime than nationalism in the respect that compatriots can be excluded, and foreigners included, based on their loyalty to, or alignment with, the organization.

Nevzorov's "Nashi"[edit]

The word was first coined by Alexander Nevzorov, the anchor of the Russian TV program 600 Seconds.[2] In January 1991 Nevzorov produced a documentary and a controversial series of TV reports from Vilnius titled Ours (Nashi), about the actions of the Soviet spetsnaz during the January Events, when the Soviet military forces attempted to crush the declared independence of the Lithuania, in which Nevzorov was markedly sympathetic to Soviet actions.[3] As a freelance journalist Jules Evans wrote, reporting from the Soviet Union:

"the journalist Aleksander Nevzorov appeared on TV, standing in front of the demonstrators in Lithuania holding a Kalashnikov. To the music of Richard Wagner (a German), Nevzorov declared the birth of a new Idea – ‘Nashi’. “Nashi is a circle of people – let it be enormous, colossal, multimillions – to whom one is related by common language, blood, and motherland.”[4]

In November 1991 Nevzorov established the People's Liberation Movement "Nashi", which he defined as "a united front of resistance to the anti-national politics of the current administration of Russia and other Union Republics of the former USSR". Its badge contained the contour of the USSR with the words "НАШИ" (ours) within.[5] Of prominent participants in the movement was Viktor Alksnis. Nevzorov's "Nashi" was short-lived. The naturally coined word "Nashists" in reference to the supporters of the "Nashi" movement immediately invoked the rhyme with the word "fascists", as a hint to the imperial position of the movement in support of the indivisibility of the Soviet Union, in particular, their justification of the use of military force to this end.

Youth Movement "Nashi"[edit]

"Nasha Army" youth military troops in Smolensk, near Belarus.

The pun "nashism/fascism" is often used by the political opponents of "Nashi". In particular, it was liberally used after the anti-Estonian manifestations of "Nashi" in relation to the events around the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn. A popular anti-Nashi slogan is "Nashism Shall Not Pass!" ("Нашизм не пройдет!"[6]), an adaptation of the slogan "They shall not pass".


Andrei Illarionov describes the emerging corporatism in Russia as power in hands of Silovik power structures, the current incarnation of Chekism, whose ideology he defines by the word "nashism" ("ours-ism") in its most general sense: preferential treatment of "ours". In an article initially printed in Kommersant and then reprinted several times in the West, he writes:[7]

"Ours-ism" does not know national or ethnic boundaries. The former chancellor of a foreign country [(Gerhard Schröder)] is made a member of the corporation and becomes "our man in Europe." Meanwhile, a Russian businessman [(Mikhail Khodorkovsky)] who created a company that brought billions into the national treasury turns out to be an "other" and is exiled to the depths of Siberia.


  1. ^ Mikhail Epstein, "Types of New Words:An Attempt of Classification, reported that the conference "Русская академическая неография (к 40-летию научного направления)", С.-Петербург, Институт лингвистических исследований, 23-25 октября 2006 "
  2. ^ Mikhail Geller, "Rossiiskie zametki, 1991-1996", Moscow, 1998, ISBN 5-87902-027-4 (in Russian)
  3. ^ ISCIP - Perspective
  4. ^ "the Hunt for a National Idea"
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Пикет у штаба молодежного движения 'Идущие вместе'", Radio Freedom, April 21, 2005 (in Russian)
  7. ^ Andrei Illarionov, "When the state means business", International Herald Tribune, January 25, 2006