Racism and Xenophobia in April 2013
The following is our monthly review of incidences of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for April 2013. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of its daily monitoring.
This month, no fewer than 15 people were injured in racist or neo-Nazi attacks in Moscow (2 wounded), St. Petersburg (2 wounded), Krasnodar (7 wounded), the Rostov region (2 wounded) and the Ryazan region (1 wounded), and Khabarovsk (1 wounded).
As such, so far this year three people have been killed in such attacks in Russia, with 60 injured and at least one person subjected to death threats.
We did not record any incidents of vandalism motivated by hatred or neo-Nazi ideology this month. However, there have been 15 such incidents this year to date.
Around April 20 (Hitler’s birthday), as usual, a number of neo-Nazi incidents took place. This year we recorded banners featuring portraits of Hitler at football matches, as well as a video portraying the attack against a street sweeper (who in metropolitan Russia are often immigrants). In St. Petersburg, three young men described as “looking like skinheads” attacked two men of “non-Slavic appearance.”
Russian ultraright activists held their most significant events on consecutive days this month – the ‘Russian Day of Wrath’ on April 13 and ‘Say YES to Visas’ on April 14. The reason for the first demonstration was the March 28 death of FC Rostov fan Aleksandr Terekhov, who was killed in a brawl with people from the Caucasus. Rallies were held in several cities, but none of them drew notable crowds outside Moscow, where about 200 attended.
As for ‘Say YES to Visas,’ about 500 attended in Moscow. Meanwhile, pickets were held in Barnaul, Lipetsk, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Syktyvkar and Ufa on the same topic. The actions were organized by the National Democratic Party, the ‘Russians’ association, ‘Common Cause’, Human Rights Center ROD and the Russian AllNational Union. Media coverage was extensive, including on the various federal television stations. For example, leader of nationalist party ‘New Force’ Valery Solovey was featured in programs on Channel 1, TVC and NTV.
These campaigns were held in explicit competition with each other.
The extreme right faced considerable confusion in the ranks after the April 11 arrest of Georgy Borovikov and two accomplices on charges of torture and forcible detention of a “companion.”
April 2013 saw no fewer than three convictions racist hate crimes – in St. Petersburg, the Samara region and the Stavropol Krai. Three people were convicted. Additionally, the Irkutsk Regional Court ruled on April 2 in the case against Artem Anufriev and Nikita Lytkin, members of the Irkutsk ‘Molotochniki’ gang who were accused of various attacks in Irkutsk’s Akademgorodok between November 2010 and April 2011.
As such, from the beginning of the year there have been no fewer than 12 convictions for hate crimes, against 18 individuals in 10 regions of the country.
For xenophobic propaganda in April 2013, we recorded at least four rulings against as many individuals, in the Voronezh and Kemerov regions, as well as the Khabarovsk and Stavropol krais.
As such, there have been 23 convictions against as many people, in 20 regions of Russia, for xenophobic propaganda since the beginning of the year.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated five times this month – on April 1, 3, 8, 9 and 18 – with the addition of entries 1764-1802. The new additions include several articles from an Oryol region online encyclopedia; a series of unidentified xenophobic videos and texts from social network VKontakte; several racist audio and video clips (including the Zyklon B song ‘Dead Jew,’ which had already been banned); the book Jewish France by late19th-early 20-century French political writer Edouard Drumont; issues of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party’s magazine al-Vay; and various Islamic pamphlets as well as materials printed by Islamist militant groups.