Author`s name Margarita Kicherova

Is this Russian Fascism?

Ethnic cleansing is not our method?
The Novosibirsk Regional Prosecutor's Office has completed an investigation of the case of a criminal extremist organization and handed the case to court.

Nine members of the organization (law enforcement authorities have not released any names) were charged with inciting ethnic hatred and with "banditism" causing severe bodily injuries. For about six months the people carried out "ethnic cleansings" in hostels and on marketplaces of the city thus inspiring fear in people from former Soviet Asian republics.

According to the provisional investigation, the criminal group was organized in spring-summer 2002 by a wrestler, an adult man who popularized nationalist ideas. It was not a problem for him to win the favor of teenagers. He treated them to beer and told about the necessity to clear Russia off "various scum", he gave them agitation books. The nationalists gathered once a week on weekends in the south-western housing estate of the city of Novosibirsk.

Sometimes girls also joined the gathering but they never stayed for long in the organization. In the course of time the organization expanded, the conditions of adoption into it got even tougher: in addition to the requirement to adhere to the ideology of the organization, the newcomers had to devote themselves to self-education, physical training and had to pay dues. The money was spent on purchase of alcohol and uniform that consisted of black trousers, a shirt, army boots with a metal core inside.

The nationalists obtained knuckledusters, folding knives, electric shockers and decided to put their new ideology into practice. They caught a Tajik market tradesman who was on his way home and started strangling him. Then the nationalists beat the man with reinforcement steel and lectured him on the superiority of "the whites over the blacks"; they demanded that the man must get out of the country within 24 hours and robbed him. Not to be caught by the police, the extremists scattered after the attack - only to regroup for another attack. 

Information about the group organizing ethnic cleansings on markets immediately spread about Novosibirsk. Non-Slavic traders were afraid to go out of doors and gathered in groups of 5-6 to get home from the markets. As a rule, this method worked: the nationalists feared that groups of victims might show resistance and didn't go beyond verbal abuses. It is interesting that the extremists avoided attacking men from the Caucasus whose interested were protected by powerful diasporas of the city; the extremists preferred to attack small traders from Central Asia.

On November 3, 2002 the nationalists cruelly beat another seller; the man survived over 20 stab wounds in different parts of the body and face. The same day the extremist group committed two more attacks of this sort. But the attacks soon become the groups demise. The backbone of the extremist group was detained, later the most active members of the group, including its leader, were arrested as well. In the framework of the investigation unsolved criminal cases on attacks at people from Central Asia were joined together. The Novosibirsk Prosecutor's Office became responsible for the investigation of the cases. During searches in the apartments of the suspects the investigators withdrew books publishes by the Russian National Unity (RNE), the extremist nationalist paramilitary movement, other propaganda literature and Hitler's Mein Kampf.

As the Novosibirsk Prosecutor's Office explained, when the investigation was completed the ordinary members of the extremist group were accused of participation in the criminal organization and the leader of the group was charged with organizing the extremist community. What is more, all the accused were charged with inciting ethnic hatred and enmity causing severe bodily injuries according to the RF Criminal Code clause 282, with organization of a criminal community and "banditism" causing severe bodily injuries. The people are incriminated in six attacks at people from Central Asia. The accused themselves admit only attacks and robbery. 

Konstantin Voronov

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