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September 30, 2009 / ccn123

Crime-Conflict and Race-Racism in Russia

A recent report by the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy has found that nearly 60% of the more than ten thousand black people in Moscow have been physically attacked because of their race.

A BBC journalist was told that one Nigerian migrant had been repeatedly stabbed and then shot. Another said someone tried to remove his scalp.

The survey found Africans working or studying in the city live in constant fear of attack with many too afraid to go outside.

By the time I tried to go to the report on the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy’s website, it was already unavailable. The rest of their website worked fine.

The Chaplaincy interviewed 200 people. A quarter said they had been physically attacked more than once and around 160 said they had been verbally abused.

Russia has always been a very multi-cultural country. But there has also long been problems between different ethnic groups here. Certain ethnic Russians view central Asians as an underclass, and Africans with curious disgust. The worrying thing is that with the rise of right leaning and far right politics here, that trend is becoming more prevalent among the young, and much more violent.

We’re talking neo-Nazis here. Recently a group in the city of Perm near the Urals threatened to blow up their local cinema unless it stopped showing the so-called “extreme pro-Jewish bloodlust” World War Two film ‘Inglorious Bastards’. There are worrying crossovers in rhetoric between young Putin mobs like Nashi (in Russian the group’s name means ‘ours’), and the extreme right, which is treated with more tolerance than any liberal groups here.

This all comes at the same time as the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two. Hitler never managed to get as far as Moscow, and certainly not the Urals. But here we are with this nonetheless.

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5 Comments

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  1. Tom Hill / Sep 30 2009 21:32

    Out of curiosity, do you know if the cinema stopped showing the movie as a result?

  2. Perez Christina / Oct 1 2009 01:07

    There are a lot of Nazis in Russia.. Don’t even go to that place.

    • laura / Apr 2 2011 17:49

      If you’re going to bad- mouth a country, please learn history. Nazis were from Germany and hated Russians.

  3. jeni / Oct 1 2009 11:45

    Two things:

    Was it the Perm group who referred to IB as an “extreme pro-Jewish bloodlust World War Two film”? Just wondering about the origins of that characterisation, as it is not one that I (or many others) would subscribe to, having seen the film.

    And, is it possible to elaborate on the distinction between the Russian neo-Nazi movement, and more traditional racist/xenophobic attitudes present in society? Racism and/or Slavic nationalism may indeed be rife throughout Russia, but it seems to me that the rise of explicitly neo-Nazi groups — in a country that lost tens of millions to Hitler — may be a slightly different phenomenon. After all, anti-Semitism has a long, long history within Russian territories — why affiliate it with the Nazis now?

    Thanks for raising this very interesting issue. Not having time for a proper search, I’ll just link to this recent article on a neo-Nazi trial in St Petersburg
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/human-rights-first/russian-neo-nazi-gang-on_b_293572.html

    • Kiers / Oct 15 2009 00:02

      it is also interesting for UK!
      which fought massive wars against hitler to spawn (I believe) the skinhead neo nazi movement!
      Very itneresting thread of thought!

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