Russian Hate Crimes on the Rise
G-8 member Russia had already experienced nearly as many race-motivated murders as in all of 2006, and was on pace to record over 120 such killings — that’s one every three days — a stunning 50% jump compared to 2007. For contrast, in 2006 there were only three race-based murders in the U.S., a nation with twice Russia’s population and a far larger population of racial minorities.
The news was grimmer still in Russia’s capital city of Moscow. In 2004 the city accounted for only 36% of national race murders, but in 2007 it was responsible for 57%. In 2004 there were 18 race killings in the capital but by 2007 the number had nearly tripled, to 48, and Moscow had already experienced 36 race killings in just the first six months of this year, on pace to exceed 2007’s total by 50% or more.
A few days ago, the Moscow Times added more disturbing details: “The number of hate crimes committed in Moscow has exploded this year, rising sixfold compared to the same period last year.” In other words, for every victim of lethal race violence there are dozens of others who are lucky enough to escape with their lives. Heaven only knows how many such incidents go unreported out of fear of corrupt — and racist — police officers.
Given Russia’s reputed economic ascendancy, this startling explosion of race violence appears to make little sense. One would think that with better economic times, there would be less incentive for the Slavic majority to lash out at racial minorities. But in fact, where Russia is concerned, common sense rarely carries the day.
(….) The Moscow Times explains the consequences of this crisis: “Forecasts estimate that the country’s work force will fall by eight million over the next seven years and by up to 19 million by 2025, Russian demographers said in a recent UN-sponsored report. Between 2010 and 2014, the work force will decrease by 1.3 million per year, the report said. In the first four months of this year, the work force was down 300,000 on the same period last year, the State Statistics Service said.” It quotes Yevgeny Yasin of the Higher School of Economics: “This problem is greater than any other facing us over the next 10 years. In reality, the Putin-era policies were for the most part a step backward, so that hasn’t given much cause for hope.”
Also related with Russian demographic problems: Islam in Russia.