Theater of Cruelty

Strategic racial hatred

Snow shells in black leather jackets rage in Moscow's streets.


[racism] A spring morning in Russia does not consist of joy over the sun shining or the nature blooming, but of news of who has been killed during the night because he "smelled a bit" non-slavish. Until last year, the shrews satisfied themselves with knocking up non-slaves. If anyone died, it was by the beating they got. Now they are stabbed with a knife.

In the subway vestibule below Pushkin Square, it is teeming with uniformed and civilian-clad police. Not a single old lady can roll out an anti-Putin poster without permission. Here, right in the center of Moscow, seventeen-year-old student and Moscowite Vigen Abramjants was killed with a precise stab in the heart on the Orthodox Easter Eve, April 21. The perpetrators were a flock of bald men dressed in black leather jackets.

The cove Abramjants was Armenian and had charcoal black, wavy hair and eagle nose – that is, he was a churka, a black man. Everyone with black hair and eagle nose are Churkas. Whether they are Orthodox, Muslims or something else. Vigen was on his way to Easter Mass when he was killed, the Armenians are Orthodox.

Being Azerbaijani is even worse than being a cripple in today's Russia. Azerbaijanis are hated for their dark skin and because they trade vegetables on the market. By the way, they are good: They give good prices. Yet people hate them.

In March, the ceiling over the Basman market in Moscow crashed over the unlucky sellers. Over 30 Azerbaijanis perished. Moscow is a city where not only scanty shells and youth from the poor quarters suffer from xenophobia, but also the authorities. Not even a mourning day was spent on those who were crushed to death. It is as if they are saying: It was only fair and reasonable that these condemned Churks, these filthy Azeri, these messy Cheburks roamed.

Let me explain what a Cheburek is: It is a strongly derogatory term for Asians from the former Soviet Union, ie Tajiks, Uz cups, Turkmen, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. The Kyrgyz are excellent street sweepers. They clean up a lot better than our own slavish, alcoholic version, but the reward is getting beaten or killed.

In short: "Russia for Russians" is the main slogan of our time. Russian racism has become so widespread and so rude that the gang of leather jacket-clad snowmen who killed Vigen Abramjant right before the eyes of the crowd and the police, just sat down on the next train and left. They have not yet been arrested.

No one can doubt that the relief has not been very intense. Russian police are known to solidify themselves with those who hunt for Churks, Azeris and other blacks. They don't even try to hide their sympathies. This also applies to those who really have black skin. These are beaten up and killed in the same way as other czarcs, whether born in Russia by black fathers and Russian mothers or coming from afar.

Russian racists' struggle against otherness has also started to go down on homosexuals in recent weeks. On the night of May 1, snuff shells and orthodox extremists blocked the exit of a gay club. They shouted slogans like "away with the garbage" and "no to the perverse".

Everyone is wondering who will be the next. What are the characteristics of the next round of beating or the next killing? We're heading down a black hole. It is now clear that the authorities intentionally refrain from doing anything. That is why there is now more talk that "the fight against xenophobia" will be the main theme of the next presidential election. For in Russia, all election campaigns are based on creating an enemy that you say you want to fight. That's how it was in 2000, when Putin was elected for the first time: It was to ensure his electoral victory that the Second Chechnya War was initiated. That was the case in 2004. When it was the oligarchs who were the main enemy.

That is why I dare to make a prediction: This year and next year, the authorities will promote Russian racism. In 2008, as the election draws near, the president will show how he "crushes evil." But before that it will be impossible to overcome this monster. It will get out of control.

Anna Politkovskaya is a journalist at Novaya Gazeta in Moscow and writes exclusively for Ny Tid.

Translated by Jardar Østbø

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