EDITORIAL: The Scourge of Pandemic Russian Racism and the Cowardly Treachery of Barack Obama

EDITORIAL

The Scourge of Pandemic Russian Racism
(and the Cowardly Treachery of Barack Obama)

According to a recent report by the BBC, nearly 60% of black people living in Russia have been physically assaulted in a racially motivated attack, and live in constant fear of such incidents.  A quarter of those surveyed by the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy had been attacked more than once and four out of five had been verbally assaulted.

These besieged people are terrified to ride the metro, cower in their homes like prisoners on any nationalist holiday, and avoid all crowds in general. 

Commenters on the BBC story told the tale:

As a foreigner you will never feel safe in this country.
Shairaz, St. Petersburg, Russia

I’m Asian, not black, but that was one of the main reasons why I left Moscow years ago. I did hear and see the violent assaults on just any black people in Moscow, and our school actually told all the black students not to come in for two weeks around Hitler’s birthday for feared attacks. I’ve lived in many different parts of the world but Moscow certainly was the worst one in that respect. Such a shame.
B., Moscow, Russia

It is dangerous to use Moscow tube for all kinds of minorities, not only for Africans. Moscow hooligans point out different targets from the crowd. While visiting Moscow I try to look alike typical muscovite to avoid attention attraction. If you are in a crowd it’s safe to use the tube and any other public areas.
Kirill, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

However sad it is, I have to admit that these facts are true. We are in 21st century, but still attitude towards non Russian people here in Moscow remains the same. Foreigners at least are treated with suspicion; at most they are attacked, bullied. I don’t see that many Africans on the streets, you can hardly find them in public places. Even though I know that many study in Moscow. When you see Africans in Moscow, they always go in large groups of four or five people, never alone. Seeing a black person here is still exotic. Ordinary people just stare at them, but there are groups of youngsters, who think that Africans should not be here. Listening to all of this horrible stories on radio, TV about Africans being attacked, I am surprised why there are any who choose to come to Moscow.
Svetlana, Moscow, Russia

For me it comes down to one thing, these people are living in the past. We welcome every foreigner including Europeans back home. The only way we can improve our own communities, we come and learn, then take back our experiences back home. Unless someone realises this, tough time are ahead of us.
O., Moscow, Russia

While I didn’t live in Moscow, I did live in St. Petersburg for the winter of 2005 on a study abroad trip. Even then, the racial violence was startling… people were being attacked on the streets just for the colour of their skin. The anti-caucasus sentiment as spread to a nationalistic furore against any foreigners, students included. There was a contingent of African students at the university where I studied, and they all lived in the dormitory in the same building as the classes. They all travelled together if they had to go anywhere, while I felt fine walking alone in the dark winter days. I felt so guilty for feeling safe inside my white skin, and so horrified that innocents were being attacked just because they were there. This is a problem that the West has roundly ignored for too many years.
Trista, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

The African American blogger at Wheelvillecondemns Barack Obama for his cowardly, treacherous failure to confront the Kremlin on this issue:  “While Obama is busy making buddy with Medvyedev, scores of black folks on Moscow streets are looking over their shoulder every two seconds in fear. It’s horribly ironic.”

Commenters at Wheelville echo those on the BBC:

Viajerasaid…Yes, this has been going on for a very long time. Not often covered in North American news, but stories have popped up now and again. I’ve always wanted to see the Hermitage, but I regard Russia as a no-go country, even though I know and know of a few African-descended folks who have spent time there, usually for school/religious work.

Kobi and Companysaid…Yeah. I remember being shocked at the racism in Moscow when I was there in the early 90’s. Even as as a fairly clueless suburban white exchange-student teenager from the US, I felt like it was incredibly obvious and unomfortable. I think what struck me was the racism being (from what I witnessed) both more overt and somewhat differently-conceptualised than what I was used to (e.g. I saw persecution of other kids who were called “Black” based on ethnic background even though their skin was pale and they were not of African descent, and the one family who I would have called “Black” in our school was basically just ignored/excluded from the little I witnessed).

Lenox Avesaid…I’ve heard the reports and it’s just got damn terrible. The irony of Medvedev and Obama has not escaped me. I’ve always wanted to visit and see the Hermitage, but it’s out of the question w/these brutal attacks happening.

msaid…When I was in Moscow in 2000 it was even impossible just to ask for directions…i was screamed at more than once (NYET “>NYET NYET NYET) and stared at by children-which is a bit more understandable as I was most likely the first and only black person they had seen (though I’m not gonna lie -it was jarring when a kid pointed and said “look mom a negro a negro!”).Not everyone was like this mind you, but you knew you were taking a chance if you walked about on your own… so i didn’t. but I count myself as lucky considering what might have taken place (hello being chased in a park by a faceless band of hooligans and narrowly escaping…-good thing I was young and still felt myself invincible or else that might have been a moment to shape an ugly world outlook and caused me to write off the whole experience there).

m said…Sorry – one more thing… not the least because of the economic situation there it isn’t just people with dark skin that are at risk… really any foreigner especially from the western world no matter your skin color is at risk to a certain extent.My Russian teacher from Siberia talks about her students back at the university in Tomsk who would only travel in groups and always try to lay low, and they were all of european descent. My teacher herself had not really been aware of how they had felt until they mentioned it to her. Then after some time in the states and then going home again she could see it will her own eyes… she became more sensitive to it.this is similar to my high school roommate’s experience in Austria in the 90’s with neo-nazi ism. her having blond hair and blue eyes was irrelevant and didn’t stop her from being chased around Vienna…it was all about being foreign. But being as obviously not slavic as having dark skin makes you an easier mark.

We hardly need to comment further.  We’ve been pointing out the horrors of Russian racism for years now, and the U.S. now has a black president who is ignoring the horror just as much as the white ones did.  That may be an even bigger atrocity than Russian racism itself.

64 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Scourge of Pandemic Russian Racism and the Cowardly Treachery of Barack Obama

  1. No surprises here.

    Russian racism against its ethnic minorities is well documented.

    If the Russians call caucasian groups such as Chechens, Georgians, and Azeri’s “blacks” you shouldn’t be surprised at their behaviour towards those of African ancestry.

    Russia really is a cesspool.

  2. Obama ignores everything but his pretty face in the mirror.

  3. “While Obama is busy making buddy with Medvyedev, scores of black folks on Moscow streets are looking over their shoulder every two seconds in fear. It’s horribly ironic.”

    Most of the people of the world are looking over their shoulder every two seconds in fear of another US bombing or invasion.

    Compare the death list of the Russian hooligans with that of the Amerikkkan terrorists – it’s earth and sky!

    • Obviously you have not heard of Russian war crimes in Chechnya.

      Most people of the former Soviet (Russian) empire ARE looking over their shoulder fearing a Russian invasion, particularly eastern Europe, and the independant republics of the Caucasus.

      Then there are all the deaths Russia is directly responsible for in Georgia and Azebaijahn by its support of ethnic cleansing separatists in both countries.

      • Of course I know about Russian war crimes in Chechnya! They are real and documented, but pale in comparison to the crimes committed by the US against Iraq since the year 1990.

        The US has been waging war against Iraq for almost twenty years now, with 1.5 million deaths, no end in sight, and Amerikkkan ass-lickers like you who thing that’s a great thing.

        No country in the world today is waging war and threatening the entire planet, with the exception of the United Snakes of Amerikkka.

        Russia is definitely NOT threatening to invade Eastern Europe now or in the future.

        By the way, the millions of victims of US terrorism in the last fifty years have all been black, brown, and yellow people, the same targets as the Russian hooligans.

        • No, not at all.

          Iraq body count puts the total at between 93,345 – 101,862 dead in Iraq. Most of them killed by insurgents funnily enough (who tend to be armed by Russia). Unlike Russia, the US does not deliberately target civillians.

          http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

          Meanwhile CIVILLIAN deaths in Chechnya are between 100,000 and 200,000 from a population of around 1,103,686 (2002)

          Russia comitted multiple war crimes in Chechnya, including deliberate massacres of civillians.

          Then there are the filtration (death) camps.

          The mass rapes of civillians.

          The list goes on.

          http://www.tcnj.edu/~filak2/chechnya.htm

          Then there are Russian crimes in Georgia both in the massacres and ethnic cleansing of Georgians in the early 90’s and again last year as dicumented by the Council of Europe fact finding mission.

        • @No country in the world today is waging war and threatening the entire planet, with the exception of the United Snakes of Amerikkka.

          Yeah, and in 1944 them Nazis thought so too.

          (For some reason the SS didn’t like the KKK.)

    • @Most of the people of the world are looking over their shoulder every two seconds in fear of another US bombing or invasion.

      Most Cheeezes in the world are retarded.

    • > Compare the death list of the Russian hooligans with that of the Amerikkkan terrorists – it’s earth and sky!

      But the Americans have a noble goal for their crimes: oil! And if the lawless chaos, resulting form the American occupation, results in the deaths of a million or so Arabs – who cares, as long as the American and British oil companies manage to take Iraqi oil away from those evil French, German and Russian oil companies!

      You don’t want Exxon and BP to lose their profits, do you? You – Russians. Germans and Frenchmen – are evil enemies of the American oil industry, you monsters!

      I am glad that the US Congress has officially renamed the “french fries” into “liberty fries”, although it is kind of ironic that it was the French who gave us the word “liberte”, inspired the American Constitution and gave us the Statue of Liberty. But let’s not forget that the word “liberty” is the opposite of the word “French”, because there is no liberty in France, and France, Germany and Russia committed an international crime by opposing the illegal American aggression against Iraq. They showed that to them, the interests of peace and international law are more important than the interests of Exxon!

  4. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was counterproductive to improved cooperation on nuclear issues for Defense Secretary Robert Gates and White House officials to say the decision wasn’t about Russia. They insisted that new intelligence and technology drove the move to abandon a planned system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    “It shows to us that the U.S. continues to be a rather difficult negotiating partner, a partner who is loaded in many wars by a Cold War mentality,” Churkin said Monday in an interview in New York. “By doing that they are undermining the value of the decision in our eyes.”

    Obama gives up the missile shield for nothing in return. The Russian government is still not satisfied.

  5. Most of the people of the world are looking over their shoulder every two seconds in fear of another US bombing or invasion.

    What the hell are you talking about you Jerk? To bad we were too busy bombing Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to notice all those suffering people. Too bad we got rid of Hussein so he couldn’t pull any more tongues out or lop off your fingers so you couldn’t hunt and peck on the keyboard with your insane drivel.

    • How it happened you named yourself “Kolchak”?

      That reminds me of a letter to MT from one of american students. He could not understand why those russians couldn’t remove the reminds of war in Petersburg when it’s 50 years passed since USA saved Russia from Hitler.

    • “Kolchak” wrote:
      > To bad we were too busy bombing Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to notice all those suffering people.

      Yes, indeed you were too busy to notice all those suffering people and to realise that it is wrong to commit massive crimes against humanity, be it nuclear holocausts against Hiroshima and Nagasaki or bombing atrocities against Dresden.

      I find it highly repulsive about you being so flippant about the fate of the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden.

      • And what about RuSSian thugs killing women and children, even babies in Finland, stealing and bombing our homes in Viipuri, Käkisalmi and Sortavala, all over Karelia, Petsamo and massive bombings of civilian targets all over Finland ? And you fascists are still occupying some of our territories after destroying and killing people there.

        It’s a pity the USA didn’t bomb SS-RuSSia, the world would be so much more peaceful without RuSSia. Also, Scandinavia wouldn’t have so many prostitutes and criminals who all seem to come from RuSSia.

      • @I find it highly repulsive about you being so flippant about the fate of the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden.

        Yeah, those poor WWII Germans. “WE WANT TOTAL WAR! Oh, of course we mean the unlimited bombing against the others’ cities (from Warsaw to London to Leningrad, let’s hope also the New York City), naurally we didn’t mean we want it HERE, why?”

        Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nuclear_weapon_program

        Of course they would use it when completed, just like they used biological and chemical weapons in China on multiple occasions (against troops and civilians, killing hundreds of thousands, including thousands in lab and field tests).

        And the conventional bombing raid on Tokyo actually killed more. Why it’s not remembered? It didn’t even end this war. Maybe you’ll explain this to me, also why it’s always Dresden and never, say, Hamburg (aptly-named Operation Gomorrah).

      • Btw, most of the Dresden bombers were British.

  6. Andrew wrote:
    > Unlike Russia, the US does not deliberately target civillians.

    Oh really? How about these:

    http://www.thewe.cc/weplanet/news/americas/us/war_culture.html

    Or these:

    Or these:

    Or these:

    Or this:

    ———————————http://www.netwerkvlaanderen.be/en/images/stories/campagnes/bankenenwapens/web%20fallujah.jpg

    Preparations for a new Fallujah?

    Fallujah, an horrific story

    In November 2004 the United States carried out a relentless attack on Fallujah, a city 70 km to the west of Baghdad, and a stronghold of the Sunni resistance to the occupation. At the time of the attack, there were between 50,000 and 100,000 people in the city. The US estimated that this included between 1,000 and 6,000 insurgents. At the end of January 2005, reports of the use of white phosphorus in the attack on Fallujah began to take on serious proportions. The US only admitted to the use of white phosphorus after the release of a shocking documentary on this subject by the Italian broadcaster RAI. Reports from US soldiers make it clear that these weapons were used directly against people. To say that the impact on the civilian population was terrible, is an understatement. Jeff Englehart, a US soldier who served in Fallujah reports how he heard the order for the use of white phosphorus on the military radio. He describes the consequences as follows: “Burned. Burned bodies. I mean, it burned children, and it burned women. White phosphorus kills indiscriminately… And when it makes contact with skin, then it’s absolutely irreversible damage, burning of flesh to the bone.”
    ———————————

    • Or this:

      http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-603819.html

      U.S. Massacre of Civilians In Korean War Described; Ex-Soldiers Confirm Villagers’ Accounts

      Early in the Korean War, American soldiers machine-gunned hundreds of helpless civilians under a railroad bridge in the South Korean countryside, villagers said.
      When the families spoke out, seeking redress, they met rejection and denial, from the U.S. military and their own government in Seoul. Now a dozen ex-GIs have spoken, too, and support their story with haunting memories from a “forgotten” war.
      American veterans of the Korean War say that in late July 1950, in the conflict’s first desperate weeks, U.S. troops killed a large number of South Korean refugees, many of them women and children
      —————-

      • Or this

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre

        The My Lai Massacre was the mass murder conducted by a unit of the U.S. Army on March 16, 1968 of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, all of whom were civilians and a majority of whom were women, children, and elderly people.

        Many of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated. While 26 US soldiers were initially charged with criminal offenses for their actions at My Lai, only William Calley was convicted. He served only three years of an original life sentence, while on house arrest.

        • Or this:

          The Samashki massacre was an incident which occurred on April 7-8, 1995, in the village of Samashki, at the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Numerous villagers died at the hands of Russian paramilitary troops, many of them reportedly drunk or drugged, under the command of Gen. Anatoly Kulikov.[3] The incident attracted wide attention in Russia and abroad.[4]

          The March 1996 United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) report said:

          It is reported that a massacre of over 100 people, mainly civilians, occurred between 7 and 8 April 1995 in the village of Samashki, in the west of Chechnya. According to the accounts of 128 eye-witnesses, Federal soldiers deliberately and arbitrarily attacked civilians and civilian dwellings in Samashki by shooting residents and burning houses with flame-throwers. The majority of the witnesses reported that many OMON troops were drunk or under the influence of drugs. They wantonly opened fire or threw grenades into basements where residents, mostly women, elderly persons and children, had been hiding.[5]

          According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), this was the most notorious civilian massacre of the First Chechen War.[6] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that approx. 250 civilians were killed.[7] According to Amnesty International[8] and HRW more than 250 people were killed, while the elders of Samashki stated that up to 300 residents were killed during the attack.[9]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samashki_massacre

          Differences:
          -almost 30 years later
          -all victims Russian citiziens
          – no investigations.

        • Or this

          The Russian forces entered the neighborhood in two waves of troops, following artillery fire and airstrikes (including the application ofcluster bombs),[2] killing at least five and injuring a number of residents on February 3 (dozens were believed to have been killed by the shelling of Aldi during December and January). The Russian combat troops, typically young and visibly battle-weary, who had arrived first in the afternoon of January 4 did not encounter any resistance and did not commit any crimes. These soldiers, however, warned the residents they encountered that the brutal “cleansing” (zachistka) troops were coming behind them.[1] The second-echelon troops, believed to be members of OMON (special police), and possibly kontraktniki (mercenaries) serving alongside or within the OMON detachments, came in the morning of the next day. Some of them were masked while others wore headscarves and were often bearded.

          After their arrival and without provocation, mutiple groups of Omonovtsy (likely numbering in excess of one hundred men) began randomly shooting the residents in the streets and in their homes, looting their possessions. According to the June 2000 report by the HRW,[3] some killings were accompanied by demands for money or other valuables, which served as a pretext for execution if the amount proffered was insufficient. Most of the dead in Novy Aldi were middle-aged or elderly; the average age of the victims was 44 (the eldest was born 1924); they included at least six women (one of them pregnant), a baby and two ethnic Russians (one of them a 70-year-old woman).[4] Some of the survivors were forced to plead for their lives, while some feigned dead.[1]

          Russian troops systematically torched many homes in Aldi, and some of the arson seemed to be primitive attempts to destroy the evidence of summary executions and other civilian killings. The carnage was documented on a video tape by the maverick Russian human rights activist Viktor Popkov during his visit to the village on February 9. While the federals engaged in some plunder on February 5, pillage on a massive scale first took place during the following week, with soldiers arriving in large numbers on February 10.[1]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novye_Aldi_massacre

        • Or this

          A special operation was planned and executed by the federal military commanders to entice rebel forces from besieged Grozny. That plan involved leading the Chechen separatist fighters to believe that a safe exit would be possible out of the city to the mountains in the south of Chechnya. On February 2, 2000, they were allowed to leave the city and were then caught in minefields and attacked by federal artillery and the air force. Fleeing the ambush, a large group of armed fighters arrived in Katyr-Yurt.

          The residents, including many civilian refugees who had fled the fighting Grozny, were not warned in advance or told of safe exit routes by the Russian side. The sudden heavy bombardment of the village began in the early hours of the morning and subsided at approximately 3 p.m. At that time, many of the villagers attempted to leave, believing that the military had granted a safe passage out of the village. As they were leaving by road, planes appeared and bombed the cars.

          Ultimately, the bombing lasted for two days and resulted in the deaths of at least 170 civilians (some 363 according to one estimate[4]), all of them formally citiziens of Russia. Many more were injured.

          [edit] ECHR judegement
          In the February 24, 2005 ruling, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held Russia responsible for the civilian deaths in Katyr-Yurt:

          The Court concluded that the military operation in Katyr-Yurt, aimed at either disarmament or destruction of the fighters, had not been spontaneous. The Court regarded it as evident that when the military had contemplated the deployment of aviation equipped with heavy combat weapons within the boundaries of a populated area, they should also have considered the inherent dangers. There was however no evidence to conclude that such considerations played a significant role in the planning.

          The military used heavy free-falling high-explosion aviation bombs FAB-250 and FAB-500 with a damage radius exceeding 1,000 metres. Using this kind of weapon in a populated area, outside wartime and without prior evacuation of the civilians, was impossible to reconcile with the degree of caution expected from a law-enforcement body in a democratic society.

          It was further noted that no martial law and no state of emergency had been declared in Chechnya, and no derogation has been entered under Article 15 of the Convention. The operation therefore had to be judged against a normal legal background.

          Even when faced with a situation where, as the Government had submitted, the villagers had been held hostage by a large group of fighters, the primary aim of the operation should be to protect lives from unlawful violence. The use of indiscriminate weapons stood in flagrant contrast with this aim and could not be considered compatible with the standard of care prerequisite to an operation of this kind involving the use of lethal force by State agents.[5]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Katyr-Yurt

          • @Katyr-Yurt

            Russia Promotes Officer Accused of War Crimes

            http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1902512,00.html

            On the morning of Feb. 4, 2000, four months into the Second Chechen War, Russian troops hoping to flush out a group of retreating Chechen rebel fighters began pounding the village of Katyr-Yurt with 550-lb. (250 kg) and 1,100-lb. (500 kg) unguided bombs. No prior warning was given to the village’s sleeping residents. “The main Chkalov St. was totally destroyed,” reported the independent Novaya Gazeta from the scene. “Not a single house remains standing.” The destruction of Katyr-Yurt, 25 miles (40 km) from the Chechen capital of Grozny, continued even as villagers tried to flee through a corridor they had been told was safe. Accounts differ, but scores, if not hundreds, were killed and wounded.

            A few days later, the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) held a hearing on the attack and found Russian forces and their commanders responsible for the “indiscriminate bombing” of civilians. “Using this kind of weapon in a populated area … without prior evacuation of civilians was impossible to reconcile with the degree of caution expected from a law-enforcement body in a democratic society,” the court’s findings read.

            Now, in a move that has sparked outrage from Human Rights Watch (HRW), the officer in charge, Lieut. General Vladimir Shamanov — who is named in the ECHR’s findings — has been chosen to head Russia’s paratrooper unit. “A commander in this position should have a firm commitment to upholding international humanitarian law,” said Holly Cartner, the HRW director for Europe and Central Asia, in a report released on May 28. “It’s hard to understand how an officer with oversight for operations that have resulted in numerous violations of humanitarian law has been considered qualified to assume this role.”

            With the announcement of Shamanov’s appointment on May 25, the Kremlin seemed to be sending mixed messages. It’s been little more than a year since President Dmitri Medvedev said in his inauguration speech that he would begin a campaign to increase respect for the rule of law in Russia, stating that he places “particular importance on the fundamental role of the law,” and that “[Russia] must ensure true respect for the law and overcome the legal nihilism that is such a serious hindrance to modern development.”

            But considering the ECHR’s ruling on the Katyr-Yurt attack, Shamanov’s new role as head of Russia’s élite airborne troops flies in the face of that promise, says HRW. “Lt. General Shamanov presided over operations fraught with human rights violations and civilian casualties,” HRW states in the report. “He should be investigated, not promoted.”

            • Should be “few years later”, of course (precisely 5 years later).

            • And all of Russia’s paratroopers, not just “paratrooper unit”.

              (He also commanded Russian forces in Abkhazia in the last year’s war.)

              Anyway, more from the article:

              After serving in Chechnya, Shamanov was decorated a Hero of Russia, while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he “deserve[s] the deepest respect” for his “great contribution to the success of [the] counterterrorist operation [in Chechnya].” Part of that contribution came during operations in the village of Alkhan-Yurt in 1999. In its report, the HRW says that during fighting in the area, “Russian troops under Shamanov’s command committed at least 14 killings that amounted to extrajudicial executions.”

              Instead of standing trial, as human-rights groups are demanding, Shamanov will continue to serve as a super-hawk at a time when Russia has been making efforts to assert its place on the world stage though aggressive military actions. Just last week Shamanov said that “airborne troops proved during the five-day war [with Georgia] that they … remain the backbone of Russia’s conventional forces,” according to Russian news agency RIA-Novosti. Previously head of the Ministry of Defense’s combat training command, Shamanov ordered a change in training last year to prepare Russia’s military to fight for the enormous energy resources of the Arctic.

            • Also, the whole thing about Katyr-Yurt is that it was supposed to be a “safe zone”. People were told they should go there (it was under Russian control – and people were usually not allowed to leave the republic for safety at this time) so they won’t be killed in Grozny. And then they plotted to bomb this place anyway, and did this.

              Memorial about the policy towards the refugees and the ECHR ruling:

              http://www.memo.ru/2008/09/04/0409081eng/part3.htm

              At the first stage of the second Chechen campaign, during the large-scale military conflicts, federal troops everywhere resorted to massive and non-selective bombings and shell attacks. To kill several insurgents, the army often sacrifices dozens and hundreds of innocent civilians. Like in the first Chechen war, the federal forces used armament, which was obviously not intended for selective targeted killings.

              (…)

              Thus, Medka Isayeva, Zina Yusupova and Libkan Bazayeva submitted to the ECHR their complaints against the actions of Russia’s air forces having air-attacked a column of refugees who tried to leave the ChR on October 29, 1999.[4] On September 29, the ministries and departments of the Ministry of Interior in regions and republics received a telephone messages from the decision makers of the federal armed forces “Zapad” [West] with the order to close the administrative borders for the people trying to leave the ChR. Only Ruslan Aushev, President of the Republic of Ingushetia (RI) refused to obey this order. As a result, crowds of people made for the RI running away from the military activities taking place in the ChR. However, on October 22, 1999, federal forces completely blocked the administrative border between the ChR and the RI forbidding civilians to cross the border. On October 26, 1999, the Russian mass media reported that “humanitarian corridor” going via the checkpoint of “Caucuses-1” on the Rostov-Baku highway was to be opened. Thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles agglomerated on October 29 on this highway but the checkpoint never opened that day.[5] The vehicles turned round and made back for Groznyy. Near the village of Shaami-Yurt the column was suddenly attacked from the air and dozens of people were killed and wounded.

              Zara Adamovna Isayeva from the village of Katyr-Yurt also submitted a complaint to the ECHR on the death of her relatives killed during the firing.[6] Starting with February 2000, the federal forces’ commanders several times reported that at the end of January 2000 they had performed, in absolute secrecy, an operation aimed to get the Chechen squads out of Groznyy. The Chechen commanders had been falsely informed that the insurgents could buy from the Russian soldiers a safe corridor from Groznyy to the mountains, the latter paid the money for the corridor but on their supposedly “safe” way, they came across minefields where the Chechen groups suffered significant losses.[7] Hundreds of innocent civilians were killed during that operation. The corridor for the supposed exit of the insurgents went via the villages of Alkhan-Kala, Zakan-Yurt, Shaami-Yurt, Katyr-Yurt and Gehi-Chu. As the groups of insurgents were entering these villages, they were blocked by the federal troops, air-bombed and raked with artillery fire. At the same time, no “humanitarian corridors” had been provided to the innocent citizens for them to have a safe way out. On the night of February 3-4, 2000, the insurgents entered the village of Katyr-Yurt, earlier declared by the federals a “safe zone”. In the morning of February 4, artillery fire and bombing were brought down onto the village. To villagers had not been given the opportunity to leave the village before the firing and there were no properly organized “humanitarian corridors” for them. By different estimations, from several dozens to over one hundred civilians were killed that morning.

              On October 14, 2004, the ECHR held public hearings on the above described cases and on February 24, 2005, it passed decisions in favor of the applicants recognizing Russia guilty of the violation of art. 2 (right to life) and art. 13 (right to effective means of protection) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECPHRFF).[8]

              Regarding the blows brought onto the column of refugees in the village of Shaami-Yurt, the ECHR was ready to recognize that if the planes had been attacked by the illegal armed formations (as the Russian party insisted) the use of the lethal force might have been justifiable. However, even in the case like this, it was obvious that the “army had used extremely powerful weapon for the achievement of its purposes and all the people being at this moment on the road were exposed to mortal danger. The Court cannot agree that the operation at the village of Shaami-Yurt had been planned and performed with due care of the life of civilians”.

              As to the blockade and fire attack of the village of Katyr-Yurt, from the ECHR decision it follows that the military operation commanders had not undertaken necessary actions to notify the civilians regarding the forthcoming fire attack of the village and had not provided them with the opportunity to leave the village before the firing, while the operation had been planned in such a manner that human losses were unavoidable. From the materials of the criminal case presented to the Court by the Russian party, it follows that generals V. Shamanov and Ya. Nedobitko were responsible for the planning and direct command of the operation. At present, the military procuracy organs have resumed the investigation of the criminal cases on the facts of civilians’ death at the village of Shaami-Yurt and in the village of Katyr-Yurt but until now, no one has been held criminally liable.

              Besides the rulings of the ECHR with regard to the RF disproportionate and non-selective use of force and failure to take necessary measures in order to protect innocent civilians, the Court specifically emphasizes that no effective investigation of these tragic cases has been undertaken: “The Court was amazed by the series of serious and inexplicable omissions and inactivity of investigatory bodies”.

      • @Now a dozen ex-GIs have spoken, too, and support their story with haunting memories from a “forgotten” war.

        You mean, including Ed Daily?

        The 1999 Associated Press articles alleged that refugees at No Gun Ri were strafed from the air and machined gunned at close range by U.S. soldiers under direction of military policy. The AP reporting was partially based on a falsified firsthand account by Edward Daily.[2] Army records suggest that Daily was never a machine gunner and was not present at No Gun Ri.[4] The AP later corrected the false Daily claim and other details of the No Gun Ri articles.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Gun_Ri_Massacre

        Anyway it was surely a tragedy (whatever happened there), but those people were refugees fleeing the North Korean invasion and you use it to blame the panicky Americans at the time of great chaos (South Korea about to fall – it was almost a miracle that the tide was stopped and then turned, and so not all of Koreans now live in the hell that is North Korea, thanks to the sacrafices by the US and other UN soldiers).

    • Since we haven’t covered the Kosovo War, here it is:

      http://www.amnesty.no/web.nsf/pages/86288FE5DE188BCAC1256A6900444A01

      NATO/FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA ”COLLATERAL DAMAGE” OR UNLAWFUL KILLINGS?

      Violations of the Laws of War by NATO during Operation Allied Force

      Amnesty International

      Especially interesting is how NATO deliberately lied about thes eatrocities and covered them up:

      “5.1 Attack on Grdelica railroad bridge, hitting passenger train: 12 April

      The video of the cockpit view of both attacks was shown at the press conference on 13 April. Several months later it was reported in Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper that this video was shown at three times speed, giving the impression to viewers that the civilian train was moving extremely fast.”

      • Since we haven’t covered the Kosovo War, here it is (10 years later):

        Serbia/Kosovo: No end to impunity 10 years after the end of war in Kosovo

        In Serbia for example, investigations into allegations that in May 1999 the bodies of ethnic Albanian civilians were incinerated in a smelter at the Mačkatica aluminium complex near Surdulica in Serbia, were abandoned after witnesses were intimidated by local and state security police. The alleged incinerations had been part of a massive cover-up operation, in which the bodies of more than 900 ethnic Albanian were transferred and buried in mass graves in Serbia proper in April and May 1999.

        http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/serbiakosovo-no-end-impunity-10-years-after-end-war-kosovo-20090608

        Especially interesting is how the Serbs deliberately lied about thes [e]atrocities and covered them up by making them to be victims of NATO attacks:

        UNDER ORDERS:
        War Crimes in Kosovo

        http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/kosovo/

        The precise number of Dubrava inmates killed by the two NATO bombing raids and by prison guards and special police remains unclear. After initially reporting on May 21 that at least nineteen inmates had been killed, the Yugoslav government’s figures rose sharply four days later, without, however, attributing killings to measures to control rioting or escaping priosiners. Serbian authorities, in contrast, attributed the new deaths to the bombings in stark contradiction to survivor testimonies. A May 25, 1999, Tanjug report said that “in days-long bombardment of the Penitentiary Institute Istok, some 100 prisoners died, and some 200 were wounded.”45

        (…)

        Precisely who was in charge during the killings in Dubrava prison remains unclear. Still, from witness testimonies and press accounts, a few leads have emerged.

        According to an article in the Washington Post, then-Serbian Justice Minister Dragoljub Jankovic, claimed that “his people” were not in charge in Dubrava between May 19 and 25, meaning, ostensibly, the Serbian Ministry of Justice. The article said that, “He [Jankovic] does not know what happened during the bombardment, and seemed to suggest that if any atrocities occurred, it was others-special police, paramilitaries-who were responsible.”56

        Journalist Paul Watson, who visited Dubrava on May 19 and May 21, quoted one official from the prison-Aleksander Rakocevic-whom he identified as a warden.57 Former prisoners told Human Rights Watch that they recognized a few of the Serbian security personnel in the prison, although they did not know their full names. Both of the former prisoners who spoke with Human Rights Watch said that the director of the prison was known as “Miki”-a dark-skinned man who spoke perfect Albanian. According to A.K., the deputy director was known as “Ace,” and he was the one who allegedly gave the order to fire on the assembled prisoners on May 22. A.K. and B.K. both also claimed that the prison guards had released and armed some of the ethnic Serbian prisoners after the first NATO raid on May 19. Both witnesses said they saw some of these people back in the prison attacking the Albanians with whom they had, until recently, been incarcerated.

        http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/kosovo/undword-07.htm

    • Excuse me? Since when the use of WP is “shocking”?

      White Phosphorus (WP) creates a smoke screen as it burns. Phosphorus smokes are generated by a variety of munitions. Some of these munitions such as the M825 (155-mm round) may, on explosion, distribute particles of incompletely oxidized white phosphorus. Smokes obscure vision and are used to hide troops, equipment, and areas from detection. Smoke screens are essential for movement in city fighting. In the December 1994 battle for Grozny in Chechnya, every fourth or fifth Russian artillery or mortar round fired was a smoke or white phosphorus round.
      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/wp.htm

      And you know what? Back than this “shocked” nobody. Not only just because people everywhere except the worst from the Russians, but also because the use of WP is actually considered normal (and as you see, especially in urban combat).

  7. Hey fellas! Thank you for allowing me to become a catalyst for this thread!

    But, in all seriousness, the body count of US terrorism is somewhere in the neigborhood of six to eight million corpses, for the period of 1945-2009.

    • And the body count of Russian terrorism 1917-1989 is 61,911,000.

      Once again Russia is far far worse. (roughly 10 times, and 3 or 4 times worse than the Nazi’s too)

    • @But, in all seriousness, the body count of US terrorism is somewhere in the neigborhood of six to eight million corpses, for the period of 1945-2009.

      In all actual seriousness, I don’t think all of the US terrorism (everything, from the KKK and anti-abortion attacks to Zebra Killers and DC snipers to Oklahoma City and 9/11) would give you anywhere close to even one million corpses.

  8. Russian racist thugs are supported by around half the Russian population.

    “Their mission is to cleanse Russia of its ethnic “occupiers”, with an anti-immigrant stance supported by half the population. And since 2004 their most extreme members have murdered more than 350 people. Luke Harding reports on the rise of the Russian far-right”

    “Just round the corner, around 300 neo-Nazi activists are holding a rally beneath a statue of the Russian playwright Alexandr Griboyedov. (Griboyedov is a sort of early skinhead martyr. The author of the verse comedy Woe from Wit, he was stabbed to death in 1829 by a Persian mob.) The skinheads wave black, yellow and white flags; a few clamber on the statue and launch Hitler salutes, shouting: “Russia for Russians”.

    I later discover that most Russian skinheads revere the Führer, believing that his only mistake was to attack Russia. The average age here is about 15 or 16; the style is baseball caps, Burberry scarves and Lonsdale – the uniform of the British far-right. One skinhead even has a Union Flag jacket. There are several girls. The skinheads adhere to two ultra-nationalist groups – the Movement Against Illegal Immigration and the Slavic Union. A stall shows a photo of 15-year-old Anna Beshnova – a pretty, blonde Russian schoolgirl raped and then murdered in October 2008 by an Uzbek city maintenance worker.

    Her death has ignited racial tensions across the city’s already flammable lower-middle-class suburbs and inspired several revenge attacks.

    According to Verkhovsky, the phenomenon of racist violence in Russia isn’t new. What makes Ryno and Skachevsky’s case remarkable, he says, is the prolific scale of their murder spree. The fact that the police solved their crimes has nothing to do with their investigative skills, he says, but is down to the teenagers confessing: “This isn’t an example of good investigation.”

    Xenophobic prejudice is widespread in Russia, Verkhovsky says. “More than 50% support the idea that ethnic Russians should have privileges over other ethnic groups,” he says. “More than 50% believe that ethnic minorities should be limited or even expelled from their region.” Under communism there was prejudice towards non-Slavs as well as Jews, despite the poly-ethnic nature of Soviet life. In the 1990s, when many ethnic Russians returned from newly independent republics like Uzbekistan, prejudice continued. But it is over the past eight years that racism has grown to astonishing levels, Verkhovsky says. Russia’s second war in Chechnya and the 1999 apartment block bombings, which killed almost 300 people in four Russian cities, created this new xenophobia. The Kremlin blamed the bombings on terrorist Chechens; others suspect they were the work of the FSB, the former KGB. Either way, racism in Russia is now ubiquitous. According to Sova, 96 people were murdered in 2008 in racist or neo-Nazi attacks, with another 419 beaten or wounded. (The number of deaths was 50 in 2004, 47 in 2005, 64 in 2006 and 86 in 2007.) Last month, another 12 people were murdered. Sova’s research suggests that xenophobic prejudice has become mainstream, acceptable. And while most Russians don’t support radical ideas in practice, there are around 2,000-3,000 young skinheads prepared to attack and kill migrants, he estimates. Russia’s law enforcement agencies, tasked with the job of catching these boy killers, share the prejudices of Russia’s general population. Typically, police officers ignore race attacks, or classify them with the lesser charge of hooliganism. Verkhovsky says: “Enforcement is very weak. These young skinheads don’t feel fear of the police, since the risk of getting caught is small.”

    The bloody evidence appears to confirm his grim thesis. A few days before our meeting, an unknown group, the Militant Organisation of Russian Nationalists, sends out a chilling email. The group says it has murdered a 20-year-old Tajik, stabbing him six times as he walked home from his job at a food warehouse. They cut off his head, dumping it in a bin outside a council office in western Moscow. The victim’s body was discovered near the village of Zhabkino, a few kilometres outside the capital. The email includes an attachment. It is a photograph of the young man’s head lying on a giant wooden chopping block. The group says the murder is a protest against authority for its failure to deal with immigration or – as the killers put it – to rid Russia of its Caucasian and Central Asian “occupiers”. Unless government officials deport “the blacks” their heads would “fly off” next, it warns. The beheading is reminiscent of another gruesome neo-Nazi attack that surfaced last year on the internet via far-right websites. The video – entitled “The execution of a Tajik and a Dagestani” – shows two men kneeling in an autumnal Russian forest, bound and gagged under a Nazi flag. Masked men saw the head off one man and shoot the other. Russian investigators initially dismissed the video as a hoax. Later, however, it emerged it was genuine. A man recognised the Dagestani victim as his missing brother; he had vanished in Moscow several months earlier. During the same week in December 2008, unknown assailants in the southern city of Volgograd casually knifed a black American teenager. Stanley Robinson, 18, from Providence, Rhode Island, had been in Russia on a school exchange. The attack left him critically injured and he was flown out of Russia to Finland for emergency surgery. Back in south Moscow, suspected skinheads stabbed an 18-year-old Kazakh student, Yerlan Aitymov, as he waited for a bus near Kaluzhskaya metro station. Yerlan died on the way to hospital.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/russia-race

  9. Another excellent article about Russian racism

    “One night I asked Samba about the long scar on his right-arm. “They chased me,” was the reply. He was from Burkina Faso. Though his country may be as underdeveloped as it is remote, sitting second-to-last on the UN Human Development Index, Samba has little time for Russia: “I hate it here. It was a terrible mistake to come. My tribal elder told me that Russia had been a friend to the blacks and they had programmes from Soviet times to bring people to these cities to become Doctors. I looked at a map. Russia was in Europe. They are all rich there, I thought. I came. I made a terrible mistake.” He would screw his face up and throw his cigarette butts into the water whenever we talked about this topic. “Russian girls are nice. But the men will come up and stab you in the back. The things they’ve done you wouldn’t even believe. I’ve had a banana thrown at me more than once. I’ve been chased down Nevsky Prospekt. Taunts. Whispers. Always fights.” Samba suddenly smiled and pulled himself closer to me so nobody else could hear him speak. “They are the primitive people. Seriously.”

    Things have changed dramatically since the trip undertaken by Samba was made by Third World heroes such as the Senegalese film-maker Usmane Sembene or the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. An estimated 400,000 Africans passed through the Soviet Union, grabbing above-average educations on the way. During the Brezhenev years, mixed-marriages were not even particularly frowned upon.

    Central to the Kremlin’s plan to spread Socialist soft-power was the Patrice Lumumba University. Luis has been studying here for two years and his fine features bare the traces of stress. He speaks very softly. “The teachers are making racist comments in the classrooms. I can’t bear the streets. It’s just too much for me. I spend my whole time in my room when I’m not studying.” His contemporary from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gamo, looks like a mixture of the brave and the laughable decked out in Rapper-chic. “Man, we call ourselves the hardest ‘hood. We have to put up with white racism here like no black man anywhere.” The experts estimate that there are at least 200,000 active Russian neo-Nazi gang members. In 2003 they struck out at Patrice Lumumba University. An arsonist set fire to one of the residences and blocked the exits, killing 40 students. The fire services blamed an electrical fault, to the rage of Lumumba students. Soon afterwards, two skinheads were seen running away after a second attack was stopped in its tracks. Shockingly, there was no police investigation. Last March, three Chinese students were attacked by a gang of young men just outside a dormitory. One of the students died of his injuries. “…..

    ….”Behind this behaviour lies the politics of the past ten years. Nikolay Petrov was once an adviser to the Russian government. Now he is scholar in residence at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Moscow. Petrov believes that the fall of the Soviet Union left a “lost generation of young men who seek to fill the vacuum with racist hatred and violence.” He argues that “these great feelings of humiliation experienced when Russia ceased to be a superpower lent themselves to nationalism, which Vladimir Putin has used in part to legitimize his regime.” Experts share this sense that the Russian leader has abetted the rise of such attitudes. Ida Kuklina, an activist and researcher at the Russian Center for Human Rights, also blames Putin for inciting racism among Russian youth. “Putin has a personal obsession with strength,” she says. “It’s very clear to me that black students or lost immigrants are just the most visible targets of a deeper and far more intense attitude.” Kuklina suggests that the attacks on black students are the manifestations of a deeper and more threatening racism.

    Back when Obama was gathering steam after the Iowa primary, I found myself in St. Petersburg once more. I was with a very beautiful woman, but it wasn’t going very well. Drinking cheap Russian fizzy wine, misleadingly called Champagneskaia, had given me a permanent headache. I was smoking too much and now had a cough. I felt trapped by the winter and the cultural gulf between myself and my Russian girlfriend. I thought talking about Barack Obama might be an easy filler for an awkward afternoon, but she had firm views: “He will never win. He’s black. And they are anthropologically different from us. Lazy and stupid.” I spoke about Nelson Mandela, and then changed tack. “But what if I was Black?” I asked. “Then I would never be with you.” Perhaps I should have known then that, after the break-up, I would receive a letter heavily laden with anti-Semitism.

    Baudrillard claimed to have been sitting in Sheremetevo Airport, before even going through customs, when he came to understand that the U.S.S.R. had, far from liberating the mind, acted as a glacier over Russian attitudes to “others.” Russians think about blacks, Jews and women in the way Europeans did a generation ago. Totalitarianism meant that they have never thought through racism and prejudice, and Putin’s regime has made it less likely that they ever will. Obama might be wise to remember that Russians attitudes are distinctive, old-fashioned and sometimes dangerous, and not just on the societal level. The wars in the Caucasus would suggest they affect geopolitics as well.”

    http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/july-09-online-only-dispatches-black-russian-obama-st-petersburg-racism?page=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1

    • @Another excellent article about Russian racism

      From Russia With Hate

      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,674718,00.html

      According to Vyacheslav Sukhachev, professor of sociology at the University of St. Petersburg and an expert on Nazism, this kind of racism is seeping into society at large. Polls back this assertion up. In a survey by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTSIOM) published last month [in 2004], 61% of those polled approved of the “Russia for Russians” slogan, almost twice the 31% level recorded in 1998. According to a March study by the Moscow-based Ekspertiza Foundation, an independent think tank, 60% of those surveyed wanted to limit the presence of people from the Caucasus (Chechens, Dagestanis, Azeris and Armenians, among others) in the country, while 51% wanted similar constraints on the Chinese and 42% wanted to limit the influence of Jews. “The soft encroachment of nationalism increasingly permeates Russia,” says Sukhachev. “What is happening is unprecedented.

  10. great posts andrew, thank you for sharing truth. russian in abkhazia 1991-93 staged a civil war where more than 20,000 innocent georgians were massacared some in the most atrocious way. Again as you mentioned what they did to the chechen people is also completely dispicable.

    i was also thinking about russia’s colonization of the caucasus for past 2 centuries. none of these people in northern caucasus want to be part of russia, they were there centuries before slavs even arrived. not to mention all have distinc language and national identity. russia has no more claim to keep these countires envslaves and colonized than europe had right to colonize african countries. difference is that as the world became more civilized european countires let their colonies go a LONG TIME AGO. While russia keeps these poor nations as colonies, who have every right to be independent. I guess what i’m wondernig is that why can not russia follow european model and give freedom to northern caucasus? what is wrong with that country that they are so evil, why are russian people silent? anyway, i just hope that this evil empire will crumble to pieces.

  11. sorry i didnt mean to use the world despicable, what i meant to say what russia did to chechens i think could be described as genocide, which is what they did to georgians too in abkhazeti. their crimes in both places have been one of the most atrocious in recent history.

    • I think despicable is a perfect description of the crimes (amounting to genocide) that the Russians have comitted in both the north and south Caucasus.

      And these crimes are an excellent example of Russian racism.

  12. March against hatred: racism in Russia

    Дата публикации:
    02.11.2008
    This Sunday people in St Petersburg will take to the streets for the fifth consecutive year running to demonstrate against racism in Russia. Members of Amnesty International from all over the world are sending messages of solidarity to the organisers of the “March Against Hatred”.

    The march was first organised after the murder of 64-year-old Nikolai Girenko, an ethnology professor who often testified as an expert witness on racism and discrimination in trials for racially motivated attacks.

    Before his murder neo-Nazi groups had passed a “death sentence” on Girenko and posted it on the internet. On 19 June 2004 Girenko was at home. When the doorbell rang he went to answer it. He was killed by shots fired through his front door as he approached.

    Girenko is only one of many killed by members of racist groups in Russia. According to the Russian non-governmental organisation SOVA, which monitors xenophobia and racism in Russia, 68 people died and 262 were injured in racially motivated attacks in Russia in the first eight months of this year alone.

    This number includes only incidents reported in the media and on the internet. Many more attacks go unreported. Six years ago I spent a year studying in Moscow. One Sunday afternoon a Japanese student who lived with me was attacked by a mob of teenage racists in one of Moscow’s main underground stations. My friend was lucky. Passers-by intervened and chased the attackers away. He escaped battered and bruised, but too frightened to raise the issue outside the university.

    This is not surprising. Many victims of racist attacks don‘t trust the Russian police to be fair and dispassionate. A student from Liberia studying in Moscow told Amnesty last year: “I’ve been physically attacked five times. The first three times, when I approached the police department, the first question is ‘what are you doing here and where are your papers’, even if you have blood pouring down, they don’t care. And I’m here legally, I’m a student. They would check your papers before doing anything, even calling an ambulance.”

    According to Irina Asenova, from the Youth Human Rights Movement, a monitoring organisation from the western Russian city of Voronezh, “In the last two years analysts have noticed a rise in the number and the brutality of racially motivated attacks in Russia”. “Every-day xenophobia” is, she says, “high” in Russia, and the conflict with Georgia has only intensified this mood. “This gives right-wing groups the opportunity to present their extremist views as mainstream opinions.”

    Racism, xenophobia and discrimination are hardly the exclusive preserve of Russia. The 2005 report by the European Commission of Racism and Intolerance on the United Kingdom concluded that “Members of ethnic and religious minority groups continue to experience racism and discrimination. The media has continued to play an important role in determining the current climate of hostility towards asylum seekers, refugees, Muslims, Roma/Gypsies and Travellers.”

    However, serious racially motivated attacks – including murder – on the streets of Britain are few and far between. By contrast, they occur with alarming regularity in Russia. Foreigners, who do not “look European”, Russian citizens who do not seem typically “Russian” (not least Chechens), and young Russians who dress differently (like “goths” or “punks”), are at serious risk of assault on Russian streets. Despite this, there have been only a small number of prosecutions, which included racial hatred or enmity as a motivating factor.

    Anti-racism campaigners in Russia are in some cases themselves being subjected to terrifying intimidation. Three months ago an attempt was made to burn down the family home of human rights activist Dmitrii Krauikhin. His 86-year-old mother, daughter and six-year-old granddaughter were trapped inside the flat but managed to call the fire brigade just in time. The arson attack followed a series of other incidents clearly intended to stop Krauikhin from doing his anti-racism work in Russia.

    Meanwhile, photographs and home addresses of Russian human rights activists are regularly being published on right-wing websites. In cases like Nikolai Girenko’s, this led to murder.

    Actually, though, I’m particularly disturbed to learn that Irina Akesnova thinks the greatest threats for anti-racism campaigners are coming not from neo-Nazi groups but from the authorities themselves. They appear to regard any independent activity by campaigners as dangerous and Akesnoa has described how the authorities in Voronezh have been circulating lists of supposed “extremist organisations” that included human rights groups.

    An Amnesty colleague of mine, Graham Jones, an Amnesty country coordinator for Russia, reckons that “collaboration between the state and racist thugs” is part of a dark reality that puts all anti-racist campaigners in Russia at risk.

    Last year the organisers of the March Against Hatred were genuinely grateful for the many solidarity messages sent to by well-wishers from around the world. If you have a message of support this year, please add a comment here and I’ll pass it on.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sara_hall/blog/2008/10/31/march_against_hatred_racism_in_russia

  13. my friend was badly beaten recently in mosow twice because she’s georgian and has darker hair. another of acquaintance of mine was unexpectadly attacked and stabbed in the heart in 2005 by russian skinheads in moscow when he was leaving his apartament.

  14. It’s interesting to read about racial or whatever intolerance in a blog named “la russophobe”.

    • Thats fear of the neo-nazi Russian state and its political culture of mass murder, imperialism, racism etc.

      Not of Russian ethnicity itself.

      A bit like if we had the internet in the 1930’s and there was a website opposed to hitlers resurgent Germany called “La Germanophobe”

      • Actually, most racists are opposed to the current government.

        And open your eyes: this is not a blog about russian political culture. How does the “fact” that we can’t cook, for instance, is associated with politics? Or the “fact” that russians are nation of alcoholics? Come on, there’s a whole category called “russian people”! I’m sure that has nothing to do with “La Germanophobe” you mentioned, even if there would be any chance that we’ll repeat the germans mistake.

        • Oh you have already repeated the Germans mistakes, look at Chechnya.

          Look at Russian actions in Moldovia and Georgia.

          As for “most racists are opposed to the current government”, well they certainly seem to get a lot of support from the current government in that case.

          Such as protection from prosecution and tacit, and in many cases overt, support.

          Nashi springs to mind.

          • Under the current regime, even the word ‘Russian’ (‘russky’) itself is effectively banned in favor of clumsy ‘rossiysky’ (roughly translated as ‘Russianese’). Every publication mentioning the ongloing oppression against Russian people is punished under provisions of Article 282 of the Criminal Code. At the same time, all but one anti-Russian attacks are just overlooked, with the only surprising exception of the case against ‘Black Hawks’, a group of terrorists from the Caucasus (however, it’s qualified as ‘holliganism’ – !! – which is considered a minor crime as compared to terrorism, attempt on murder/grave injury and incitement of enmity).

            So your remarks are just rivalry in Russophobia.

          • And mentioning ‘nashi’ is hilarious, they’re nothing but helpless golems created to canalize nationalist tendencies, just like ‘Russian ultranationalist’ (and former ‘Shalom’ movement member) called Edelstein. They have no popular support whasoever and will be dissovled right after the first phone call from their masters.

        • @Actually, most racists are opposed to the current government.

          Opposed like the “pure-blood” Russian supremacist Zhirinovsky (formerly Eidelshtein)?

          If they are “opposed”, why are they tolerated (legality, largely impunity)? Why are they using OMON training centers (if not OMON members already) and joining Kremlin’s “antifascist” youth movements (except Young Guard apparently)?

          Are Russia’s militant racist groups actively fighting against the government like some other far-right groups in other countries (including the United States – shootouts with like http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/20090611/shootout-holocaust-museum-leaves-one-dead-gunman-suspected-supremacist.htm this recent for example)? No, they aren’t – just stabbing to death random non-Russian individuals (preferably completely defenseless, like little girls and such) and sometimes bombing places where there are many of them. That’s “opposing the current government”?

          Check out this: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/241355.html (“Later it was established the gang had murdered 20 people, including Tajik labourers, Chinese migrants and a Russian grandmaster of chess. (…) Human rights groups said law enforcement agencies were generally reluctant to investigate race crime, preferring to categorize it just with hooliganism. (…) Ryno and Skachevsky, now 19, were both jailed for 10 years yesterday. Five other defendants got sentences of six to 20 years and two were acquitted.”

          Meanwhile, “Savva Terentiev, a 28-year-old musician from Syktyvkar, 1,515 kilometers (940 miles) north of Moscow, wrote in a blog last year that the police force should be cleaned up by ceremonially burning officers twice a day in a town square. Convicted on charges of “inciting hatred or enmity”, Terentiev was given a one-year suspended term (…) “Thank God we live in a free society,” Medvedev said last month in an interview with Reuters.”:
          http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSL0757687320080707

          1 year is what one gets for murdering 2 people in racist attacks, apparently. Of course, if he wrote that not policemen but foreigners should be burned on town square, he would not be sentenced for “extremism”.

          (Russian dictionary: “extremism” – being against the government; “hooliganism” – racist attacks; “antifascist” – fascist; “fascists” – democracy; “managed democracy” – authoritarianism; “genocide” – lie; “constitutional order” – total carnage; “hostage rescue” – hostage massacre; “liberated” – obliterated; “independence” – puppet state, “president of Russia” – Putin or a Putin’s puppet; and more, maybe I should compile it some time).

          • And another recent example in the US:
            http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/09/pa.shooting.suspect/

            Of course the most deadly of the attacks was the Oklahoma City bombing.
            http://www.seattlepi.com/national/108540_okla13.shtml

            That’s what I call “opposition”. Maybe you have a different definition (a Russian definition).

            Remember that there are, for example est. 50,000 racist skinheads in Russia and only 70,000 in the rest of the world combined. And yet there are no white supremacist attacks against the government.

          • And as for little girsl.. There was a big state-sponsored media buzz about a ‘Tajik girl killed by Russian fascists’, ultimately proved to be a side effects of a skirmish between two Tajik gangs distributing heroin from Afghanistan.

            • @And as for little girsl.. There was a big state-sponsored media buzz about a ‘Tajik girl killed by Russian fascists’, ultimately proved to be a side effects of a skirmish between two Tajik gangs distributing heroin from Afghanistan.

              And your source being Stormfront?

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/amnesty-accuses-kremlin-of-inaction-as-racism-spins-out-of-control-476710.html

              Khursheda Sultanova, 9, race victim

              Khursheda Sultanova, an ethnic Tajik, was living with her family in St Petersburg when she was murdered in a racist attack two years ago.

              She was returning home from an evening ice-skating with her father and 11-year old cousin when a group of teenagers armed with knives, metal rods, chains and baseball bats approached. The attackers chanted racist slogans, such as “Russia is for Russians”.

              Khursheda was stabbed nine times and died at the scene from blood loss. Her father and cousin both suffered severe head injuries. The initial investigation into the attack failed to acknowledge the racial aspect to the case. As late as February 2005, the chief prosecutor Sergei Zaitsev told The St Petersburg Times that it was “an ordinary crime linked to unemployed youths, who were excited after drinking alcohol”.

              A month later, one individual was charged with murder motivated by racial hatred, while seven others were charged with hooliganism. But when the case finally came to court in March this year, the racial motive for the murder went unrecognised. The jury found the main defendant and six others guilty of hooliganism alone, carrying a maximum sentence of five and a half years’ imprisonment.

              • Also,

                A jury has cleared a teenager of murder charges in the stabbing of a 9-year-old Tajik girl in 2004, finding him guilty instead of hooliganism and calling for leniency in his sentence.
                (…)
                The seven other defendants, now aged 15 to 21, were charged with hooliganism. The jury acquitted one of them Wednesday after he had admitted his participation in the attack during the investigation into the incident and again during the five-month trial, which was closed because four of the defendants are juveniles. The other six maintained their innocence but were convicted of hooliganism Wednesday.

                http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=17095

                A human rights organization has described a St. Petersburg court verdict on March 22 in the murder of a nine- year-old Tajik girl as “a moral catastrophe.” The judgment — eight of the defendants were found guilty of “hooliganism” and the other defendant was found not guilty — shocked members of the victim’s family and the Tajik Embassy in Moscow.
                (…)
                “[Some] 150 young people were interrogated,” Mirzoda said. “People in the neighborhood also told the entire story of how it happened. All eight youngsters confessed that they took part in the beating. They told the court that Roman Kazakov stabbed the girl.”

                http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1067023.html

                So, you mean Roman Kazakov (a very Tajik name, and he was 14 when he attacked the girl) and the others who admitted their guilt and were found guilty and convicted of this “hooliganism” were really a teenage “Tajik gang distributing heroin from Afghanistan” (presumably: the 9 year-old girl was member of the rival gang)?

                I think your Stormfront might not be a reliable source of information, after all. Try rather keep reading “big state-sponsored media buzz”.

          • And as for little girsl.. There was a big state-sponsored year-long media buzz about a ‘Tajik girl killed by Russian fascists’. Nevertheless, ultimately it was proved to be a result of a skirmish between two Tajik gangs distributing heroin from Afghanistan (and of course, it was largely muted by all major media).

            • I presume you mean this one:

              By Country / Russia
              Russia: Sentences In Tajik Girl’s Slaying Spark Public Outcry

              Khursheva Sultonova, second from left, in a family photo (Courtesy Photo)

              A court verdict handing short prison terms to a group of teenagers accused of being involved in the killing of a Tajik girl has sparked public outrage. The father of the slain girl has joined members of the Tajik and Muslim communities and rights advocates in filing a letter of protest to Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials.

              MOSCOW, March 31, 2006 (RFE/RL) — The father of Khursheva Sultonova, a 9-year-old Tajik girl murdered in St. Petersburg two years ago, today publicly protested the lenient sentences handed to those responsible for her death.

              The St. Petersburg Court yesterday sentenced seven teenagers accused of assaulting Sultonova to prison terms ranging from 18 months to 5 1/2 years.

              Murder Charges Thrown Out

              On March 22, a jury had convicted the teenagers on charges of hooliganism, which carries a lighter sentence than murder charges.

              The father of the victim, Yunus Sultonov, told a press conference in Moscow today that he was shocked by the jury’s ruling.

              “My family and I are in shock,” Sultonov said. “They killed my little girl, and the jury pitied the murderers, [ruling] that it was hooliganism. My daughter can’t be brought back, but what will other children do?”

              In February 2004, Sultonov, an immigrant worker from Tajikistan, his daughter Khursheva, and his 11-year-old nephew were attacked in St. Petersburg by a group of teenagers armed with baseball bats, chains, and knives.

              Khursheva bled to death after being stabbed 11 times. Sultonov was badly beaten but survived, and his nephew managed to escape.

              Roman Kazakov, who was 14 at the time of the attack and is considered a leader of the group, was handed the heaviest sentence — 5 1/2 years. Kazakov had initially been charged with racially motivated murder, but the jury reduced this charge to hooliganism, citing lack of evidence.

              The six others defendants received prison terms ranging from 1 1/2 to three years.

              Public Outcry

              The jury’s ruling and the subsequent sentence has sparked a public outcry. Human rights campaigners blamed the authorities for failing to punish racially motivated crimes and said the lenient sentence would encourage the growing neo-Nazi movement in St. Petersburg.

              In a letter of protest made public at today’s press conference, Tajik and Muslim representatives and members of the Public Chamber joined Sultonov in condemning the ruling as “an investigatory and judicial error.”

              The Public Chamber is a consultative group set up last year to monitor the work of parliament, and federal and regional bodies.

              The letter urges President Vladimir Putin, St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko, the Supreme Court, and the Prosecutor-General’s Office to look into the case and seek “an adequate verdict.”

              The victims’ lawyer, Natella Ponomaryova, told RFE/RL after the conference that she regrets that the murder charge was thrown out.

              “I cannot be satisfied with the verdict of ‘not guilty’ for murder, since this was the leading charge,” Ponomaryova said. “The murder was committed for racial motives, this was the version of the investigation, and it disappeared from the accusation.”

              Appeal On The Way

              She said the defense would appeal the verdict.

              Hate crimes have been on the rise in Russia, and particularly in St. Petersburg.

              Nazar Mirzoda, the head of the Tajik community in St. Petersburg, told reporters that repeated attacks have caused parents from Central Asia and the Caucasus to fear for their children’s lives.

              “We really don’t feel safe,” Mirzoda said. “How can Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Tajiks, send their children to school after such cases?”

              St. Petersburg prosecutors report that 23 people died in racially motivated attacks in 2004, and 34 in 2005. According to police estimates, there are some 20,000 skinheads in the St. Petersburg region alone.

              http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1067292.html

              Thats funny, they convicted an ETHNIC RUSSIAN of “hooliganism” in relation to her brutal murder.

              No mention of fighting between Tajik gangs.

              Note the convictions took place 2 years after the murder.

              Another lying scumbag using a Greek moniker (eleutherios, phobophobe etc)

            • Oh and another comment from one of the racist Russian scumbags that comitted said murder of the 9 year old Tajik girl

              Neither do skinheads make any distinction between children and adults or the young and the old. In St Petersburg, a crucible of skinhead activity, a 9-year-old Tajik girl was murdered last year and her case was no exception. Hurshida Sultanova was stabbed to death in front of her father by a group of about 10 skins. She was knifed 11 times.

              When asked whether he felt sorry for the murdered Tajik girl, Tokmakov did not bat an eyelid. “When you kill cockroaches you don’t feel sorry for them, do you?”

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10008515

      • Not of Russian ethnicity itself.

        No, it’s all about alleged ethnocultural inferiority of Russian people, and of course you know it, being one of the most outrageous racist posters here.

  15. in russia people from caucasus are discriminated against on daily bases. they are often mocked, beaten, arrested for no reason, called black asses and murdered. despite this it is interesting they will not stay out of caucasus and are completely fine with russias’s colonization and occuaption of caucasia. if you asked those same racist russians who commit crimes against caucasians they will tell you that caucasian land belongs to them, yet when they are in russia they are faced with bigotry and discrimination.

  16. God Bless Moscow! Keep the Africans on their own continent….

  17. YEREVAN PRESSING FOR TOUGHER ACTION AGAINST ANTI-ARMENIAN RACISM IN RUSSIA
    Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 124June 27, 2006 12:00 AM Age: 3 yrsCategory: Eurasia Daily Monitor, The Caucasus, Armenia
    By: Emil Danielyan

    Armenia’s leadership has indicated its discontent with the Russian authorities’ failure to stop racially motivated attacks on non-Slavic immigrants in Russia. Such attacks have claimed at least six Armenian lives this year. Faced with domestic outcry against its reluctance to publicly exert pressure on Moscow, official Yerevan is now pressing for tougher Russian action against the xenophobic violence.

    President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian showed the first signs of such pressure as they met with the Kremlin’s visiting top representative to southern Russia, Dmitry Kozak, on June 16. The official purpose of Kozak’s visit to Yerevan was to discuss ways of boosting economic ties between Armenia and the Russian regions making up the Southern Federal District. But statements from official Armenian sources suggest that the continuing racist killings dominated much of the discussions. The Armenian leaders clearly used the opportunity to convey their concerns to a close and influential associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=31818

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