15 December 2008

The Week in Russian Hate Crimes

As previously reported, Stanley Robinson, an eighteen-year-old black student from Rhode Island, was attacked earlier this month in Volgograd in a suspected hate crime. He has been moved to Helsinki for further medical treatment, presumably due to worries that his condition would worsen under the treatment of Russian doctors.

Hopefully, this attack will draw greater attention to the ever-increasing problem of racist violence in Russia, as this year’s numbers for fatal hate crimes outpaces last year’s.

In the past week, two more attacks have been reported by SOVA, a Russian human rights watchdog group. On 14 December, a group of seven or eight skinheads attacked an Uzbek national in Moscow, leaving him with multiple knife wounds. He is currently in intensive care. Later the same evening, an eighteen-year-old Kazakh student was stabbed to death. These events transpired just days after the severed head of a Tajik worker was found in a dumpster on the outskirts of Moscow. An extremist nationalist group has taken credit for this murder in letters to human rights groups.


Following up on a brutal series of attacks reported earlier this year, teenagers from the racist "Ryno gang" were recently sentenced. According to the BBC:
The heaviest jail term was handed to Roman Kuzin, who received 20 years in jail.

The two alleged ringleaders of the group, Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, were given 10-year sentences in a penal colony.

Their sentences were the longest they could have received, as they were minors at the time.


Jaredhw61 said...

10 years for killing over ten people? Unbelievable.

Buster said...

I had the same first reaction.

But then, on the other hand, ten years in a Russian prison is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, I fear that spending the first decade of their adult lives incarcerated will not lead to pleasant results when they are eventually released. I don't imagine the script of American History X playing out po-russki in a Siberian prison as these kids fight tuberculosis, inhumane violence and the elements.

Anonymous said...

yes, but - they got one year, even less, for one victim!!!!They were not punished for those who were injured at all.
Besides, take into account that they may be released for parole ( highly likely in my opinion), once they have served the half of their term....

Buster said...

Yeah, I hear you. But I also have a hard time wishing a long term (more than ten years) in a Russian prison on a teenager. In part, due to my stupid bleeding heart and in part, due to my evaluation that spending the entire prime of your life in a horrendous prison system probably doesn't do anyone much good once you're released. It's an ugly situation. As always, I maintain that the problem of ethnic violence in Russia has no easy solutions as it is but a part of the larger conundrum of issues of human rights and democracy.

daut said...

I say let em' rot. We're kind of fooling ourseves if we think that prison anywhere is about rehabilitation. American History X is, I think, just as unlikely to happen in America. For the most part, prison is revenge and, ideally, a deterrent. Maybe some up- and-coming race warriors will think twice about starting a pogrom if the courts actually start taking nationalist violence seriously.