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Bulletin 2:6 (2008)

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    THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs Vol. 2, No. 6(11), 29 February 2008 Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland I
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      THE RUSSIAN NATIONALISM BULLETIN
      A Biweekly Newsletter of Current Affairs
      Vol. 2, No. 6(11), 29 February 2008
      Compilers: Scott Littlefield & Andreas Umland

      I NEWS: 15-29 FEBRUARY 2008
      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS
      III ANNOTATIONS OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS

      [NOTE: When viewing an RNB issue in the Messages archive of the
      homepage and the end of the text is truncated, scroll to the end of
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      ===========================

      I NEWS: 15-29 FEBRUARY 2008


      ANOTHER NEO-NAZI MURDER SUSPECTED
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 7, Friday, February 15, 2008

      Police in Moscow are looking for a neo-Nazi link to the murder of a
      resident of the internal republic of Kabardino-Balkariya, according to
      the national daily "Komsomolskaya Pravda" of February 13. Police found
      the body of E. Ditinov, 21, with multiple stab wounds. The article
      does not say that the victim was robbed.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508BM.shtml
      ----------------

      PROSECUTORS CHARGE TWO SUSPECTS WITH HATE CRIME
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 7, Friday, February 15, 2008

      Two Moscow residents face hate crimes charges after allegedly stabbing
      an Uzbek citizen 12 times, according to the daily "Kommersant" of
      February 14. On January 31, two young men attacked Sayfulo
      Mirpattulaev as he was going home from work. The victim reported that
      one of his assailants asked him, "Why did you come here?" before
      stabbing him. Presumably to avoid hate crime charges, one of the
      suspects claimed that he was standing up for this girlfriend but
      witnesses disputed that account. On February 7, police detained the
      suspects and brought them to court two days later. However, the judge
      did not show up, and the suspects had to be set free because 72 hours
      had passed since their arrest. On February 12, a new judge took over
      the case and police re-arrested the suspects. A search of their
      apartments uncovered extremist literature and drawings portraying
      neo-Nazis killing members of ethnic minorities.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508BM.shtml
      ----------------

      EX-CABINET MEMBER DODGES PRISON SENTENCE
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 7, Friday, February 15, 2008

      Boris Mironov, a former minister of the press under President Boris
      Yeltsin, dodged a prison sentence after a Novosibirsk court ordered
      his case closed, according to a February 12 Interfax report. The court
      found Mironov guilty of inciting ethnic hatred but at the same time
      ruled that enough time had expired since he committed the
      crime--2003--that he need no longer face prosecution. The defendant
      reportedly played a delaying game with the court in the hope of just
      such an outcome. For a couple of years after the investigation began,
      Mironov hid in plain sight from a warrant for his arrest by traveling
      to Moscow and other cities to make speeches at antisemitic rallies. In
      December 2006, police finally arrested him, but he got out on bail, a
      relatively rare outcome in Russia, where most detainees are denied the
      possibility of avoiding pre-trial detention.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508BM.shtml
      ----------------

      KEMEROVO OFFICIALS DEMONIZE MORMONS.
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 7, Friday, February 15, 2008

      A press spokesman for the Kemerovo Region's administration warned
      local citizens to beware of Mormons who recently set up an office in
      Kemerovo, according to February 11 reports by the RIA-Novosti and the
      Regnum news agency. "Representatives of this sect ["sect" is a
      pejorative term in Russian discourse] strive to increase their
      influence over children and youth in the Kemerovo Region," the press
      release warns, before inaccurately accusing Mormons of practicing
      bigamy, which was banned by church leaders over a hundred years ago
      and is today only practiced by a small minority. The statement then
      strongly hints that the Mormons are engaged in espionage, a common
      charge against them in Russia because of their search for genealogical
      information. "They are collecting statistics in archives, marriage
      records offices and passport control stations, allegedly for a united
      'Worldwide Center of Genealogy. It is very important for them to
      increase the number of their adepts." The statement accuses Mormons of
      "fanatical exclusiveness" and warns local citizens to "be alert and
      don't fall into the trap of sectarian organizations."
      The statement includes an implied threat of legal action by asserting
      that the Mormons are not registered as a religious organization in the
      Kemerovo Region and that the visas of their missionaries were
      incorrectly drawn up.
      In recent weeks, some Protestant missionaries have been expelled from
      Russia or not allowed permission to enter, while another pastor is
      currently in detention in Moscow on charges of smuggling ammunition
      into the country. It is not clear if this is part of a larger campaign
      against minority Christians or only a series of coincidences.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508BM.shtml
      ----------------

      RUSSIA WILL SOON RANK AS THE WORLD'S BEST COUNTRY
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 7, Friday, February 15, 2008

      Like his predecessors, Putin painted a glowing picture of the near
      future. "Russia should become the most attractive country for living,"
      he said. "I firmly believe we can achieve it without sacrificing the
      present for the so-called bright future. On the contrary, we can be
      improving the nation's well-being day by day."
      Alexei Makarkin of the Center of Political Technologies commented:
      "No, this speech was in no way the political will of an outgoing
      president. On the contrary, he made it clear that he wants to remain
      Russia's chief strategist." "It seems he wants to be at the helm of
      the country," said Alexei Pushkov, a television commentator and
      advocate of Kremlin policies.
      In an editorial on February 11, "The Moscow Times" concluded: "Putin
      does deserve credit for policies that have boosted living standards,
      including tax reform, and for regaining the global clout that Russia
      lost under Boris Yeltsin. He glossed over, however, the enormous
      negative legacy he leaves to the next president. And this is without
      mentioning any of the many steps he has taken to roll back democratic
      norms."
      To the "Kommersant" reporter present, Putin's speech as it went on
      sounded "more and more like the report by Communist Party First
      Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, with its chief idea that the next
      generation of Soviet people would live already in communism."
      On February 14, President Putin staged a similarly triumphant
      performance at his valedictory press conference, attended by more
      1,000 journalists. In the summation of the Associated Press (AP), he
      "claimed credit for Russia's rise from the ashes, blamed the West for
      reviving Cold War fears, and pledged--after he leaves the presidency
      in May--to pour his energy into the role of Russia's prime minister."
      Fielding questions for 4 hours and 40 minutes, he "seemed reluctant to
      leave the stage," according to the AP. "I don't see any serious
      failures," he said about his eight years in power. "All the goals that
      were set were reached, and the tasks fulfilled."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508BM.shtml
      ----------------

      Youths Murder Tajik in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, February 15, 2008

      A group of youths attacked two citizens of Tajikistan in the center of
      Moscow, according to a February 15, 2008 report by the Interfax news
      agency. One of the victims died of multiple stab wounds on Thursday
      night, the other was hospitalized. Police are investigating the incident.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508Russia.shtml
      ------------

      Victim of Accused Racist Policeman Returns to Testify Against Him
      FSU Monitor, February 15, 2008

      On February 10, an ethnic Azeri man who was allegedly tortured by a
      policeman in Berdsk, Russia (Novosibirsk region) returned to town to
      testify against the officer, according to a February 13, 2008 report
      by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Ramin Kazymov accused Major
      Sergey Vinogradov of torturing him at a police station on November 26,
      2007 while insulting his nationality. In a rare instance of
      prosecutors following up on a torture claim, the officer was charged
      with "exceeding his duties while using violence"--the closest thing
      Russia has to an anti-torture statute--after investigators found a
      trail of blood inside the station's bathroom. Prosecutors are also
      looking into charging the major with a hate crime. Mr. Kazymov alleges
      that he was threatened after his complaint, prompting him to flee town.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021508Russ2.shtml
      ---------------

      Record-Setting Pace of Hate Crimes in Russia Last Month: 17 Killed in
      Hate Crimes
      FSU Monitor, February 18, 2008

      Seventeen people have been killed and more than 50 others injured in
      Russia since the beginning of the year in the latest outbreak of hate
      crimes, the Sova Center said Friday.
      "This is a lot," said Sova deputy director Galina Kozhevnikova, adding
      that 11 of the 17 killings were committed in Moscow.
      During all of 2007, 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured
      across the country in ethnically motivated attacks, according to the
      annual report by Sova. The figure represented a 13 percent increase
      over the previous year, with hate crimes growing increasingly brutal
      and deadly, the report said.
      If the crimes were to continue at the same rate throughout the year,
      2008 would see a total of 135 hate killings -- double the number
      recorded in 2007.
      Kozhevnikova said the latest outbreak could be a response to
      authorities' recent attempts to get tougher on hate crimes, which have
      been on the rise across Russia in recent years.
      "This is an indication of the organized nature of ethnically motivated
      attacks," Kozhevnikova said.
      Another reason for the outbreak, she said, was this year's unusually
      warm winter in Moscow.
      Moscow prosecutor's office said Friday that it had recorded 16 crimes
      on ethnic grounds in the city since the beginning of 2008, RIA-Novosti
      reported.
      All the crimes were committed by groups of youths, aged 12 to 19, who
      attacked their victims from behind with knifes, said the prosecutor's
      office's investigative department chief, Valery Spasenykh, RIA-Novosti
      reported.
      Rights activists have said that the authorities, who earlier came
      under criticism for doing little to combat xenophobia, have been
      making efforts recently to investigate hate crimes more thoroughly and
      take such cases to court.
      Some activists say, however, that the extreme nationalist sentiments
      are an outgrowth of the Kremlin's attempts to rebuild a strong state.
      President Vladimir Putin has publicly condemned the rise of hate
      crime, xenophobia and neo-Nazism and called on prosecutors to do more
      to fight extremism.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021808Russia.shtml
      -----------------

      17 Killed in Hate Crimes
      Moscow Times, February 18, 2008

      Seventeen people have been killed and more than 50 others injured in
      Russia since the beginning of the year in the latest outbreak of hate
      crimes, the Sova Center said Friday.
      "This is a lot," said Sova deputy director Galina Kozhevnikova, adding
      that 11 of the 17 killings were committed in Moscow.
      During all of 2007, 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured
      across the country in ethnically motivated attacks, according to the
      annual report by Sova. The figure represented a 13 percent increase
      over the previous year, with hate crimes growing increasingly brutal
      and deadly, the report said.
      If the crimes were to continue at the same rate throughout the year,
      2008 would see a total of 135 hate killings -- double the number
      recorded in 2007.
      Kozhevnikova said the latest outbreak could be a response to
      authorities' recent attempts to get tougher on hate crimes, which have
      been on the rise across Russia in recent years.
      "This is an indication of the organized nature of ethnically motivated
      attacks," Kozhevnikova said.
      Another reason for the outbreak, she said, was this year's unusually
      warm winter in Moscow.
      Moscow prosecutor's office said Friday that it had recorded 16 crimes
      on ethnic grounds in the city since the beginning of 2008, RIA-Novosti
      reported.
      All the crimes were committed by groups of youths, aged 12 to 19, who
      attacked their victims from behind with knifes, said the prosecutor's
      office's investigative department chief, Valery Spasenykh, RIA-Novosti
      reported.
      Rights activists have said that the authorities, who earlier came
      under criticism for doing little to combat xenophobia, have been
      making efforts recently to investigate hate crimes more thoroughly and
      take such cases to court.
      Some activists say, however, that the extreme nationalist sentiments
      are an outgrowth of the Kremlin's attempts to rebuild a strong state.
      President Vladimir Putin has publicly condemned the rise of hate
      crime, xenophobia and neo-Nazism and called on prosecutors to do more
      to fight extremism.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/18/012.html
      --------------------

      NTV Drops Zhirinovsky Program
      The Moscow Times, February 19, 2008

      NTV television pulled a controversial program about presidential
      candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky justhours before it was due to air, an
      NTV spokeswoman said Monday.
      The program, which was supposed to air Saturday, was advertised in
      advance as a no-holds-barred look at the Liberal Democratic Party
      leader, including footage of him swearing in a nightclub and details
      about his brother's suicide.
      NTV has a reputation for sensationalist crime programs -- the program
      was part of a series called "Russian Sensations." But investigative
      programs about politicians, particularly those who are seen as having
      the Kremlin's ear, are rare.
      Zhirinovsky said the broadcast of the program would have broken the law.
      "You can't show a program that only deals with one presidential
      candidate," he said in a statement Monday.
      Under the law, presidential candidates are supposed to be afforded
      equal coverage on television.
      Zhirinovsky had complained to the Central Elections Commission, the
      Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General's Office about the planned
      broadcast last week.
      Kommersant reported Monday that the decision to pull it had been made
      by NTV head Vladimir Kulistikov.
      The NTV spokeswoman insisted, however, that the program had been
      canceled for technical reasons. "The program did not go out as the
      head of the channel decided that it needed more work," said the
      spokeswoman, Maria Bezvorodova. "It was an ordinary working moment."
      One of the country's most flamboyant politicians, Zhirinovsky, 61, is
      running for president for the third time. Despite his nationalist,
      combative rhetoric, Zhirinovsky and his party usually follow the
      Kremlin line in votes in the State Duma.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/19/015.html
      -------------------

      Police Go on Alert After 3 Killings
      By: David Nowak
      Moscow Times, February 19, 2008

      Three dark-skinned people have been killed in four days in an apparent
      outbreak of hate crimes, prompting Moscow police to beef up their
      presence on the streets and Mayor Yury Luzhkov to appeal for calm.
      Police found the body of a 34-year-old native of Kabardino-Balkaria in
      northwestern Moscow late Sunday, Interfax reported. It was unclear how
      the unidentified man died. A mobile phone and a wallet with 40,000
      rubles were found in his jacket, suggesting that the motive for the
      attack was not robbery.
      On Saturday, 10 young people armed with knives attacked two Kyrgyz
      natives near the Tekstilshchiki metro station in southeastern Moscow,
      Interfax said. Merlan Eygeshov, 25, died after being stabbed 11 times,
      while the other, Abdametal Mamydov, 21, was hospitalized and in
      critical condition, the report said.
      A Tajik citizen was stabbed to death and a teenage boy was knifed in
      separate attacks late Thursday.
      The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry lodged a complaint Monday about the
      violence, saying six Kyrgyz citizens have been killed in Russia since
      Jan. 1.
      City authorities said they were responding.
      "We are not talking about specific districts, but rather about a
      general boost in the number of police officers across the city," a
      city police spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.
      The spokeswoman was unable to provide details, saying only that
      officers are being expected topatrol more of the city and work longer
      hours.
      National media reported that police were focusing their efforts on
      southeastern Moscow, whereattacks have been the most frequent. The
      spokeswoman said, however, that no district was beingafforded special
      attention.
      Calls to the Kyrgyz Embassy for comment went unanswered Monday.
      Luzhkov, meanwhile, held a meeting Monday with the Moscow
      representatives of Central Asian countrieswhose citizens have been
      attacked with increasing frequency. The results of the meeting were
      not immediately available.
      Despite a slight dip in the number of murders in Moscow in 2007, a
      year-on-year analysis reveals racially motivated killings make up a
      growing percentage, according to statistics from the Sova Center,
      which tracks hate crimes.
      Sova recorded six racially motivated killings in January.
      Police recorded 1,018 murders in 2005. The Sova Center said 16 of
      those, or 1.57 percent, were racially motivated. A year later, the
      figure more than doubled to 37 of 1,191 (3.11 percent) total murders.
      Last year, 42 of 1,101 killings (3.8 percent) were racially motivated.
      Alexander Verkhovsky, Sova's director, dismissed the police's promise
      to address the issue as a cyclical phenomenon that appears whenever
      the media have little else to report.
      "Police officials always try and play down the role of racism in these
      crimes, though prosecutors are starting to admit what's really going
      on," he said.
      In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda published Monday, Moscow
      police chief Vladimir Pronin said "there is no organized skinhead
      movement" in Moscow, referring to ultranationalists typically
      suspected of attacks on dark-skinned people.
      "But there are separate groups," he said.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/19/011.html
      ----------------

      Uzbek national stabbed to death in Moscow
      RIA Novosti February 19th, 2008

      MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - An Uzbek national has been stabbed
      to death in south-west Moscow, a local police spokesman said on Tuesday.
      A group of young people attacked the 25-year-old man on Monday
      evening, and fled from the scene.
      The victim died on the spot of multiple stab wounds. A criminal case
      has been opened. Police have not ruled out that the murder was
      racially motivated.
      This is the seventh fatal attack on a foreigner in Moscow since the
      beginning of the year.
      Routine attacks by skinheads and far-right groups on foreigners and
      people with non- Slavic features have been reported across Russia in
      recent years. Some of the worst cities for racist attacks are Moscow,
      St. Petersburg, and the central Russian city of Voronezh.

      http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080219/99566439.html
      ------------

      Rise in hate crimes alarms Russian experts
      JTA, February19th, 2008

      Hate crimes have risen dramatically in Russia this year, worrying
      experts about an organized campaign of attacks.
      There were 17 people killed in ethnically related attacks so far in
      2008, according to the Moscow-based SOVA Center, a human rights
      organization that conducts sociological research on nationalism and
      racism in Russia. This represents a 13 percent increase over the rate
      of ethnically based murders in the previous year and, if the trend
      continues, would result in a doubling of the total rate of ethnically
      biased murders in the country, The Associated Press reported. In 2007,
      67 people were killed and more than 550 injured in hate attacks.
      At the same time, anti-Semitism in Russia has stayed at historic lows.
      Galina Kozhevnikova, SOVA's deputy director, told the AP that the
      increase in attacks could be part of a response to authorities' recent
      efforts to prosecute hate crimes more stringently. All of the
      attackers have been between ages 12 and 19 and have attacked their
      victims from behind with knives, Kozhevnikova said.
      "This is an indication of the organized nature of ethnically motivated
      attacks," Kozhevnikova said.
      Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has struggled with
      racially motivated violence, the vast majority of it directed at
      immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

      http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20080219russiahatecrimes.html
      --------------

      Two Residents of Kabarino-Balkariya Killed in Separate Incidents in
      Moscow
      FSU Monitor, February 19, 2008

      Police in Moscow are reportedly looking for a neo-Nazi link to the
      murder of a resident of the internal republic of Kabardino-Balkariya,
      according to a February 13, 2008 article in the national daily
      "Komsomolskaya Pravda." Police found the body of 21 year old E.
      Ditinov with multiple stab wounds. There is no indication in the
      article that the victim was robbed.
      In a related development, police found the body of a 34-year-old
      resident of Kabardino-Balkariya on February 17 in Moscow, according to
      a February 18, 2008 report posted on the news web site Newsru.com. The
      victim had a large sum of money on his person that his assailants did
      not take. Police have not ruled out that the killing may have been a
      hate crime.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021908Russ2.shtml
      -----------------

      Another Racist Attack in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, February 19, 2008

      A day after a group of youths stabbed an ethnic Tajik to death in
      Moscow, a similar attack took place in the same city, according to a
      February 19, 2008 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center.
      Eight drunken youths stabbed Muslim Karamov over ten times in the
      chest on Krasnodarskaya Street. The victim was taken to the hospital;
      it is not clear if he was robbed or not, nor if police are treating
      the attack as a hate crime or "ordinary hooliganism."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/021908Russ3.shtml
      --------------

      Number of Jews living in Russia is growing - FJCR
      Interfax, February 19, 2008

      Moscow, February 19, Interfax - The number of Jews living in Russia
      has been on the rise over the past few years, said the Federation of
      Jewish Communities of Russia.
      "An estimated 1.2 million Jews are presently living in Russia. There
      was a time when the figure was 500,000-600,000, but now we can say
      that there are much more of them," Alexander Boroda, board chairman of
      the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, told a press
      conference in Moscow.
      More Jews who did not know about their ethnic origin in the years of
      "state anti-Semitism" or "were afraid of their Jewish origin" are
      joining the Jewish community in Russia, said Boroda. More and more
      such people are beginning to realize their national identity, he said.
      "We will not be surprised if tomorrow we hear the figure 1.3 million,
      1.4 million, 1.5 million," he said.
      The Jewish migration process "has reversed" lately, said Boroda.
      Today, virtually no people are leaving for Israel, but people who once
      emigrated to the U.S. or Europe and received citizenship there are
      coming to Russia to live and work here.
      Boroda also said a lot of Jews are coming to Russia from the former
      Soviet republics.
      The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia currently has over 200
      communities in 178 cities of Russia. The Federation supports 40
      synagogues and some 70 community centers, five higher education
      establishments, 29 schools with a Jewish component, 28 kindergartens,
      94 evening schools, and 368 interest clubs.
      ----------------

      Nationalist Youth Leader Gets 3 Years
      Moscow Times, February 20, 2008

      The leader of an ultranationalist youth group has been sentenced to
      three years in prison for yelling "Sieg heil" and "Kill the liberals"
      during a political debate at a local club last year.
      The Basmanny District Court on Monday convicted Maxim Martsinkevich,
      23, of inciting ethnic hatred when he and 15 other ultranationalists
      interrupted the debate at the Bilingua cafe between political
      commentator Yulia Latynina and satirist Maxim Konenenko last February,
      RIA-Novosti reported.
      Witnesses said Martsinkevich and several other young men flashed Nazi
      insignias and began yelling "Sieg Heil" and verbally assaulting
      participants at the political debate titled "Where are the Democrats?"
      Martsinkevich, 23, goes by the nickname Tesak, or "Hatchet," and is
      leader of the ultranationalist group Format 18.
      Authorities believe that Martsinkevich is one of the leaders of the
      city's skinhead circles, Gazeta.ru reported. In March, he began
      publicly calling for Russia to be cleansed of foreigners and promoting
      national socialism, the web site said.
      Based on footage posted on his blog before it was abruptly shut down
      in June, Martsinkevich is believed to have participated in the June 22
      clashes that broke out in central Moscow between ethnic Russians and
      people from the Caucasus and Central Asia, Gazeta.ru reported.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/20/012.html
      -----------------

      Uzbek Man Killed as Racial Attacks Climb
      By: David Nowak
      Moscow Times, February 20, 2008

      An Uzbek man has been stabbed to death in southwestern Moscow, the
      fourth fatal attack on dark-skinned people in the city in the past
      five days.
      A group of assailants attacked Khurishid Khudaikulov with knives at
      around 9:30 p.m. Monday on Ulitsa Miklukho-Maklaya, near the Konkovo
      metro station, a law enforcement source said, Interfax reported.
      Khudaikulov, 26, worked as a street sweeper and a gypsy-cab driver and
      was the father of small children, the source told Interfax.
      Khudaikulov died at the scene from multiple stab wounds, the source said.
      Mikhail Ionkin, spokesman for the Moscow branch of the Investigative
      Committee, confirmed the attack but declined to give further details.
      Authorities are investigating whether this was a hate crime but are
      also considering other possible motives, Ionkin said.
      An Uzbek Embassy spokesman confirmed the identity of the victim and
      said the embassy was in contact with local authorities. He declined
      further comment.
      Khudaikulov was the fourth dark-skinned man to be murdered in Moscow
      in the last five days.
      A 34-year-old native of Kabardino-Balkaria was stabbed to death in
      northwestern Moscow Sunday. A mobile phone and a wallet with 40,000
      rubles were found in his jacket, suggesting robbery was not a motive,
      Interfax reported.
      On Saturday, a group of young men armed with knives attacked two
      Kyrgyz natives near the
      Tekstilshchiki metro station in southeastern Moscow, killing one and
      critically injuring the other.
      A Tajik citizen was stabbed to death and a teenage boy was knifed in
      separate attacks late Thursday.
      Twenty-three people have been killed and more than 50 injured in hate
      crimes nationwide since the beginning of the year, Galina
      Kozhevnikova, head of the Sova Center, which tracks hate crimes, said
      Tuesday. Fourteen of the murders occurred in Moscow, she said.
      A total of 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured nationwide
      in hate crimes last year, according to Sova Center statistics.
      "We have these poor people coming to Russia in search of a better life
      -- to work, and to provide for their families. Instead of thanking
      them for providing the labor force in sectors that Muscovites wouldn't
      dream of occupying, we are cutting them up, stabbing them to death,"
      said Soyun Sadykov, who heads Azerross, a group representing Azeri
      citizens living in Russia.
      Sadykov was one of several heads of diaspora groups who met with
      Deputy Mayor Valery Vinogradov on Monday to address the spate of attacks.
      Sadykov said he proposed rallying thousands of migrants from former
      Soviet republics on Tverskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow.
      "We will not stand for this," Sadykov said.
      Vinogradov and other City Hall officials could not be reached for comment.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/20/011.html
      ---------------------

      Vladimir Putin recognises Katyn massacre as Stalinist crime
      Polskie Radio, February 21st, .2008

      Ten days after returning from Moscow, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw
      Sikorski suddenly revealed on Wednesday that Russian President
      Vladimir Putin admitted to him that the Katyn massacre was a crime of
      the Stalinist regime.
      Poland's PM Tusk confirmed that he heard Putin saying these words.
      Shortly before Tusk's visit to Russia at the beginning of February the
      Russian Niezawisimaja Gazieta published an article which claimed that
      the Soviet NKVD secret police could not possibly have been responsible
      for the mass murder of over 20,000 Polish officers in 1940.
      A pretext for the publication was the Oscar nomination for Andrzej
      Wajda's film Katyn.
      In 1940, the NKVD murdered around 22,000 Polish officers in Katyn,
      Russia. After the Germans revealed the mass-murder to the world, the
      Soviet government put the blame on them.
      In 1990, the Soviet government officially acknowledged NKVD's
      responsibility for the murder, but refused to see the events as a 'war
      crime'. The topic remains a bone of contention between Poland and
      Russia. (jm) (photo: Polskie Radio)

      http://www.polskieradio.pl/thenews/foreign-affairs/?id=76351
      ----------------

      2 Minority Members Killed in Separate Attacks
      Moscow Times, February 21, 2008

      Two men, one Kyrgyz and the other Azeri, were stabbed to death
      Tuesday, bringing the number of fatal attacks on dark-skinned people
      in the city in the past week to six.
      The men were killed by unidentified assailants in separate attacks in
      the south and northeast of the city, an unidentified police official
      told Itar-Tass news agency, Gazeta.ru reported Wednesday.
      The Kyrgyz national, whose name wasn't disclosed, was found near 24
      Simferopolsky Bulvar in southern Moscow with multiple stab wounds to
      the back, head and neck.
      The victim worked as a merchandiser for the Pyatyorochka grocery
      chain, Gazeta.ru reported.
      The Azeri man, who wasn't identified, was attacked on Baikalskaya
      Ulitsa in the city's northeast and also died of multiple stab wounds,
      the web site said.
      City police spokeswoman Alevtina Belousova could not immediately
      comment on the reports when contacted Wednesday. Calls to police later
      in the day went unanswered.
      No one could be reached for comment at either the Kyrgyz or Azeri
      embassies Wednesday afternoon.
      Twenty-three people have been killed and more than 50 injured in hate
      crimes nationwide since the beginning of the year, with 14 of the
      murders occurring in Moscow, according to statistics from the Sova Center.
      A total of 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured nationwide
      in ethnically motivated crimes last year.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2008/02/21/015.html
      ------------

      MOSCOW EXPERIENCES WAVE OF ETHNICALLY MOTIVATED KILLINGS RFE/RL
      Newsline, February 21, 2008 Volume 12 Number 35

      One Kyrgyz man and one Azeri were stabbed to death in separate
      incidents in Moscow on February 19, "The Moscow Times" reported on
      February 21. The incidents bring the number of fatal attacks on
      dark-skinned people in Moscow to six within the last week and 16 since
      January 1. According to an editorial in the daily, all six victims
      were men and none of them was robbed. Moscow police chief Vladimir
      Pronin told "Komsomolskaya pravda" on February 18 he believes the
      killings are random acts of violence and that there "is no organized
      skinhead movement" in Moscow. RC

      http://www.rferl.org/newsline/2008/02/1-RUS/rus-210208.asp#archive
      ---------------

      Neo-Nazi Murder in Yekaterinburg
      FSU Monitor, February 21, 2008

      Neo-Nazis murdered a young man from an unspecified ethnic minority
      group, according to a February 18, 2008 report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center. On February 4, several neo-Nazis
      attacked Maksim Nikitin and a friend of his, who managed to escape,
      outside the Kupets store on Maylyshev Street. The victim's mother
      insists that, despite the fact that her son's cell phone was stolen,
      the murder was a hate crime, and that police are deliberately dragging
      their feet in the investigation.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022108Russia.shtml
      ---------------

      Suspects Detained in Two Mosque Arsons
      FSU Monitor, February 21, 2008

      Police detained a suspect in an arson attack on a mosque in Shuya,
      Russia (Ivanovo region), according to a February 20, 2008 report by
      the web site Islam.ru. The suspect is a convicted murderer who claims
      that he set fire to the informal mosque, which is a privately owned
      building used by the local Muslim community for prayers and meetings,
      because it used to belong to his mother and he felt that it should be
      part of his inheritance. Police have not yet charged the suspect,
      raising the possibility that they are looking into other motives
      behind the attack.
      Meanwhile, police in Sergiev Posad detained a suspect in a December
      2007 arson attack on a mosque, according to a February 19, 2008
      article in the national daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. The suspect, a 17
      year old, was detained on an unrelated charge when police discovered
      that he had a previous conviction for inciting ethnic hatred. When
      questioned about his activities, the suspect reportedly confessed that
      he was the arsonist, but in a possible attempt to evade hate crimes
      charges, claimed that someone whom he met on a nationalist web site
      paid him to do it. Investigators are now searching for the purported
      additional suspect behind the crime. It is not clear from the report
      if the suspect faces charges related to a January 2008 arson attack on
      the same mosque.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022108Russ2.shtml
      -----------

      Five Tajiks Stabbed in Kaliningrad
      FSU Monitor, February 21, 2008

      Police in Kaliningrad, Russia detained a suspect in relation to the
      stabbing of five Tajiks, according to a February 20, 2008 article in
      the national daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. The 23-year-old resident of
      Svetlogorsk faces "hooliganism" charges. Police are currently
      searching for additional suspects and are reportedly attempting to
      minimize media coverage of the attack.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022108Russ3.shtml
      ----------------

      Striking a blow for democracy... or something
      Russia Today, February 22, 2008, 19:34

      A brawl has taken place during a televised debate for Russia's
      presidential candidates. It started between Vladimir Zhirinovsky and a
      representative of his opponent.
      Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, was to have a
      televised pre-election discussion with the head of the Democratic
      Party, Andrey Bogdanov. But Bogdanov sent his representative, Nikolay
      Gotzu, to take part in the debate instead.
      It is reported that after the debate, Zhirinovsky threatened to beat
      up Gotzu, and ordered his bodyguards to kick him out of the studio.
      The brawl was stopped by the channel's security guards.
      Now Andrey Bogdanov is planning to ask the Central Election Commission
      to bar Zhirinovsky from the election.
      Russia's Central Election Commission says it's not planning to take
      any action after the brawl.
      Later, speaking exclusively to RT, Zhirinovsky said he had more
      grounds to feel offended.
      "There were supposed to be debates between presidential candidates -
      you have to be there in person. People have to listen to the person
      who's running. But they sent a man nobody knows. And I have to have
      debates with a nobody in front of the entire country. Naturally, this
      humiliates me. It is me who should feel offended," he insisted.

      http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/21252
      ------------------

      HATE-CRIME NUMBERS IN 2008 SET RECORD
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      On February 15, the Sova Information-Analytical Center announced that
      17 people were killed and more than 50 injured in Russia since the
      beginning of the year in the latest wave of hate crimes. If the crimes
      continue at the same rate throughout the year, 2008 would see a total
      of 135 hate killings--or double the number recorded in 2007, said Sova
      deputy director Galina Kozhevnikova. She added that 11 of the 17
      killings were committed in Moscow. The 2007 figure represented a 13%
      increase over the previous year.
      The crimes were committed by groups of youths aged from 12 to 19, who
      attacked their victims from behind with knifes, the Prosecutor's
      Office's investigative department chief, Valery Spasenykh, told
      RIA-Novosti.
      According to a February 19 item by Itar-Tass, "last year saw 5,439
      crimes committed against guests from Russia's near neighbors. Uzbeks
      were the most frequent victims (1,043). Visitors from Ukraine were
      second (1,015), from Tajikistan, third (959), and from Kyrgyztan,
      fourth (755). Eighty-three guests from the other CIS countries were
      killed: 26 from Uzbekistan, 14 from Azerbaijan, 13 from Tajikistan,
      and 3 from Kyrgyzstan."
      The daily "Komsomolskaya Pravda" reported that "attacks by skinheads
      against North Caucasus and Central Asia-born people have been so
      frequent that Moscow police have been forced to take pre-emptive
      measures." According to unofficial statistics, a total of 180 police
      patrolled the streets in the Southeastern District of Moscow last
      weekend.
      The daily "Vremya Novostei" wrote that "so far, the Moscow authorities
      have turned a blind eye on the problem whenever they could, but last
      Monday's meeting between city officials and leaders of ethnic
      communities to whom the authorities had apparently wished to explain
      who of the candidates for the Russian presidency ethnic minorities
      should vote for proved unexpectedly strained. Instead of staging an
      electioneering event Moscow's Deputy Mayor Valery Vinogradov, city
      police chief Vladimir Pronin, and chief of the inter-regional
      relations and nationalities policy department, Alexei Alexandrov, had
      to face charges of inability to check crime growth." The leaders of
      ethnic communities, "usually very polite and politically correct,"
      this time did not conceal indignation over the latest attack against
      Kyrgyzstan-born victims, "Vremya Novostei" wrote.
      The authorities, who were earlier criticized for doing little to
      combat xenophobia, have been making efforts recently to investigate
      hate crimes more thoroughly and take such cases to court, the
      Associated Press (AP) cited human rights activists as saying.
      According to some human rights activists, the AP went on to say,
      extreme nationalist sentiments stem from the Kremlin's attempts to
      rebuild a strong state.
      "If there is anything Russia has NOT inherited from the former USSR,
      it is what in the old Soviet days was called `people's friendship,'"
      Itar-Tass wrote in a feature story on February 19. "Many feel
      nostalgic about the multi-ethnic state that is no more, a country
      where that `friendship' was not only an official state ideology, but
      also--to a very large extent--a fact of life. The color of one's skin
      and the shape of one's eyes made very little difference at the
      grass-roots level, and the over one hundred ethic groups--big and
      small--managed to get along well enough."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      UZBEK STABBED TO DEATH
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      On February 18, Khurishid Khudaikulov, an Uzbek man was stabbed to
      death in southwestern Moscow, "The Moscow Times" reported on February
      20, calling it "the fourth fatal attack on dark-skinned people in the
      city in the past five days." Khudaikulov, 26, worked as a street
      sweeper and a gypsy-cab driver and was the father of small children,
      the source added. Authorities are investigating if this was a hate
      crime but are considering other possible motives.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      KYRGYZ KILLED
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      On February 19 in Moscow, police found the body of a 27-year-old
      Kyrgyz citizen with multiple stab injuries to the back, head, and
      neck, according to an Interfax item dated February 20. The man worked
      as a merchandiser in a shop. He is the 23rd suspected hate crime
      fatality reported so far this year.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      NEO-NAZIS AND ANTI-FASCISTS CLASH IN MOSCOW
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      Three separate violent incidents took place in Moscow on Valentine's
      Day between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists, according to a February 15
      report by the news web site Gazeta.ru. While about 50 anti-fascists
      gathered to protect a "flash mob" demonstration by gay rights
      activists in the downtown area, a large group of neo-Nazis—who
      regularly assault both groups--gathered to disrupt the demonstration.
      The anti-fascists attacked two neo-Nazis, one of whom managed to
      escape before they beat him. The same day, neo-Nazis stabbed an
      anti-fascist. In a third incident, a mass brawl involving 30-40 people
      on either side resulted in several anti-fascists being seriously injured.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      VANDALISM TARGETING RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS ROSE IN 2007
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      "The scale of vandalism against religious institutions has grown as
      compared to the previous year," according to a report by the Sova
      Information-Analytical Center, as cited by Interfax news agency on
      February 19. According to Sova, 27 acts of such vandalism were
      committed in 2007: seven against synagogues, six against Orthodox
      churches, six against Protestant churches, four against mosques, and
      two against Catholic churches.
      "In 2007 several murders of clerics were committed," the report says.
      "However, there is no evidence that the murders were motivated by
      religious hatred. In addition, many facts are known of murder attempts
      against clerics in the Northern Caucasus, some of which could be
      linked to conflicts between various Islamic groups."
      The report's authors believe that "the state cannot ensure the
      protection of religious groups and organizations from aggressive
      manifestations of xenophobia and sometimes shows discrimination itself."
      According to the report, "The state is conducting a selective and
      often unlawful fight against the threat of radical Islamism, which
      makes many Muslims feel that the state policy is anti-Islamic. As a
      result, religious inequality is perceived by the society as a norm of
      public life." The report goes on to say that many confessions in
      Russia get a preferential treatment by the authorities. "The Russian
      Orthodox church and in several regions Muslim and Buddhist
      organizations are enjoying a growing protection by the authorities,
      while religious organizations seen as 'non-traditional' are facing
      considerable difficulties," the report says.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      FAR-RIGHT LEADER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      The leader of an ultranationalist youth group was sentenced to three
      years in prison for yelling "Sieg Heil" and "Kill the liberals" during
      a political debate, "The St. Petersburg Times" reported on February
      22. The Basmanny District Court convicted Maxim Martsinkevich, 23, of
      inciting ethnic hatred when he and 15 other ultranationalists
      interrupted the debate at the Bilingua cafe between commentator Yulia
      Latynina and satirist Maxim Konenenko last February, RIA-Novosti
      reported. Witnesses said Martsinkevich and several other young men
      flashed Nazi insignias and began yelling "Sieg Heil" and verbally
      assaulting participants at the debate titled "Where are the Democrats?"
      Martsinkevich goes by the nickname Tesak, or "Hatchet," and is leader
      of the ultranationalist group Format 18. Authorities believe that he
      is one of the leaders of the city's skinhead circles, Gazeta.ru
      reported. According to the web site, in March he began calling for
      Russia to be cleansed of foreigners and promoting national socialism.
      Based on footage posted on his blog before it was shut down in June,
      Martsinkevich participated in the June 22 clashes that broke out in
      central Moscow between ethnic Russians and people from the Caucasus
      and Central Asia.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      RUSSIAN JEWS OUTRAGED BY REVISION OF WWII HISTORY
      Bigotry Monitor, Volume 8, Number 8, Friday, February 22, 2008

      The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR) has called on
      the world to "properly judge in moral terms the facts of
      rehabilitation of the Nazi ideology and its henchmen," Interfax
      reported. A resolution adopted by the FEOR congress on February 19
      warned that "the revision of the outcomes of World War II in order to
      please a group of politicians seeking to gain political advantage on
      the tide of nationalism could have the most negative consequences not
      only for the future of the countries in which they make their
      statements but also for the entire world."
      Leading those FEOR accused of revisionism was Estonia, for
      "desecrating and demolishing monuments to those who fought against
      Nazism." The resolution criticized Ukrainian President Viktor
      Yushchenko for granting the title of Hero of Ukraine to Ukrainian
      Insurgent Army leader, Roman Shukhevych who fought on the side of the
      Nazis and whom some accuse of murdering Jews. Echoing statements by
      the Russian government, the resolution said: "The Jewish community in
      Russia is outraged by this revision of history, which leads to the
      denial of the World War II outcomes and insults the memory of the
      Nazis' victims and the memory of the great victory of the peoples of
      the entire world over Nazism."

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208BM.shtml
      ------------------

      Suspended Sentence for Painting Death Threats on Jewish Cultural Center
      FSU Monitor, February 22, 2008

      A court in Izhevsk, Russia (Republic of Udmurtiya) sentenced a store
      manager to a suspended sentence of three years in prison after finding
      him guilty of inciting ethnic hatred and vandalism motivated by ethnic
      hatred, according to a February 22, 2008 report by Jewish.ru. Nineteen
      year old Aleksandr Krinitsyn painted death threats against Jews on the
      walls of the local Jewish community center three times in
      November-December 2007 before being caught with a spray can.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208Russia.shtml
      -----------------

      Number of race killings doubles in Moscow
      Russia Today, February 24, 2008

      Moscow police have detained 13 teenagers suspected of attacking a
      young Azeri man on Saturday night. The assault is the latest in a
      string of apparently racially motivated attacks, which have seen a
      dramatic increase this year.
      'Out of control!' is how Amnesty International describes xenophobia in
      Russia in recent years.
      2008 has been a deadly year for ethnic minorities - 23 people have
      already been killed in racist attacks. Sixty-seven people died in 2007
      because of the colour of their skin.
      The capital's mayor is calling for calm, but community leaders and
      human rights campaigners are calling for the racist violence to be
      tackled. More than half the killings in 2008 have been in Moscow. The
      victims were Tajiks, Kyrgyzs, Uzbeks, Azeris - potentially migrant
      workers, employed on construction sites and market stalls for low wages.
      Ultra-nationalists or skinheads are often accused of racist violence.
      But racist crimes are also being committed by those who feel
      economically and socially disadvantaged by the influx of immigrants.
      And there are those who have picked up their racist beliefs from an
      early age at home.
      Footages of attacks appear on the internet and are watched by the
      thousands of youngsters across Russia.
      Disturbingly, it's claimed some of these recent killings were even
      paid for.
      Moscow is a home to 11 million residents - a fifth or more of those
      unlawfully. Illegal immigration is linked with the drugs trade and
      theft. Crime by non-Russians is increasing year on year, and
      nationalists seize upon this fact.
      "Migrants come here. They settle on our territory and take our jobs.
      Then we are accused of bad treatment towards them. Their deaths are
      made public. But what about the Russians being killed?" wonders
      Aleksey Kanurin from Russia's Movement against Illegal Migration.
      Meanwhile, those trying to stop the violence, do so at great personal
      risk. A human rights observer, Galina's picture was posted on a
      neo-Nazi website, with a message to kill her.
      Changes to the criminal code were made last summer, which now
      recognise racially- motivated crimes, adding to existing laws on
      extremism. Human rights experts say if applied more rigorously,
      they'll be enough to, eventually, act as a deterrent.
      The Heads of States of several CIS countries chose to raise their
      citizens' concerns at this week's informal CIS summit.
      President Putin, in response, pledged Russia will continue fighting
      against xenophobia.

      http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/21302
      ---------------

      Russian neo-Nazis charged in vandalism
      JTA, February 25th, 2008

      Nineteen members of a Russian neo-Nazi group were charged with
      vandalizing Jewish and Muslim cemeteries.
      Prosecutors in Tver, a city of more than 400,000 about 140 miles from
      Moscow, also charged members of the group Russian National Unity with
      murder motivated by ethnic hatred and assault, according to a report
      Monday by the Russian Jewish Web site Jewish.ru.
      On Aug. 5, 2005, the suspects allegedly desecrated approximately 50
      Jewish gravestones at the Dmitrovo-Cherkassy cemetery, and in October
      2006 they allegedly damaged and painted swastikas on some 200 Jewish
      and Muslim gravestones at the Pervomayskoe and Dmitrovo-Cherkassy
      cemeteries.
      The suspects left leaflets calling for the murder of non-Russians,
      Jewish.ru reported.
      The report had no details about the other charges.

      http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/print/20080225tvervandalism02252008.html
      ----------------

      Tver Prosecutors Charge Neo-Nazi Gang With Murder, Vandalism
      FSU Monitor, February 25, 2008

      Prosecutors in Tver, Russia charged 19 members of the neo-Nazi group
      Russian National Unity with murder motivated by ethnic hatred,
      assault, and vandalism, according to a February 25, 2008 report by the
      Russian Jewish web site Jewish.ru. The report has no details about the
      murders or assaults, but adds that the suspects face accusations of
      two acts of vandalism against Jewish and Muslim gravestones. On August
      5, 2005 they allegedly desecrated around 50 Jewish gravestones at the
      Dmitrovo-Cherkassy cemetery; in October 2006 they struck again, this
      time damaging and painting swastikas on around 200 Jewish and Muslim
      gravestones at the Pervomayskoe and Dmitrovo-Cherkassy cemeteries. The
      suspects allegedly left leaflets calling for the murder of non-Russians.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022508Russia.shtml
      --------------------

      Police Detain Two Neo-Nazis in Connection With Racist Attack in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, February 26, 2008

      A 19 year old man and an 18 year old woman were detained by police in
      Moscow after allegedly attacking an Uzbek man, according to a February
      22, 2008 article in the national daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. The
      assailants, identified in the article as neo-Nazis, allegedly beat the
      victim almost to death on the evening of February 20. A neighbor
      called the police, who reportedly saved the victim's life by scaring
      off his attackers. They arrested the two suspects shortly afterwards,
      though they let the young woman go after she signed a written pledge
      not to leave the city during the course of the investigation.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022608Russia.shtml
      -----------

      Neo-Nazis Attack Azeri High School Student in Moscow
      FSU Monitor, February 26, 2008

      Moscow police detained 13 suspects in the connection with an attack on
      an Azeri high school student, according to a February 26, 2008 article
      in the national daily Novye Izvestiya. Witnesses reported seeing a
      group of skinheads attack the youth last Saturday; five of the
      suspects have reportedly already admitted their membership in a
      neo-Nazi gang. One of the suspects, a 22 year old man, allegedly
      robbed the victim too.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022608Russ2.shtml
      ---------------

      Altay Court Hands Down Tough Sentences for Hate Crimes Murders
      FSU Monitor, February 27, 2008

      The Altay regional court in the western Siberian Altay region of
      Russia sentenced two men to 17 and 15 years in prison for a series of
      murders motivated by ethnic hatred, according to a February 27, 2008
      report by the web site Jewish.ru. A jury found a third defendant
      guilty only of violent robbery and the court sentenced him to six
      years. The defendants admitted the murders but tried to minimize their
      prison terms by denying that the motive was ethnic hatred, claiming
      that they only intended to rob their victims.

      http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022708Russia.shtml
      ------------------

      Skinheads accused of murdering Armenian and Azeri found guilty in
      Altay region of Russia
      Panarmenian Network, February 27, 2008

      The jury sentenced two residents of Biysk town of Altay region,
      Russia, to 17 and 15 years in prison. At the trial the accused claimed
      they assaulted people for robbery but not through national hatred. The
      third accused, who was not found guilty of perpetration of murder, was
      handed a 6-year sentence. As reported earlier, Armenia-native Hrachik
      Baghramyan, 50, was assaulted on October 15, 2006 in Biysk. Azeri
      Ziyadhan Eyvazov was killed on November 1. The investigation traced
      young men privy to the crimes. During a search in their apartments the
      police found hammers, baseball bat, flaps of fabric with inscription
      Skin Head, leaflets and various nationalistic literature.

      http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=25106
      -----------------

      Statistics on Racist and Neo-nazi crimes in February, 2008
      SOVA News Releases, February 29, 2008
      In February, 2008, in Russia, there were no less then 44 people
      attacked, including 12 fatalities. From the beginning of the year, 26
      people were murdered and 72 more were injured as a result of hate
      violence.
      People from the Central Asia remain the most vulnerable group (17
      people murdered, 28 injured), and Moscow remains the major center of
      racist violence (18 people murdered and 37 injured).
      In 2008 there have been only one guilty verdict for racist attacks. In
      Altai region, the jury adjudged three people guilty of two murders
      committed in 2006. Two of them were convicted of murders committed
      with a hate motive and one of them was additionally convicted of robbery.
      However, propaganda of xenophobia has been actively prosecuted. In
      2008 there have been no less then 8 guilty verdicts against 8 people.
      The most high profile of them were verdicts against Maksim
      Martzinkevich (alias Tesak) and Boris Mironov, one of the
      national-patriotic movement veterans, who was adjudged guilty of
      incitement of ethnic hatred (article 282 of the Criminal Code), but
      was released from penalty because the statute of limitation has expired.

      http://xeno.sova-center.ru/6BA2468/6BB41EE/AAFAD84
      ===============================================

      II SURVEYS, ANALYSES, COMMENTS


      Event Summary: The Putin Government's Responses to Increased Xenophobia
      Kennan Institute, January 7, 2008

      "There is no rise in mass xenophobic feelings in Russia; the overall
      level is the same as it was since 2000," stated Aleksandr Verkhovsky,
      Director, SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, Moscow at a 7
      January 2008 Kennan Institute lecture cosponsored by the U.S.
      Commission on International Religious Freedom. However, the base level
      of xenophobia was already quite high. According to Verkhovsky,
      approximately 50 percent of Russian citizens hold prejudiced views
      towards foreigners and some ethnic groups, collectively referred to as
      "migrants."
      At the same time the level of xenophobic language in Russian mass
      media and political discourse has risen to alarming levels in this
      decade. The reinforcing images and messages of xenophobia have had the
      effect of legitimating hatred within the minds of some individuals,
      according to Verkhovsky, leading to a rise in hate crimes. The Russian
      government does not directly promote radical nationalism or
      xenophobia. "The state does not need to create hatred," Verkhovsky
      said, although he added that there are indications of cooperative
      relationships between radical nationalist groups and the police and
      other state entities.
      The Russian government is first and foremost concerned with stability,
      and xenophobia and hate crimes are not perceived by leaders in the
      Kremlin as a threat to their stability, argued Verkhovsky. The Russian
      government instead perceives extremist groups and individuals as
      targets of co-optation and potential tools for policy. During recent
      international disputes between Russia and Estonia and Russia and
      Georgia, the Kremlin-funded youth movement Nashi [Ours] conducted
      coordinated street protests against the embassies and diplomats of
      both countries. Another pro-Kremlin youth group, Mestnye [Locals], has
      been enlisted to cooperate with Russia's Federal Migration Service to
      find and detain illegal immigrants. "This is a collaboration based on
      xenophobia," he stated.
      Law enforcement and the judiciary do little to combat xenophobia in
      Russia, according to Verkhovsky. The number of sentences handed down
      in cases involving hate crimes is very low and declined in 2007 from
      the previous year, reversing previous trends. Verkhovsky explained
      that such cases receive low priority within the system and fewer
      crimes are being classified as hate crimes. "This suggests that the
      main point of the authorities is to manipulate these forces into state
      services—that is, don't arrest, but co-opt nationalist movements," he
      said.
      Verkhovsky cautioned that the most dangerous aspect of this strategy
      is that Russia appears to be signaling acceptance of xenophobia from
      the highest levels. Following ethnic riots in the small Russian town
      of Kondopoga, President Putin instituted a decree that went into
      effect in April 2007 banning foreign workers in urban marketplaces.
      More serious, suggested Verkhovsky, was that Putin himself used the
      code words of the radical nationalists when he stated that "we must
      secure the interests of national business and of the indigenous
      population of Russia." Everyone in Russia understands this code, he
      stressed, and "something more serious might happen in the future if
      such toying with nationalist code words continues."
      A decade ago, Verkhovsky said, strident nationalists were in the
      opposition and on the fringe of society. Their popularity was largely
      rooted in nostalgia for the Soviet era and for great power status.
      Today, radical nationalists are aligned with Putin, winked at by law
      enforcement, strongly grounded in mass xenophobia, and legitimized in
      the media and political discourse. Radical nationalists benefit from
      anti-migrant policies and political speech, Verkhovsky said. On the
      other hand, some political elites are trying to promote their own more
      moderate and intellectual version of Russian nationalism—an ideology
      of "Russian civilization," as opposed to the pure ethnic nationalism
      of national-populist movements.
      The rise in the fortunes of radical nationalists is not the only
      negative side effect of the Russian leadership's pursuit of stability,
      according to Verkhovsky. The ban on foreign workers in marketplaces
      immediately resulted in higher prices and less choice for Russian
      consumers. Moreover, policies targeted against migrants or other
      groups such as NGOs function as signals to the Russian bureaucracy and
      security services indicating which organizations and individuals
      should be selected for harassment or arrest. Another aspect of the
      current system is the government's misuse of laws ostensibly enacted
      to combat extremism to stifle political opposition.
      There are not many forces within Russian society today that are
      pushing against the rising acceptability of xenophobia, concluded
      Verkhovsky. There are a small group of NGOs which are active in the
      struggle against xenophobia, but their influence is small. He added
      that local and regional governments cooperate with the Federal
      Migration Service in setting quotas of permitted migrants that are
      lower than their labor demands. "Their motives are not clear to me,"
      admitted Verkhovsky. Finally, many businesses, especially in
      construction, need migrants and other ethnic workers, he observed,
      "but they prefer to keep their status quasi-illegal, which makes them
      cheaper."
      ----------------

      Civic Duty: Historical Irresponsibility A campaign to deify Vladimir
      Putin is in full swing as his presidency winds down.
      By Galina Stolyarova
      Transitions Online www.tol.cz, 14 February 2008

      ST. PETERSBURG, Russia | If I hadn't known the document was just a few
      weeks old I would have thought it dated back to the Great Patriotic
      War. The call for unification around the national leader was ardent,
      and the fear behind the words almost palpable. The only thing unclear
      to me was who exactly the enemy was.
      The document in question was an extraordinary political statement
      passed by the St. Petersburg legislature.
      The city lawmakers stressed "the historical responsibility of every
      voter" to take part in "THE VOTE," ramming home the importance of next
      month's presidential election with bold capitals.
      "During the election we must defend our achievements," it reads. "That
      is why we, deputies of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly,
      regardless of our different political persuasions, ask you, dear
      citizens, to unite around the national leader Vladimir Putin and make
      your choice in favor of stability and advancing the development of
      Russia."
      Some critics compared the statement's grandiose rhetoric to that of
      World War II political proclamations, both in style and words. The
      liberal opposition condemned it as being both servile to the Kremlin
      and an illegal form of campaigning.
      These local politicians are far from alone in raising the outgoing
      president to "national leader" status. Putin's future is a constant
      subject for political talk shows and news bulletins. Television
      constantly shows politicians and ordinary people speaking of the
      importance of "staying the course" and "preventing instability."
      Judging solely from the television coverage, a casual viewer might get
      the impression that if the election winner is anyone other than
      Putin's hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev, it would be seen as a
      major catastrophe.
      A climate of fear is being created as the elections draw nearer.
      On top of the concerns expressed about the crucial importance of
      keeping Putin in a position of authority – whatever formal post he may
      take – Russians have been further unsettled by an avalanche of reports
      about possible security risks.
      As I was contemplating the document, I overheard a radio report about
      the prediction by many political analysts of a high risk of terrorist
      attacks in Russia in the near future.
      Added to all this comes the release of opinion surveys by
      Kremlin-friendly pollsters on the question of whether the Russian
      people want Putin to "remain the nation's spiritual leader" or "remain
      the national leader" after he steps down. Needless to say, more than
      80 percent of respondents spoke with the utmost enthusiasm about the
      prospect.
      SCARE TACTICS
      A couple of days ago I witnessed a quarrel on just this topic between
      a Russian and a Briton.
      My Russian woman friend was both aggressive and very defensive.
      "What we need most is economic stability – people must be able to feed
      and clothe their children," the young mother of two insisted in a
      high-pitched voice. And when her British friend questioned why
      economic stability should come at the price of restricting human
      rights, she took offence.
      "If we go through another wave of terrorist attacks, the situation
      will get out of control and Russia will be in chaos once again," she
      almost shouted. And when the Briton asked her to try and estimate the
      risk of a such attack, she parried with, "To restore order in the
      country we might have to sacrifice some liberties."
      But she could not say what irreversible damage would be done to
      Russia's economic stability by the existence of an independent
      television channel or the option of selecting "against all" on the ballot.
      My woman friend's reaction was driven by fear, no less than the
      statement by the St. Petersburg legislators.
      Russia is not on the brink of war. It is not going through a
      devastating epidemic or natural disaster, when fear would be natural
      and calls for unification justified. Through the use of rhetoric
      appropriate only to a true national crisis, Russian voters are being
      force-fed a sense of danger. Instilling a feeling of nervousness or
      fear may look like the most efficient way of channeling voters'
      energies in the desired direction. Frightened people are far easier to
      manipulate than confident ones.
      "Russia finds itself on the brink of a new historical era," reads the
      document approved by St. Petersburg's assembly. "We are not simply
      electing a new parliament [last December] and a new president. With
      these votes we must express our relation to the political course that
      was launched by President Vladimir Putin in 2000. Since he came to
      office, Russia has made substantial progress in all spheres. Only this
      course can ensure that Russia becomes a world leader and a country
      every citizen can be proud of."
      Twenty-six of the 50 city legislators voted in favor of the statement.
      Those supporting it included all 23 members of the Kremlin-backed
      United Russia party and three members of the Liberal Democratic party.
      Communist deputy Vladimir Dmitr<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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