This claim, funnily enough, comes not from some nutty Russian nationalist but the Jerusalem Post, citing a Russian Jew commenting in the wake of Russian oppositionist Boris Nemtsov’s murder.
The murder hit Russia’s sizable Jewish intelligentsia particularly hard because “nearly all the leaders of the liberal opposition are either fully Jewish or have Jewish background,” said Michael Edelstein, a lecturer at Moscow State University and a writer for the Jewish monthly magazine L’chaim. “His murder is the low point in a process that started about two years ago which has left the Jewish intelligentsia and its milieu feeling more uneasy than ever before in post-communist Russia.”
The reason this came to my attention was because it was trumpeted by American identitarian Kevin MacDonald, writing at the Occidental Observer. I can understand why he would be interested in highlighting this as it would tie in quite neatly with the main body of his work, which advances the thesis that Jews have consciously worked to undermine European ethnic solidarity as part of a group evolutionary strategy of Zionism for me, cosmopolitanism for thee.
Sidestepping that particular debate – in short, I am extremely skeptical, at least insofar as there is any kind of largescale organization behind it – this statement is clearly false as it pertains to the Russian (nonsystemic) opposition.
The real figure is not more than 25% at the very most, and probably more like 15% (perhaps slightly higher amongst prominent liberal journalists, but still nowhere near a majority). A reliable list of the most prominent oppositioners in Russia could be obtained from the answers to a poll asking participants of the December 24th, 2012 Meeting for Fair Elections which of the speakers they trusted most. They are listed below in order of their approval rating amongst the Russian opposition protesters (naturally they are completely unrepresentative of the country at large), together with their Semitic status derived from my observations of Russian politics, my jewdar, and some quick Wikipedia-ing. The “Internet” at large is unreliable; you even find crazy Neo-Nazis claiming that Putin himself is Jewish.
That’s a total of one and one-quarter Jews out of 16 opposition leaders, or not more than 8%. In fairness, the list leaves out two more very prominent oppositioners, the oligarch-in-exile Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former world chess champion turned street agitator Gary Kasparov, both of them half-Jewish through the father’s line, which would make for two and one-quarter Jews out of 18 opposition leaders. (If you go down that route, then surely Vladimir Milov and some other ethnic Russian oppositioners absent at that particular protest would have to be added too, but I will refrain from doing that just to demonstrate that even under very generous assumptions Jews constitute nowhere near a majority). That would bring the Jewish share of opposition leaders up to 13%. Counting Jews based upon maternal identity yields three Jews: Akunin, Nemtsov, and perhaps Prokhorov, whose maternal grandmother was Jewish. That’s still less than 17%. By far the most prominent Russian oppositionist today, the self-appointed crusader against corruption Alexey Navalny, is not Jewish; he is in fact half-Ukrainian, while Grigory Yavlinsky is fully so. Does this mean Russia’s opposition movement is led by a Jewish-Ukrainian cabal?
Now 15% is still a high number relative to the Jewish population share of less than 1%. But Jewish Exceptionalism of this sort is observed virtually everywhere (including the US, as prolifically documented by writers like Amy Chua and Steve Sailer) and throughout all domains of political, economic, and intellectual life. Bear in mind that in the politically neutral zone that is the Russian economy – neutral in comparison with opposition street politics, at any rate – Jews constitute 21% of Russia’s billionaires. These overrepresentations in economics and opposition politics are all readily explaineble by the relative cognitive preponderance at the far right (har) of the bell curve conferred by virtue of the 110-115 mean Ashkenazi IQ.
Jews who claim that the Russian opposition is led by their coethnics aren’t “letting the mask slip” or anything of that sort, they are merely indulging in some ethnic narcissism–as does anyone who buys into such claims without at least first examining the evidence.