Russian Nationalism and Xenophobia in September 2022

Настоящий материал (информация) произведен и (или) распространен иностранным агентом РОО Центр «Сова» либо касается деятельности иностранного агента РОО Центр «Сова».

We did not record any instances of violent hate crimes committed during September. Since the beginning of this year, however, we are aware of acts under which some 17 individuals were targeted in xenophobically-motivated attacks, and of one individual who received a murder threat. We have also recorded a total of 18 acts of xenophobically-motivated vandalism so far this year.

Likewise we recorded no September court rulings (*) issued in regards to violent hate crimes. In 2022 to date, though, we are aware that no fewer than 12 individuals have been convicted on the basis of charges arising out of xenophobic violence, with another seven convicted in relation to xenophobic vandalism.

During September one Vadim Lenivets, a member of the neo-Nazi group "Sanitary 88" was detained in the Moscow Region. Lenivets was wanted in relation to attacks on unhoused people, which were caught on video. The case likely relates to a neo-Nazi video depicting murders and beatings, which was posted online in October 2018.

Meanwhile we are aware of convictions of some 15 individuals during the month of September on the basis of "extremist statements." Four of these were found guilty under Article 282 of the Criminal Code (CC) (incitement to national hatred) for repeated publications inciting hatred against Jews and, in one instance, women. Another five individuals we convicted under Article 280 CC (public calls to extremist activity) for online statements calling for attacks on natives of the Caucasian republics and Central Asian nations, as well as law enforcement employees. Yet another four were convicted under of Article 205.2 Part 2 CC (calls to terrorist activity) over calls for radical Islamist violence and the murder of the president of the Russian Federation. One person was convicted under a combined charge of Article 280 and Article 205.2 CC following calls to attack citizens of Russia. Two more were convicted under Article 354.1 CC (rehabilitation of Nazism) for insulting veterans in social media comments.

This year to date, we have recorded no fewer than 154 court rulings issued on the basis of statements, in which 159 individuals have been convicted.

The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated once, on September 19, to account for new entries 5305–5308 . The List was supplemented this month by the latest article by Boris Stomakhin, ex-editor of the Radical Politics bulletin; two video clips by ex-colonel Mikhail Shendakov; and a book accusing Ossetians of collaborating with the Third Reich.

The Federal List of Extremist Organizations was not updated this month. However, at least one addition is inevitable, as the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation deemed three Ukrainian organizations extremist this month, following a petition by the General Prosecutor's office. These organizations are C14, the Volunteer Movement of Ukrainian Nationalist Organizations and the Black Committee.

On a related note, the list of organizations deemed terrorist by the Supreme Court was expanded to include the Azov Battalion, which was so categorized by the Court in an August 2, 2022 ruling.

We are also aware of a range of rulings delivered in August under the Code of Administrative Offenses sections on extremism. In four instances, judges issued fines under Article 20.29 (manufacture and distribution of banned materials) over social media re-posts of songs listed in the Federal List of Extremist Materials. We also have information regarding six individuals sanctioned under Article 20.3.1 (incitement to hatred) over the social media posting of antisemitic, anti-Roma and anti-Caucasus comments, as well as for xenophobic insults made to a bus driver. Finally, we recorded cases in which 17 individuals were sanctioned under Article 20.3 (propaganda and public display of Nazi symbols and symbols of banned organizations). Four of these had publicly displayed their own swastika tattoos, while the others had posted Nazi symbols to social media. Five of these 17 were placed under administrative arrest, while the others were fined.

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(*) Data about criminal and administrative cases are reported without reference to rulings that we consider to be patently improper.