A TANGLED WEB:By Danila Galperovich
The appearance on Russian websites of a video recording showing the apparent murder of two men alleged to be Tajik and Daghestani has sparked a firestorm among Russia's Internet users -- and a fairly modest response from its law-enforcement organs. The official sites of the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, and the Prosecutor-General's Office offer no information about investigations into the murders and a search for the perpetrators.
Links to the video first appeared on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12. Twenty-four hours later, the links no longer worked. By then, however, the recording had become one of the 30 most-viewed recordings on the blogosphere, according to the Russian Internet portal and search engine Yandex. Internet chat sites were dominated by discussion of the video -- among nationalists and ordinary users alike.
Internet users calling themselves defenders of the white race or Russian nationalists are continuing to discuss who and what's behind the video. The members of one fascist Internet community have expressed the opinion that the recording is a provocation, posted in order to give the state a pretext to put pressure on nationalist groups. Internet users less inclined toward analytical efforts said simply they hoped to see more such films soon.
Still another group, the National Socialist Society, opined: "From the moment Vladimir Putin called supporters of the 'Russia for Russians' slogan idiots and provocateurs, to the moment when the same Vladimir Putin said -- mumbling and with stipulations, but still -- something about the role of Russians in forming the state, not much time had passed."
It seems many of these web-savvy Nazi supporters are confident that many in law enforcement and the special forces already secretly share their point of view -- and that there's no point in provoking their anger now by criticizing them on the web.