Friday, September 08, 2006

Kondopoga and Beyond

As tensions in the Karelian town of Kondopoga continue to rise, RFE/RL's Victor Yasmann documents more racially charged disturbances in Russia, in which authorities demonstrated "complete ineptness":

"Vremya novostei" and "Komsomolskaya pravda" on September 5 compiled a list of such cases, all sharing traits of corruption and cover-ups by local officials that helped lead to unrest.

June 2006, Rostov Oblast: Clashes take place between local youths and members of the local Daghestani community in the 30,000-population city of Salsk. The disturbances were attributed to the "redistribution of spheres of interest." Members of the Daghestani community resorted to using weapons, and one person was killed and eight locals wounded. To quell the violence, the city government calls in a detachment of Interior Ministry riot police, the OMON. Local residents attending a city meeting demand that more be done to punish the perpetrators of the violence and call for the eviction of "every Daghestani from the krai and oblast." Arrests had been made as of September, but the situation remained tense following the beating of a local official at the hands of a young Daghestani.

June 2006, Irkutsk Oblast: In the village of Targis, local residents clash with Chinese migrant workers. Six people are injured, with police siding with local residents. Seventy-five Chinese workers are subsequently expelled.

May 2006, Chita Oblast: The village of Haragun becomes the scene of anti-Azeri riots in which one is killed, several are injured, and 16 are arrested. Unhappy about the influx of Azerbaijanis, local residents demand at a meeting that they be evicted. Afterward, homes, property, and vehicles are the target of violence and arson.

August 2005, Astrakhan Oblast: A conflict erupts in the village of Yanyki between local Kalmyks and Chechens. More than 400 people take part in the violence, in which one person is killed, several are wounded, and 14 are arrested. During an assembly attended mostly by ethnic Russians, demands are made for the expulsion of "non Slavs."

Such large-scale violence is occurring with increasing regularity. And there is reason to believe the trend will continue. The unrest in Kondopoga has already had one serious consequence. Russian nationalists throughout the country have been stirred to action, under the banner: "Down with xenocracy -- the rule of foreigners."
Post a Comment