Accessibility links

Russian Ombudsman Condemns Hate Crimes --> Human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin (file photo) (epa) April 3, 2006 -- Russia's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, today accused members of Russian law-enforcement agencies and individual regional leaders of covering up and condoning racially motivated violence.

Lukin was commenting on the attacks by skinheads in Moscow on April 1 on the culture minister of Kabardino-Balkaria, Zaur Tutov, and on April 3 on NTV journalist Elkhan Mirzoyev, who is from the North Caucasus.

Tutov was attacked by 15-20 men, who, he said, shouted racist slogans. Mirzoyev was beaten up in a central Moscow metro station by a gang of men and women who told him he had no place in Russia.

Lukin praised the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office for its April 3 decision to order Moscow prosecutors to reclassify the attack on Tutov, labeling it as a hate crime rather than hooliganism.

Moscow prosecutors had initially said there was no evidence to suggest the attack was racially motivated.

There has been a surge in racially motivated attacks in Russia in recent years, many of them directed against people from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Critics of Russia's law-enforcement agencies say they often treat racially motivated attacks as random violence and that this is encouraging a feeling of impunity among extremist groups.

(Interfax, AFP, AP)

Epidemic Of Hate

Yusuf Sultonov, whose 9-year-old daughter was beaten and stabbed to death in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2004 (TASS)

EXTREMISM ASCENDANT: More than half of Russians have xenophobic views, according to a report published in August 2005. In the report, rights groups say that -- despite progress in some areas -- racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism remain rife in Russia. But what worries watchdogs most are recent moves by nationalist-patriotic movements to form paramilitary groups....(more)


A Timeline Of Recent Racial Incidents

Russian Ombudsman Condemns Hate Crimes

Hate Crime Trial Highlights Mounting Racism

Minister Says Russia Can't Stop Xenophobia Alone

For African Students In Russia, Affordable Education Comes At A Price


To view an archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Russia, click here.


For a regular review of civil-society developments throughout RFE/RL's broadcast region, subscribe to "RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies."

RFE/RL IN RUSSIAN: Visit RFE/RL's Russian-language website, featuring news, analysis, features, streaming audio, and more in Russian, courtesy of RFE/RL's Russian Service.