Racism and Xenophobia in October 2013
The following is our monthly review of instances of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for October 2013. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring.
In October 2013, no fewer than 20 people were injured in racist and neo-Nazi attacks, two of them fatally. Since the beginning of the year, racist violence has killed 18 people in Russia and injured 141, while four have received threats on their lives. We have recorded racist attacks in 31 regions of the country this year. Thus, even with incomplete data, we have counted over the first ten months of 2013 almost as many murders with racist motives as for 2012 in its entirety. It is clear that the total number of victims this year will exceed that of last year.
The most significant far-right event this October was the mass rioting in the Biryulyovo district in Western Moscow, which began with the murder of local resident Egor Shcherbakov on the night of October 9-10.
Immediately following the murder in Biryulyovo, nationalists seized the opportunity to make it an ethnic issue, announcing that on October 15 they would hold an action in "response to Kurban Bayram" (as the major Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha is generally called in Russia). On the 15th, participants in the action tried to line up in a column at the Prazhskaya Metro stop and head down to Biryulyovo, but were detained by riot police. That evening, near where the subway station where the event was held, an Uzbek was found murdered. At Cherkizovsky market in the eastern part of Moscow, an Azeri was found stabbed to death.
On October 20, St. Petersburg nationalists held their own protest resulting in riots. After a rally at the Champ de Mars, about 40 nationalists marched down Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main thoroughfare, to Dumskaya Square. They then headed to the outdoor market at Apraksin Yard, where they burned smoke bombs and smashed up display cases with rocks. Nationalist actions took place in other Russian cities as well.
We should note an October 26 attack carried out by a group of young people on a train from Moscow to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, which was accompanied by nationalistic statements and threats to passengers at the Ternovka railway station in the Voronezh region. On the following day, a similar attack happened on a train from Moscow to the northern Tajik city of Khujand.
In October we recorded at least six acts of neo-Nazi vandalism against Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox targets. As such, in total we have recorded 53 ideologically motivated acts of vandalism in 35 regions of the country so far this year.
Sova Center is aware of one sentence against two people for racist violence that accounted for the hate motive in October 2013. Since the beginning of the year, we have recorded no fewer than 25 convictions for racist violence where the hate motive was considered. Forty-one people in 19 regions of the country were sentenced under such charges.
One individual was sentenced for xenophobic vandalism in October 2013, in the Penza region. Since the beginning of the year six such sentences were issued against seven people in six regions of the country.
For xenophobic propaganda, October 2013 saw no fewer than six sentences against as many people in the Vladimir, Murmansk and Orenburg regions, the Kamchatka Krai, and the republics of Tatarstan and Udmurtia. As such, so far in 2013 we have recorded 97 verdicts against 99 people in 48 regions for xenophobic propaganda.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated five times, on October 1, 4, 8, 16 and 29; entries 2074-2108 were added. In October the list was supplemented by a number of Islamist materials, including videos by separatist groups and anti-Russian supporters of Chechen independence; two articles by Radical Politics bulletin's editor-in-chief Boris Stomakhin; books by famous Russian nationalists such as Andrei Saveliev; another edition of the Handbook of the Russian Man by Alexey Ivanov and other radical nationalists materials, such as the song Russia for the Churki (an ethnic slur referring to non-Slavic people from the former USSR); a series of books by modern Ukrainian nationalists; the major Kazakh entertainment portal www.kiwi.kz; Korean real estate website www.mlook.com; and media file search engine www.wikibit.net.