Racism and Xenophobia in September 2014
The following is our monthly review of instances of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for the month of September 2014. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring.
Since the beginning of the year, 14 people in Russia have been killed by racist violence, with 77 injured. One person received a serious death threat. For 2014 so far, we have recorded incidents of racist violence in 21 regions of the country.
One object this month was the target of xenophobic vandalism: a wooden cross in Blagoveschchensk, in the Amur region. Since the beginning of the year, we have recorded such attacks on no fewer than 31 objects in 21 regions of the country.
Public ultra-right activity was relatively low in September. The only notable event was nationalist participation in Moscow’s Peace March (Marsh Mira) on September 21, which saw two columns of nationalists, with about 50 people in each.
Nationalist raids on shops operated by or employing non-Slavic or apparently non-Slavic people continued. In Saint Petersburg, two such “Russian Cleanings” were conducted under the leadership of Dmitry Bobrov. The first took place on September 14, and targeted kiosks near the Zvenigorodskaya and Prospekt Veteranov Metros. The second, on September 21, targeted shops at the Primorsky Shopping Center. Nationalists targeted fruit sellers of “non-Slavic” appearance, stealing their goods for sale, putting them in garbage cans.
Nationalists also continued co-opting and spinning the narrative of criminal incidents in order to portray them as ethnically motivated (following their “Kondopoga technology,” as we call it). On September 20 in Saint Petersburg, nationalists held a rally in memory of eighth-grader Maria Fedorova, who was killed in 2013 after she was attacked by a Dagestani man. The rally, bringing together no more than 20 people, included members of the so-called Russians movement, Slavic Power (SS) North-West, Slavic Power (SS) Nord-West Petersburg and Great Russia.The Moscow City Duma elections on September 14 were an important event for the ultra-right community. Nationalists backed 17 like-minded candidates, none of whom had any success in the vote.
Sova Center is only aware of one September conviction on criminal violence charges that accounted for a hate motive. That decision was over the beating of an Azeri man in Ruza.
As such, since the beginning of the year, Russian courts have handed down 13 decisions against 31 people in 11 regions of the country on charges that accounted for the hate motive.
We recorded no fewer than 13 rulings related to xenophobic propaganda, against as many people, in 12 regions of Russia. Well-known ultra-right activist Dmitry “Mad” Yevtushenko (of Slavic Power (SS) and Russian Cleanings) was sentenced to compulsory labor over posts made to a social network.
Since the beginning of the year, we have now recorded no fewer than 101 such decisions, against 103 people in 46 regions of Russia.
Over the course of September, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated three times – on September 12, 18, and 25; entries 2424-2449 were added. New additions include militant Islamist publications; a few videos by the perpetually targeted Hizb ut-Tahrir; xenophobic videos and audio materials posted by neo-Nazi skinheads to VKontakte; the website “Russian Platform;” some publications from the blog “Russian Truth;” Jehovah’s Witnesses publications, and books on history of the Ukrainian nationalist movement.