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Akunin, Boris

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El País - Spain | 20/10/2006

Boris Akunin on xenophobia in Russia

Settled in Moskow for almost four years, the writer of Georgian origin, Boris Akunin, considers, in an interview with Rodrigo Fernandez, the political crisis between Moskow and Tbilissi and the expulsion from Russia of Georgian citizens. "It is not just about Russian-Georgian relations. What is really at stake is the future of Russian society. I am not exaggerating. Can our country eradicate the xenophobic virus? ... This conflict is going to leave Russian society with some serious wounds. What is most dangerous is that, with this xenophobic campaign, Putin's popularity has increased substantially. Nationalist extremists have recognised him as their leader. And if Putin does not disavow such sympathisers fast, it will become clear to everyone that the current political regime has taken a turn towards Russian nationalism."

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