Racism and Xenophobia in November 2012
This November, xenophobic and neo-Nazi attacks resulted in harm to 13 people, four of whom were killed. The victims were ethnic Central Asians (two killed, three beaten) and Caucasians (three beaten), members of informal youth groups (three beaten), and the homeless (two killed). The attacks took place in Moscow and the Moscow region, and in Krasnoyarsk.
Since the beginning of 2012, 15 people have been killed and 161 people in Russia have been injured as a result of racist violence, while one person has received a death threat. We have recorded racist attacks in 28 regions of the country, with the major centers being Moscow (two killed, 59 beaten) and the Moscow region (two killed, 20 injured), St. Petersburg (one killed, 19 injured) and the Republic of Bashkortostan (19 injured).
The far right’s main public event for the fall is traditionally the Russian March on November 4; this year was no exception. In Moscow, the march proceeded from Yakimanskaya Bank to Krymsky Val and, according to estimates by Sova’s observers, brought together about 5,500 people. At the end of the march, nationalists at the Dostoevskaya Metro stop attacked antifascists as they made their way to their own rally on Suvorov Square. Russia’s Interior Ministry reports severe injuries as a result of the ensuing brawl.
Additional Russian March rallies, pickets and marches popped up in no fewer than 45 cities across Russia on the day, but participation was not significant other than in Kirov, Krasnodar (1,000 participants), Nizhny Novgorod (300), Novosibirsk (600), Perm (450) and Voronezh.
Sova is aware of five relevant acts of vandalism in November 2012. An Orthodox church in Tula was defaced with satanic symbols, while in Moscow, buildings housing Mormons, Adventists and Scientologists were vandalized. We are also aware of an incident wherein St. Petersburg ultra-right activist Vladimir Smirnov attempted to affix a pig’s head and an improvised explosive device to a mosque, but was arrested by the Russian security service. Smirnov has been the subject of legal scrutiny in the past, facing charges including various serious violent crimes, incitement to hatred and involvement in arms trafficking; he has always received suspended sentences. For 2012 in total, as of the end of November we have recorded 89 acts of ideologically motivated vandalism in 38 regions of the country.
November 2012 saw no fewer than five racist violence convictions that included the hate motive. The rulings were issued in the Vladimir, Volgograd and Tomsk regions, and Krasnodar and Perm krais. Four individuals were convicted.
Since the beginning of the year, Russian courts have issued at least 25 convictions for racist violence motivated by hatred. Sixty-four people have been convicted in 17 regions of the country.
At least eight sentences against as many people were issued in November for xenophobic propaganda – in the Arkhangelsk, Kursk, Kurgan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Pskov and Vladimir regions; and the Republic of Komi.
The year so far has seen 79 indictments against 90 individuals in 42 regions for racist propaganda.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was supplemented six times this month (on November 6, 9, 15, 16, 23 and 28) with entries 1475-1539. The additions include historical hoaxes (Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Notes on Ritual Murder and others); recent editions of nationalist newspapers (Russkaya Pravda, Za Russkoe Delo and Russkaya Zhizn’); an issue of a Cossack newspaper; materials associated with the Novosibirsk branch of the Northern Brotherhood and the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk branch of the Slavic Union; a neo-pagan web portal and newspaper; xenophobic video and audio clips from online forums and Vkontakte, Russia’s most popular social networking site; movie discs containing ultra-right films; texts of Russian soccer fans and an American journalist’s account of the world of English football hooliganism; articles hosted by the neo-Nazi website NS-WP; a website called Soprotivlenie (Resistance) run by Boris Stomakhin, who was arrested this month for his online publications and charged under Part 1 of Article 205.2 (public incitement to terrorist activity) and Part 1 of Article 282 (inciting hatred or enmity); materials hosted on radical anarchist websites; Muslim religious texts and radical Islamist websites.
As usual the materials were added with a host of errors, including in authors’ names. One entry was made twice as a result of parallel decisions by different courts.