Racism and Xenophobia in Russia in August 2011
- In August of 2011, a Kenyan national was wounded in a neo-Nazi attack in St. Petersburg. Additionally, racist incidents were noted (as usual) at the August 2 Airborne Day celebration. At least ten people in seven regions of the country were affected.
- Since the beginning of the year, racist violence has killed 15 people and injured 80, while seven have received death threats. We have recorded incidents in 22 regions of the country, though these statistics exclude victims of mass brawls and victims of incidents in the North Caucasus region.
- There were at least four acts of neo-Nazi vandalism this month. Two were anti-Semitic actions in Kaliningrad, where vandals damaged a plaque commemorating the victims of Kristallnacht and a monument to Holocaust victims. As such, there have been at least 50 acts of racist vandalism in 22 regions of Russia so far this year.
- Russian courts issued two convictions for racist violence accounting for the hate motive, in the Ryazan and Tula regions. These cases together convicted eight individuals, with seven receiving various prison terms and one, a suspended sentence. The most notable among the judgments was the guilty verdict against the Ryazan "Team of White Inquisitors" gang for racist attacks and killings.
- In all, Russian courts have issued 39 convictions against 156 people for racist violence accounting for the hate motive since the beginning of the year. Eight were sentenced to life imprisonment, 84 to varying prison terms, 50 to suspended sentences, nine were exempt from punishment and two were acquitted later. On August 30 Andrei "the fighter" Malyugin, a member of the Borovikov-Voevodin gang, was arrested in St. Petersburg on suspicion of committing two murders after he was released after acquittal in a prior trial this past June.
- Acts of xenophobic propaganda resulted in at least five sentences against five people, in Sakhalin, Sverdlovsk, Udmurtia and Chuvashia and Krasnoyarsk. As such, 50 judgments have been issued against 50 people in 31 regions of the country since the beginning of 2011.
- Oleg Troshkin, a leader of the Northern Brotherhood, was sentenced this month to five years in prison for the formation of an extremist organization. In total, Russian courts have issued two such sentences since the beginning of this year. This includes the winter conviction of a leader of the DPNI Protvino branch, which included an article on the formation of an extremist organization in its verdict.
- August saw one sentence for xenophobic vandalism against three young people in Khabarovsk. They were convicted of painting neo-Nazi graffiti on a building in the center of the city. This brings this year’s total number of individuals convicted in xenophobic vandalism cases to six, in four cases.
- The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated three times (on August 11, 19 and 25), incorporating paragraphs 919-966. Joining the list are Nazi skinhead pictures, xenophobic texts and videos including those of the group Format 18 and the website Blood of the Reich. Texts include those published by the Russian branch of Blood & Honour, the group Strategy 2020, and the Tatar nationalist Vatan group. The popular websites www.liveinternet.ru and www.tatarlar.ru were added (as noted in this month’s Misuse of Anti-extremism Legislation update). The list is now comprised of 966 items.
- The Federal List of Extremist Organizations was also augmented this month by the addition of two groups: the interregional "Spiritual-Tribal Power of Rus" – deemed extremist by an April ruling of the Moscow Regional Court – and by the Tatarstan chapter of the nationwide "Russian National Unity" movement, which the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan deemed extremist this May. Thus, the list now contains 25 organizations, though this number excludes organizations the state considers terrorist.
- In addition, the Supreme Court upheld a decision recognizing the DPNI (Movement Against Illegal Immigration) as extremist, banning its activities. While the ban has been put into force, it is not yet included on the list.