11 January 2009

Anti-Migrant Violence in Moscow: The First Week of 2009

In the first ten days of 2009, seven migrants were attacked in Moscow, including natives of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Knives were used in each act of violence and three men died as a result of these crimes.

UPDATE: Make that eight attacks and four murders in Moscow this year. On the night of 10 January, a Cameroonian man was attacked by three youths who stabbed him in the back four times. He died this morning.

UPDATE #2: This is horrifying. I wrote this post late last night, and since then two more murder updates have come in. Now make it nine attacks and five murders in the first ten days. A twenty-year-old Vietnamese student was murdered near Paveletskii Station in Moscow. Multiple stab wounds, again. I'm not checking the news anymore today.

6 comments:

rootlesscosmo said...

Jesus. Is there a credible organized political force that shelters and encourages these street attacks? I guess what I'm asking is, are these guys the pre-1933 SA, and is there a non-marginal Nazi Party backing them up, keeping them supplied with beer and soup and sending them out against political opponents as well as undefended immigrants?

Buster said...

Good question. To my knowledge there is not, at the moment, any credible political force feeding these guys. There is the DPNI (Movement Aginst Illegal Immigration), a fringe group that had enough capital to keep a news feed, active website and organize regular marches. They also, reportedly, run "self-defense" programs for ethnic Russian youth. Then there is foreign support, which the Southern Poverty Law Center likes to make much of. My sense is that SPLC exaggerates a little in order to play to an American audience; I have doubts that Russian super-patriots (who don't much like Americans) are looking to the US, even to the US white supremacists, for advice.

As I've mentioned before
, there are lots of conspiracy theories--United Russia runs the groups hot or cold depending on what they need from the electorate, Jews secretly fund the groups to maintain their status as an oppressed group, the police and construction firms collude to discipline workers by sponsoring skinheads--but I don't think I've ever seen any substantial investigative report that tries to follow the money and find the skeletons in the closets. Lately United Russia, the ruling party, has been fairly clear on a strong nationalism/anti-extremist line. How this plays out in the addled mind of a 17-year-old bonehead, I simply couldn't say.

Charlottesvillian said...

Buster,

I'm leaving this comment because since you have lived in Russia and know much more about what's going on there than I do, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I was wondering, do you think it would even be smart at this point for a Black student to go to Russia to study? I was planning on going there after the summer for a year-long study abroad program but after hearing about all the racism I'm thinking that it might not be the right thing to do. Did you have a lot of close calls when you were over there?

Buster said...

I was wondering, do you think it would even be smart at this point for a Black student to go to Russia to study? I was planning on going there after the summer for a year-long study abroad program but after hearing about all the racism I'm thinking that it might not be the right thing to do.

Charlottesvillian,

This is a good and important question that has me thinking. Give me a day or two to formulate a proper answer and get back to you...

Buster said...

Charlottesvillian,

Hope you saw the post that went up yesterday. And I hope that it's helpful for your deliberations.

Charlottesvillian said...

Yea, I've seen most of your posts but just haven't had the time to respond. At this point what I'm planning on doing is still going to Russia but staying away from what I've seen are the more violent cities like St. Petersburg and Moscow. My first city placement(I will live in probably 2 or 3 cities) will likely be near Tomsk, and after that we will see, but I definitely will be staying away from Moscow. I appreciate the help Buster!