Sixteen murders committed by racists and nationalists were registered in the Russian Federation in eight months of 2004, according to a new report from the Moscow bureau for Human Rights. The terrorist act in Beslan started a new wave of hatred towards foreigners and people of non-Russian heritage. (23-MAY-05)
From September to the middle of December in 2004 there occurred fifty incidents of ethnic violence, which had been provoked by the tragedy in Beslan. There exists ethnic tension between Ossetians and Ingush, because Ossetians can’t forget that there were a lot of Ingush in the terrorist group which attacked the Beslan school. In all of the Russian Federation, the city of Saint-Petersburg has the most serious problem. Neo-Nazis’ terrorize foreigners and people of non-Russian heritage. Foreign students started non-sanctioned demonstrations after the murder of a Vietnamese student. On 14th and 15th October 2004 they protested against government silence, which did nothing to stop this hatred and violence.
This wave of violence rolled across the Russian Federation after Beslan tragedy. Fascist organizations profited from this violence and started to act without impunity. They threw Molotov cocktails and stones on ethnic cultural centres, synagogues, mosques and Buddhist temples. They tried to burn them, drew swastikas and even defiled the graves of Jews, Armenians etc.
Attacks on human rights activists
Representatives of fascist and nationalist organizations attacked human rights activists. They killed Nikolai Girenko who had been a leading researcher and independent respectable expert on ethnic and race issues at the Ethnology and Anthropology museum in Saint-Petersburg.
The Moscow bureau for human rights prepared a report on the topic “Racism, Xenophobia, Neo-Nazism in the regions of the Russian Federation (for 2004 – first quarter 2005) based on the sociological requests of the fund “Appraisal”. In accordance with the request nearly 50% of Russians would like to vote for the limitation of Chinese, Vietnamese and immigrants from former Asian Republics living in the Russian Federation. The same amount of the Russian people think that ethnic minorities have too much power in the Russian Federation. In Moscow and Saint -Petersburg the populations don’t like people from the Caucasus Region. In several regions this hostility reaches 68%. In the Russian Far East people feel unfriendliness to the immigrants from the People´s Republic of China. In the Kaliningrad region there is a rising in anti-Lithuanian emotions.
The situation becomes alarming because the nationalistic and racist organizations are mushrooming. Neo-Nazis jump on the people on the streets, and created massacres while the Russian government does nothing. During the first eight months of 2004 fifty beatings and sixteen murders happened in the Russian Federation from national xenophobia; the majority of these being in Saint-Petersburg, while Moscow is second.
The government powers didn’t pay attention to the display of racism. The police tried to minimize the level of xenophobia and cover up racist tendencies, passed off as hooliganism.
In 2005 the tendency of racism grew stronger. During the first quarter five murders were committed out of national xenophobia. The beatings of foreign students continue. Nationalists tried to burn a synagogue in the Moscow Region. On 22nd of March the Kazaks organized the massacre of Armenians in Novorosiysk.
Activists against fascism
Russian human rights activists joined together and later organized the movement “Russia without Fascism”. They tried to lead the demonstration on 7th of May in Moscow but were refused by the Moscow city government because they were afraid of provoking the situation. But Russian human rights organizations don’t want to stop. They are determined to continue protesting against racist and Fascist movements.