Racism in Russia
|Part of a series on|
Racism in Russia appears mainly in the form of negative attitudes and actions by Russians towards people who are not considered ethnically Russian. Traditionally, this included antisemitism, as well as hostility towards various ethnicities of Caucasus and Central Asia. The director of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, Alexander Brod, stated that surveys show xenophobia and other racist expressions are prevalent in 50 percent of Russians. In 2006, Amnesty International reported that racism in Russia was “out of control” and estimated the number of Russian neo-Nazis at around 85,000 in 2008.
- 1 Public sentiments and politics
- 2 Racism by targeted group
- 3 Association football
- 4 Notable hate crimes
- 5 Decline of reported hate crimes
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Public sentiments and politics
On 24 October 2013, speaking during the Poedinok programme on the Rossia 1 television channel, the leader of Russia's extreme nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, known for his headline-grabbing outbursts, called for imposing limits on the birth rate in the Muslim-dominated North Caucasus region of Russia, and restricting the movement of people from that region across the country. These outbursts occurred shortly after the terrorist attack in Volgograd, which left several Russians dead. Zhirinovsky later apologized for his words. During the programme, there was a live population poll conducted via text messaging and internet. Zhirinovsky won that popular vote, with over 140 thousand Russians voting in favour of him.
Racism by targeted group
Attitude towards African people were generally neutral during the Soviet Union, because of its internationalist agenda. As a part of its support of decolonization of 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.
In recent survey, Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy found that over half of Africans in Moscow had been physically attacked in the past. Attacks in Moscow Metro are common, and “Monkey” insults are so frequent that students have ceased reporting them.
In 2010, Jean Sagbo became the first black man in Russia to be elected to government. He is a municipal councilor in the village of Novozavidovo, 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Moscow.
Peoples of the Caucasus
In Russia, the word Caucasian is a collective term referring to anyone descended from the native ethnicities of the Caucasus. In Russian slang, Caucasian peoples fall into the category of black, despite the fact that almost all of them are white-skinned. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the rise of the Muslim population in Russia and the Second Chechen War, many Russian radical nationalists have associated Islam and Muslims with terrorism and domestic crimes.
On 21 April 2001, there was a pogrom in a market in Moscow's Yasenevo District against merchants from the Caucasus. Racially motivated attacks against Armenians in Russia have grown so common that the president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, raised the issue with high-ranking Russian officials. In September 2006, major ethnic tensions between Russians and Caucasians took place in Kondopoga. In 2006, the crisis in Georgia–Russia relations resulted in the deportation of Georgians from Russia. Russian side explained the process as law enforcement towards illegal immigrants, whereas the Georgian government accused Russia of ethnic cleansing.
In December 2010, there was a massive outbreak of hostility towards Caucasians, culminating in nationalist protests at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow and in other cities. The trigger was the murder of Egor Sviridov, a Russian association football fan, in a street fight on 6 December. On 11 December, thousands of nationalist rioters, outside the Moscow Kremlin building, screamed racist slogans, cried for a “Russia for Russians” and a “Moscow for Muscovites,” attacked Caucasians and other minority groups who passed by, and some – including children as young as fourteen – made the Nazi salute. The next day, a similar riot was held in Rostov-on-Don, and afterwards, the city's government banned Caucasians from performing Lezginka, their traditional dance, in the city. Afterward, the police chief in Moscow said that civil liberties were a hindrance in security and that migration should be restricted. Vladimir Kvachkov, a major Russian nationalist leader of the organization People's Liberation Front of Russia (which says its major goal is to “free” Russia from Caucasian and Jewish “occupiers”), made the following statement: “We Russian nationalists, the initiators of the people's front, we are telling you that the events of Dec. 11 are the beginning of the revolutionary changes in Russia, the first outbursts of the approaching Russian revolution... You are the ones who can participate in it.”
On 11 January 2006, Alexander Koptsev burst into Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue in Moscow and stabbed eight people with a knife. In March, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. In 2008, allegations of blood libel appeared in posters in Novosibirsk. 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.
After it was announced that Russia will host 2018 FIFA World Cup, a head of UEFA FARE Monitoring Centre, Dr Rafał Pankowski accused the Russian Football Union of downplaying racist chants in stadiums, saying: “Nazi slogans are common in many Russian stadiums. Matches are often interrupted with racist chants aimed at black players.”
Cameroonian player André Amougou constantly suffered racism while playing for Lokomotiv Moscow. As Zenit Saint Petersburg kicked off their 2006/2007 Russian Premier League campaign against visitors Saturn Moscow Oblast, Brazilian footballer Antônio Géder was received with a chorus of monkey chants at Petrovsky Stadium. In March 2008, black players of French side Marseille — including André Ayew, Charles Kaboré and Ronald Zubar — were targeted by fans of Zenit Saint Petersburg. Zenit fans were later warned by police in Manchester not to repeat their behaviour ahead of the 2008 UEFA Cup Final. Zenit's coach Dick Advocaat revealed that when they attempted to sign Mathieu Valbuena, a Frenchman, many fans asked “Is he a negro?” Also Serge Branco, who played for Krylia Sovetov Samara, accused Zenit's staff of racism, saying: “Each time I play in St Petersburg I have to listen to racist insults from the stands. Zenit bosses do not do anything about it which makes me think they are racists too.” On 20 August 2010, Peter Odemwingie of Lokomotiv Moscow signed a 3-year contract with Premier League team West Bromwich Albion. Later, photographs showed Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrating the sale of Odemwingie through the use of racist banners including the image of a banana with text “Thanks West Brom.”
On 21 March 2011, during a game away at Zenit Saint Petersburg, a banana was held by one of the fans near Roberto Carlos of Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala as the footballer was taking part in a flag-raising ceremony. In June, in a match away at Krylia Sovetov Samara, Roberto Carlos received a pass from the goalkeeper and was about to pass it when a banana was thrown onto the pitch, landing nearby. The 38-year-old Brazilian picked it up and threw it by the sidelines, walking off the field before the final whistle and raising two fingers at the stands, indicating this was the second such incident.
In October 2013, during the second half of the match, between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow, Yaya Touré, a star midfielder for City from Ivory Coast, walked up to the referee, Ovidiu Hategan, and angrily pointed at CSKA fans making monkey chants and shouting abuse toward him and his black teammates. The game continued and, according to Touré, so did the abuse.
Notable hate crimes
On 9 February 2004, a group of neo-Nazi skinheads stabbed a nine-year old Tajik girl, Khursheda Sultanova, to death in Saint Petersburg. In 2006, the Saint Petersburg Agency for Journalistic Investigations revealed suspected perpetrators among the members of the "Mad Crowd" gang.
On 14 June 2011, the Saint Petersburg City Court sentenced 12 members of the gang led by Alexei Voevodin and Artyom Prokhorenko for their roles in dozens of racist attacks.
On 15 December 2008, Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky were sentenced to penal labour for 10 years each for the murder of 19 foreigners. They were placed on the list of people banned from entering the United Kingdom, remaining the only Russians on the list. The reason given is that they are “Leaders of a violent gang that beat migrants and posted films of their attacks on the internet. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fomenting serious criminal activity and seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts.” A judge who conducted the trial, Eduard Chuvashov, was gunned down on 12 April 2010, four days after he added two years to the 20-year prison sentence of a member of their gang.
Murder of anti-fascist activists
- On 19 June 2004, Nikolai Girenko, a prominent ethnologist and adviser in 15 ethnic hate crime trials, was shot to death in his Saint Petersburg apartment. On 14 June 2011, members of neo-Nazi gang Mad Crowd were sentenced to jail for a number of killings including Girenko.
- On 13 November 2005, murder of Timur Kacharava, a Russian anti-fascist of Georgian descent took place. On 7 August 2007, Alexander Shabalin was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his murder.
- On 19 January 2009, while leaving a news conference, a human rights lawyer and journalist Stanislav Markelov was gunned down in Moscow. Anastasia Baburova, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta who tried to come to Markelov's assistance, was also shot and killed in the attack. On 6 May 2011, the court sentenced two radical nationalists, Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend Yevgenia Khasis, to life imprisonment and 18 years in prison, respectively.
- On 16 November 2009, Ivan Khutorskoy, former punk singer and head of security for anti-fascist shows, was killed in a suburb of Moscow. He was known for organizing self-defense classes for anti-fascists individuals and providing security at press conferences of Stanislav Markelov.
Cherkizovsky Market bombing
On 21 August 2006, a home–made bomb exploded in Moscow at the Cherkizovsky Market, which is frequented by foreign merchants. On 15 May 2008, eight people of Russian radical nationalist organization The Saviour were found guilty for their roles in the attack that left 14 dead. Semyon Charny from the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights 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.”
Execution of Tajik and Dagestani
"Execution“ of Tajik and Dagestani (Russian: „казнь“ таджика и дагестанца)) – is a video clip which was distributed in the Russian segment of the Internet in August 2007, that depicted beheading of a Tajik and Dagestani immigrants by Russian neo-nazis.
The video was posted on behalf of the Nazi Party of Russia (Russian: Национал-социалистической партии Руси) on the personal livejournal blog of Adygean college student Viktor Milnikov. After a few days, he was arrested and later sentenced to one year of corrective labour by Maykop court.
On 5 June 2008, scenes of decapitation on video were identified as authentic by the Russian Investigation Committee.
On the same day, one of the victims on the footage was identified by his relatives as Shamil Odamanov, a native of Dagestan.
Decline of reported hate crimes
The main outcome of 2009 was a clear reduction in the number of victims of racist and neo-Nazi motivated violence for the first time in six years of observation conducted by SOVA Center. To some extent, credit should go to the law enforcement agencies who suppressed the largest and most aggressive ultra-right groups in the Moscow region in the second half of 2008 and in 2009. However, despite all efforts, xenophobic violence remains alarming in its scope and extends over most of the Russian regions, affecting hundreds of people.—Galina Kozhevnikova, SOVA Center
The Russian Orthodox Church "believes it is vital for Russia to pursue anti-extremist campaign and develop a sustainable strategy." As a result, it has called for immigrants to be given jobs and the opportunity to learn more about Russian culture. In addition, it has called for skinheads to refocus their mission to legally preventing crime and immoral behavior.
- "Russian nationalism: Playing a dangerous game". The Economist. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Racist Federation". Bumbin Orn. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Russian racism 'out of control'". BBC News (BBC). 4 May 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Shternshis, Anna (13 January 2011). "It’s no longer just about the master’s thesis". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Radical nationalism and efforts to oppose it in Russia in 2005". Sova-center.ru. 25 February 2006.
- "Radical nationalism in Russia and efforts to counteract it in 2006". Sova-center.ru. 22 May 2007.
- "Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2007". Sova-center.ru. 14 March 2008.
- "Radical Nationalism in Russia in 2008, and Efforts to Counteract It". Sova-center.ru. 15 April 2009.
- 10.03.2010. "Under the Sign of Political Terror. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2009". Sova-center.ru.
- "The Phantom of Manezhnaya Square: Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2010". Sova-center.ru.
- 09.01.2012 – 18:58. "Racism and Xenophobia in December 2011: Preliminary Year-End Review". Sova-center.ru.
- 09.01.2012 – 18:58. "Racism and Xenophobia in December 2012, with Preliminary Results for the Year". Sova-center.ru.
- Snetkov, Aglaya; Pain, Emil; Foxall, Andrew; Galiullina, Galima (10 March 2011). "Russian Nationalism, Xenophobia, Immigration and Ethnic Conflict" (PDF). In Aris, Stephen; Neumann, Matthias; Orttung, Robert; Perović, Jeronim; Pleines, Heiko; Schröder, Hans-Henning. Russian Analytical Digest (ETH Zurich) (93). ISSN 1863-0421. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Национализм в современной России" [Nationalism in contemporary Russia] (in Russian). Levada Center. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Alissa de Carbonnel; Sophie Hares (20 April 2011). "Russian migration official fired in racism row". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- The Moscow Times: Chechen LDPR Breaks With National Organization Over Zhirinovsky Comments
- Lenta.ru: Митрохин обвинил Жириновского в экстремизме Lenta.ru Mitrohin accuses Zhirinovsky of extremism
- Maxim Matusevich (1 April 2008). "An exotic subversive: Africa, Africans and the Soviet everyday". Rac.sagepub.com.
- ANGELA CHARLTON (28 February 1987). "Bitter, Broke, African Students Abandon Russia". Articles.latimes.com. ASSOCIATED PRESS.
- "History of PFUR formation and development". Rudn.ru.
- "Report on Racial Violence and Harassmen" (PDF).
- Greene, David (24 September 2010). "First Black Elected Official Defies Racism In Russia". NPR. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Jackson, Patrick. (24 February 2006). "Living with race hate in Russia". BBC News. Accessed 15 February 2010.
- By DONALD G. McNEIL JrPublished: 11 October 1998 (11 October 1998). "Taboos, Globally Speaking; Like Politics, All Political Correctness Is Local". Nytimes.com.
- Schwirtz, Michael (5 April 2010). "After Attacks in Russia, Fears of Xenophobia". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Sergei L. Loiko (26 January 2011). "Bombing in Russia highlights discrimination faced by those from Caucasus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Demi-Season Bashing". Kommersant.com.
- "Kocharian Condemns Racially Motivated Killings of Armenia’s in Russia". Asbarez.com. 16 June 2006.
- Bigg, Claire (6 September 2006). "Kondopoga Violence Continues Unabated". Rferl.org.
- By Nora FitzGerald, Special for USA TODAY (18 October 2006). "Georgians deported from Russia as 2-nation diplomatic war heats up". Usatoday.com.
- Lipman, Masha (21 October 2006). "Russian Xenophobia Toward Georgians Grows". PostGlobal. The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Englund, Will (14 December 2010). "Riots in Russia rooted in nationalism, hatred of immigrants". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Football fans block Moscow road in protest at killing". Bbc.co.uk. 8 December 2010.
- Shuster, Simon (23 December 2010). "Racist Violence Threatens Russia's World Cup Plans". Time. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Dzutsev, Valery (15 December 2010). "Nationalist Uprising in Moscow has Serious Implications for the North Caucasus". North Caucasus Analysis. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Nowak, David (22 December 2010). "Moscow police chief questions civil liberties". The Washington Times. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "ADL Calls on Putin to Investigate Violent Attack on Jews at Moscow Synagogue". Adl.org.
- "Alexander Koptsev Repents Before Jews". Kommersant.com.
- "Russian blood libel: Jews use children's blood for matzot". Ynetnews.com.
- "Three anti-Semitic attacks reported in Russia". Jpost.com. 31 January 2008.
- Syal, Rajeev (3 December 2010). "World Cup 2018 win raises Russian racism fears". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Football. "Andrey Bikey: Why I carried a gun in Moscow". Telegraph.co.uk.
- "Zenit Vows To Educate Racist Fans". Sptimes.ru. 21 March 2006.
- "Racial abuse in Europe to be probed". Kickoff.com. 20 May 2010.
- "Racism warning for Zenit support". BBC News. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
- "Zenit manager Advocaat admits racist fans prevent him from buying black players". Kickitout.org. 28 April 2008.
- Will Stewart (3 May 2008). "Zenit fans are racist, admits Dick Advocaat". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
- "Peter Odemwingie signs new three-year West Brom deal". BBC News. 18 August 2011.
- Saakov, Rafael (2 September 2010). "Russia World Cup bid chief defends racism track record". BBC News.
- Peck, Brooks (23 March 2011). "Russian fan presents Roberto Carlos with a racist banana". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "Russian football toughens racism penalties after Carlos incident". En.rian.ru. 23 June 2011.
- "Shame of Russian football as racist fans throw bananas at Brazilian superstar Roberto Carlos". Dailymail.co.uk. 24 June 2011.
- "Samba upset by racism happening "in view of children"". Bbc.co.uk. 19 March 2012.
- Accusations of Racism Haunting Russia
- Titova, Irina (13 February 2004). "Teen Killers Of Tajik Girl Still At Large". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- Parfitt, Tom (26 June 2006). "The rise of the Russian racists". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- Titova, Irina; Mirovalev, Mansur (14 June 2011). "2 Russian neo-Nazi leaders get life in jail". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Russian teenage skinhead gang jailed for 19 racist murders". The Daily Telegraph. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "The Home Office list of people banned from the UK". The Guardian. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Top judge shot dead in Moscow". Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Zarakhovich, Yuri (1 August 2004) "From Russia With Hate" Time. Retrieved 15 February 2010
- "Chernov’s choice". Sptimes.ru. 18 November 2005.
- "Kacharava Killer Gets 12 Years". Sptimes.ru. 10 August 2007.
- Autalipov, Aldiyar (22 January 2009). "Russia: Xenophobia on the rise". International Relations and Security Network. ETH Zurich. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Rodgers, James (20 January 2009). "Murder of lawyer shocks Russians". BBC News.
- Mirovalev, Mansur. "Nikita Tikhonov And Yevgenia Khasis, Russian Nationalists, Sentenced For Killing Human Rights Lawyer, Journalist". Huffingtonpost.com.
- "Anti-Fascist Youth Activist Killed In Moscow". News.sky.com. 17 November 2009.
- "Russian anti-fascist activist shot dead in Moscow". Uk.reuters.com. 17 November 2009.
- Zarakhovich, Yuri (23 August 2006). "Inside Russia's Racism Problem". Time. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Kilner, James; Boyle, Jon (15 May 2008). "Moscow court jails bombers over market race attack". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Authorities declare war on racist gangs". RT. 18 May 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Execution of Tajik and Dagestani (video)" (in Russian).
- "In Novgorod, court rulled out the video with scenes of hate murder as an extremist" (in Russian). 18 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
- "Adygean student is suspected of distributing the video with hate murder" (in Russian). 15 August 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- "5% per each" (in Russian). 21 November 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- "Russian Investigation Committee identified video footage of immigrants decapitation as authentic" (in Russian). 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- "Relatives of missing Dagestani have identified him on the brutal video footage" (in Russian). 4 June 2008. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- 10.03.2010. "Galina Kozhevnikova. Under the Sign of Political Terror. Radical Nationalism and Efforts to Counteract It in 2009". Sova-center.ru.
- "Russian Church calls to give legal jobs to illegal immigrants and let skinheads legally fight Crime". OCP Media Network. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- "Russian Federation" (PDF). Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. United Nations. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Diène, Doudou (30 May 2007). "Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène: Mission to the Russian Federation" (PDF). United Nations Human Rights Council. United Nations. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Third report on the Russian Federation" (PDF). European Commission against Racism and Intolerance. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Russian Federation: Violent racism out of control" (PDF). Amnesty International. 3 May 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Stahnke, Tad; LeGendre, Paul; Grekov, Innokenty; McClintock, Michael; Aronowitz, Alexis (2008). "2008 Hate Crime Survey: The Russian Federation" (PDF). Fighting Discrimination. Human Rights First. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Panico, Chris (August 1998). "Russian Federation: Ethnic Discrimination in Southern Russia". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Rancour-Laferriere, Daniel (2000). "Imagining Russia: Ethnic Identity and the Nationalist Mind". Panorama. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Shenfield, Stephen D. (February 2001). Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-0634-1. OCLC 44669697. Lay summary.
- Laqueur, Walter (June 1993). Black Hundred: The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia. New York City: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-018336-3. OCLC 26974540. Lay summary (1993).
- Parland, Thomas (2005). The Extreme Nationalist Threat in Russia: The Growing Influence of Western Rightist Ideas. Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-34111-0. OCLC 55068049. Lay summary (25 September 2006).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Racism in Russia.|
- Non-governmental organizations
- Racism and xenophobia analyses by SOVA Center
- Report by Moscow Helsinki Group
- Information on ethnic discrimination by Memorial
- Intolerance and Discrimination in Today's Russia, a panel discussion at the CSIS
- From Russia With Hate, a documentary from Vanguard TV series