Racism and Xenophobia in January 2013
The following is our monthly review of incidents of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for January 2013. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring.
At least 13 people were injured or worse in racist and neo-Nazi attacks in January 2013, including a Kyrgyz and an Uzbek national killed in Moscow and 11 others who were beaten. Most of those affected were LGBT people targeted in Moscow and Voronezh.
We recorded at least three acts of vandalism that can be regarded as motivated by hatred or neo-Nazi ideology this month. On the night of Christmas (January 7 in Russia), three Orthodox churches in Vladimir were vandalized.
In terms of strictly nationalist actions, we note the January 26 rally in support of residents of Nevinnomyssk, a town that saw large demonstrations in December over the murder of local resident Nikolai Naumenko by a Chechen early in the month. A major part of the action’s participants were members of Valery Solovey’s New Power movement. They held signs reading, “Stavropol is not the Caucasus” and “Stop Killing Russians.”
There was not a single racist violence or vandalism conviction in January 2013 that accounted for a hate motive.
However, there were no fewer than four sentences for xenophobic propaganda, in the Kaluga, Rostov, Samara and Sverdlovsk regions. These rulings convicted four individuals: two were sentenced to hard labor; one to compulsory labor under Article 282 of the Criminal Code; and one individual – Petr Molodidov, who is already serving a 17-year sentence for multiple murders – was sentenced under articles 280 and 282 to two years’ imprisonment for authoring a xenophobic article published in Cossack View last December. The article had been deemed extremist.
Konstantin Krylov, leader of the National Democratic Party of Russia, was sentenced to 120 hours of compulsory labor on January 28. We have noted previously that Krylov’s demonstration speech, for which he was charged and convicted, does formally correspond to Article 282. However, as it did not pose an increased danger to society, it should not have been the subject of criminal prosecution.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated on January 10, 18, 22 and 24, with the addition of paragraphs 1590-1656. The updates include audio, video, and text materials posted to Russian social network Vkontakte.com; anti-Caucasian comments published on a Novosibirsk municipal website; an anti-Caucasian leaflet; songs by the groups Shtandart, Vlok and Luten; and another book by neopagan author Dobroslav. Also included were anti-Semitic and xenophobic publications, including Dawn and Dusk of the Aryan Gods: Racial Religion by veteran Russian nationalist A. Ivanov and the article The Catechism of the Jews in the USSR (which had previously been included in the list); books containing quotations from Hitler; a memoir authored by Third Reich ideologue Alfred Rosenberg; and works by Norwegian black metal artist Varg Vikernes. Anti-government videos posted to YouTube were also added to the list, along with Muslim religious texts, the Islamic website ansardin.wordpress.com, materials from the blog alstrangers.livejournal.com, several volumes of the Islamist magazine Al-Vay, and more Said Nursi books.
January’s most notable event was the annual national action in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, which was held on January 19 in 15 cities across Russia. In Moscow, the event’s antifascist march and rally gathered about 700 people. In St. Petersburg a picket was held, as city authorities would not allow a rally. Antifascist demonstrators clashed with ultra-right activists prior to the picket at Vitebsky Station.