Racism in Russia during the 2000s


Racism in Russia during the 2000s

Racism in Russia during the 2000s appears in the form of negative attitudes and actions towards people who are not considered ethnically Russian. This includes antisemitism and a general demeaning attitude to northern indigenous peoples of Russia, as well as hostility towards various Caucasian/Central Asian ethnicities (whether of Orthodox Christian or Muslim faith).

In May 2006, Amnesty International reported that racist killings in Russia were "out of control" and that at least 28 people were killed in 2005. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4755163.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Putin faces up to racist scourge ] ] In 2006 Amnesty International registered 252 victims of racist crimes, of which 21 died. In February 2007, President Vladimir Putin asked the Federal Security Service to combat racism, [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/02/01/012.html FSB Told to Stop Political Extremism ] ] , but hate crimes still increased. From January 1 to July 31, 2007, Amnesty International registered 310 victims of neo-Nazi and racist crimes in Russia; 37 of those victims died as a result of attacks. Amnesty International criticize Russian police for not doing enough to combat racist crimes, and for often ignoring reports from civilians about threats and crimes. [http://www.amnesty.nl/bibliotheek_vervolg/rusland_racistischgeweld RACISME IN RUSLAND] ] According to the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, from January to March, 2008, 49 people were killed in assaults by radical nationalists, 28 of them in the greater Moscow area.

The number of Russian neo-Nazis is estimated at 50,000 to 70,000, "half of the world's total."http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=3718255&page=1] Peter Finn. " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/07/AR2008040702718_2.html?hpid=topnews Moscow Killings Blamed on Racism] " Washington Post. April 8, 2008.] . The director of the Human Rights Bureau, Alexander Brod, stated that surveys show xenophobia and other racist expressions affect 50 percent of Russians. [" [http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7B1C1E82BE-F7B1-4786-9D7E-0CC05B8E9327%7D&language=EN Russians Concerned about Xenophobia and Racism] [http://current.com/pods/vanguardspecial/PD07371] " Latin American News Agency.]

Rise in reported hate crimes

In May 2006, Amnesty International reported that racist killings in Russia were "out of control" and that at least 28 people were killed in 2005. In 2006 Amnesty International registered 252 victims of racist crimes, of which 21 died. In February 2007, President Vladimir Putin asked the Federal Security Service to combat racism, but the number of reported hate crimes still increased. From January 1 to July 31, 2007, Amnesty International registered 310 victims of neo-Nazi and racist crimes in Russia; 37 of those victims died as a result of attacks. Amnesty International criticized Russian police for not doing enough to combat racist crimes, and for often ignoring reports from civilians about threats and crimes.

According to the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, from January to March, 2008, 49 people were killed in assaults by radical nationalists, 28 of them in the greater Moscow area. The alarming figures have motivated authorities to take a tougher stance. More crimes are being investigated as racial attacks, and more are going to court. In May, 2008, eight skinhead extremists were found guilty of a 2006 explosion in the Cherkizovo market that left 14 dead and 47 injured, most of whom were immigrants from the North Caucasus and East Asia. [ [http://russiatoday.ru/news/news/24900 Authorities declare war on racist gangs] Russia Today Retrieved on May 28, 2008] Semyon Charny from the Moscow Human Rights Bureau says: ”The fact that this case found its way to court, and the example of people sentenced to life for the Cherkizovo market blast shows that we are moving in the right direction - but there's still a lot to do.” Recently, many videos have sprung up on the internet depicting skinheads attacking immigrants and non-whites. This is reportedly is becoming a new trend among neo-nazis, contributing to an increase in hate-crimes.

Hostility towards Caucasians/Muslims

In Russia, the term "Caucasian" is a collective term referring to anyone descended from the native ethnicities of the Caucasus. In Russian slang, Caucasian people and Central Asians fall into the category of "black." This is not associated with skin colour, color of hair, but a non-Slavic facial appearance. [Daniel Rancour-Laferriere. Imagining Russia: Ethnic identity and the nationalist mind. [http://www.panorama.ru/works/patr/ir/19.html Chapter 19. Assimilationism and Ethnic Hostility.] ] Members of these ethnicities could be depicted as dangerous savages who are a threat to public safety.

Several pogroms, directed particularly against Caucasian merchants and migrants have been reported in the Russian capital, Moscow, and in other Russian cities. [http://current.com/pods/vanguardspecial/PD07371] There was a pogrom on April 21, 2001 in Yasenevo Market in Moscow against merchants from the Caucasus, and well-organised attacks on Caucasian businesses and migrants in the eastern Russian town Ekaterinburg on September 9 2004. [http://current.com/pods/vanguardspecial/PD07371] Racially motivated attacks against Armenians have grown so common that the president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, raised the issue with high-ranking Russian officials. [ [http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2371221 Yerevan Pressing For Tougher Action Against Anti-Armenian Racism In Russia - Eurasia Daily Monitor] ]

Hostility towards Central Asians/Muslims

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of the Muslim population in Russia and the recently ongoing Chechen war, many Russians (including authorities) have associated Islam and Muslims with terrorism and domestic crimes. [ [http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/terror/16-10-2003/3864-islam-0 Islamophobia in Russia - Pravda.Ru] ] [ [http://tchetchenieparis.free.fr/text/ru-racism-13-6-02.htm More Racism in Russia] ] [ [http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/rca/rca_200205_118_5_eng.txt] ] [ [http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/10/15/uzbek.shtml Mosnews.com] ] In August 2007 a video of 2 ethnic Russian neo-Nazis beheading two Muslim men, one from Dagestan in the Caucasus and one from Tajikistan appeared on the internet. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6946810.stm|title=Russian held over 'deaths' video|date=2007-08-15|publisher=BBC News] In February 2004, a nine-year old Tajik girl was stabbed to death in Saint Petersburg by suspected far-right skinheads. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3476083.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Girl killed by Russia 'racists'] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4965850.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Racist attacks that stain Russia] ]

Antisemitism

In March 2008, allegations of blood libel appeared in posters in Novosibirsk. [Stan Goodenough. " [http://www.jnewswire.com/article/2387 Old-style antisemitism alive and well in Russia] ". Jerusalem Newswire.] The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia expressed their concern about a rising number of attacks targeting Jews, calling it part of "a recent surge in anti-Semitic manifestations" in Russia. [Anshel Pfeffer. " [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/966611.html In Russia's third largest city, the blood libel is resurfacing] ". Haaretz.]

Hostility towards Chinese

Russian attitudes towards the People's Republic of China have focused on the fear of Russia (especially the Russian Far East and Siberia) being overwhelmed by Chinese, because of China's much larger population. [ [http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/region-ecology/numbers/11/916.html Russia in Global Affairs:Chinese Migration in Russia] ] It is also noted that there is illegal immigration coming from China into Southeastern Russia, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. [ [http://www.russiansabroad.com/russian_history_111.html Illegal immigration in Russia, Russian illegal immigration on RussiansAbroad.com ] ]

Hostility towards Africans

Many black students feel unsafe in Russia. In Saint Petersburg, three Africans have been killed in hate-crime attacks since September 2005. "Monkey" insults and non-lethal assaults are so frequent that students have ceased reporting them [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4737468.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Living with race hate in Russia ] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4886298.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Student murder in Russia 'racist' ] ] .

Negative attitude towards Africans traces back to the days of the Soviet Union, in spite of its internationalist propaganda and its "fight for peace in the whole world" (a Russian political cliché, based on a wordplay, both "peace" and "world" translating as "mir" in Russian). As a part of its support of decolonisation in Africa, the Soviet Union offered free education for citizens of African states. African students (as well as other foreign students) were placed in many higher education institutions throughout the country, most famously at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, then known as the Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University, after the Congolese revolutionary and prime minister Patrice Lumumba.

Murder of Anti-Racism Activists

On June 19, 2004, Nikolai Girenko, a prominent ethnographer and anthropologist, was shot to death in his St. Petersburg apartment. Girenko was a key adviser in 15 ethnic hate crime trials. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,901040809-674718,00.html From Russia With Hate] , by Yuri Zarakhovich, Time, August 1, 2004.] On November 13, 2005 Timur Kacharava, a part-Georgian fourth year philosophy student at St. Petersburg State University, was stabbed to death by a group of young skinheads. Kacharava had been known for antagonizing neo-Nazis in the streets. [ [http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13944/index.php Young anti-fascist killed in St. Petersburg, Russia] , by anonymous, Indymedia, November 17, 2005] The main defendant in the trial that followed almost two years later was 14 years old. [ [http://rfe.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/08/60fff88b-64af-4126-839b-741227a66b32.html Russia: Seven Sentenced In Killing Of Antiwhite Campaigner] , by Claire Bigg, RFE/RL, August 7, 2007]

References

External links

In English:
* [http://sova-center.ru/194F418/ Nationalism and xenophobia in Russia] , SOVA Center for Information and Analysis] non-profit organization that publishes information on nationalism and xenophobia in Russia
* [http://current.com/items/84906401_from_russia_with_hate From Russia With Hate] video documentary
* [http://center-rne.org/forums Russian Nazi party]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4969296.stm Russian racism 'out of control'] article from BBC
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2131214.stm Racism on the rise in Russia] article from BBC
* [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/nov2001/mosc-n15.shtml Fascist attacks in Moscow] article from World Socialist Web Site
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rra6R8RUwy8 Ross Kemp On Gangs - Russia Moscow - Neo-Nazis] video documentary
* [http://plato.acadiau.ca/COURSES/POLS/Grieve/3593/Russia/racism04.html 'Why are you here, Mr. Nigger?'] article from Globe and Mail
* [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10345668 Murder sparks Russia racism protests] article from New Zealand Herald
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,674718-1,00.html From Russia With Hate] article from Time Magazine

In Russian:
* [http://www.mn.ru/issue.php?2002-28-11 Pogrom in Russia is not a pogrom] Moskovskye novosti N 28, y.2002
* [http://www.gazeta.ru/2004/09/09/oa_132983.shtml Anti-Caucasian Pogroms in Ural] Gazeta.ru 09 Sept 2004 19:59
* [http://sova-center.livejournal.com News on nationalism, xenophobia, and Racism in Russia] Sova Center


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