Pro-Kremlin youth groups have spent $400,000 organizing rallies in New York calling for the extradition of Chechen separatists who have resettled in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend.
Nearly a dozen protests, intended to shape public opinion in the West, were held in the past two years near high-profile venues such as the United Nations headquarters and the World Trade Center site.
The protesters' message -- calling for the return of rebels deemed terrorists by Russian authorities -- is directly at odds with U.S. policy.
The protests in New York were covered by state-controlled Channel One and aired on the station's evening program. Channel One spokesman Igor Burenkov could not be reached for comment Monday.
One protest organizer, Yury Levintoff, said organizers in the United States took pains to hide the involvement of financial backers in Moscow, including Vasily Yakemenko, head of the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth movement, the Journal reported.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Rent-a-Demo - II
The Moscow Times has more on the pro-Moscow rallies by non-Russian U.S. citizens, paid for and organized by Russian emigrés in New York: