Russian Neo-Nazis Killed 71 in Racist Attacks in 2009

Racist neo-Nazis in Russia killed 71 people in 2009, according to reports from Sky News (h/t: Hope not Hate). A group known as “Slavic Union,” is intent on eliminating anyone who appears to be “non-Russian” from Russia, including through violent attacks. A leader of the group, Dmitry Dyomushkin, says that he is interested in cultivating a “respectable image” for himself and the group, claiming that 60% of Russian citizens support the groups’ goals. However, he asserts that “even with this majority we are not allowed to be part of the political process because the government has squeezed out opposition.The whole new generation of Russians are nationalists – our influence on young people is very strong.” This short video clip (3:16) about the group is chilling:

This news story also mentions that the neo-Nazi group has made digital videos of their attacks on immigrants and posted them online. Despite this bold move, no one has been arrested in this attack. This form of cyber racism, which seems to be characteristic of Russian neo-nazis, is one that I highlighted a couple of years ago on this blog. In 2007, CurrentTV featured a story called “From Russia with Hate,” about neo-nazis in Russia who are filming racist attacks on immigrants, then posting these digital videos online.

The rise of neo-Nazi violence in Russia, and the use of digital video to publicize their racist violence, is an alarming trend that warrants our attention.


  1. jwbe

    I know that my opinion isn’t very welcome here but I ask you to only post about issues you have actual knowledge about.
    I dont believe that it is a positive thing in terms of antiracism to present problems of another country without giving context. You just present what you find without actual knowledge, this I also realized in your comment about Switzerland. What you do is sensationalism.
    This for the average American reader without any understanding about the ‘rest of the world’ and only interested in occupation and exploitation (regardless how you call this otherwise). So the result can be the oposite of your ‘intention’, even if you are not able to understand this.

    If you want to truly educate your American friends about racism in other countries, why just don’t ask people, anti-racists, of these countries if they would write an article for your blog? You are also a member of facebook, so seriously, whats your problem with globally connecting with anti-racists or people fighting for human rights?
    Because this is the other side of facebook, it may offer room for white supremacists but also for those affected by it or fighting against. ‘Counter-framing’ – something that also happens on facebook. Ever noticed?
    This could also help educating yourself how deeply you are stuck in your (white) American perspective.
    And I hope that you will at least read this comment and think about it even if you won’t publish it.
    Don’t be afraid, I won’t discuss with you

  2. marandaNJ

    I always find it ironic how a German expatriot from a country responsible for 2 World Wars and the deaths of hundreds of millions of innocent civilians, is always trying to teach us “exploitative” Americans how to live. Germany is synonymous with exploitation and occupation. And Big Time Denial also!

  3. Kristen

    I for one appreciated this post and find jwbe’s comment overly hostile. I think the point made about trying to get a Russian antiracist to write a blog is a good idea, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the ideal case, and it doesn’t mean no American has the right to post a brief blog and video clip.
    And yeah, that video is scary – and these groups are worth knowing about and seeking more information and understanding about.

    • jwbe

      >JwBE, your comment does not point out what is wrong with the data in the post. Could you please critique it with some data and urls to enlighten our readers?

      No, because already how you put this question indicates that your white American perspective feels insulted and therefore defensive and not truly interested, I realize that you didn’t get my point.
      To ‘enlighten’ the (white) American it needs more than just data, it needs willingness and being open to a different, non-American perspective, something this site does not indicate, and therefore I asked you/this site, not to post about issues you don’t have true understanding, this would be a respectful thing to do, but of course I can understand when white Americans are irritated when they are asked to be respectful.

  4. Sparky

    I don’t like the idea of americans commenting on russian racism simply because the very definition of racism, and even the definition of whiteness, is different in russia. In order to really understand it one must live in russia for some time and obtain the ability to see things from a russian perspective and think in russian. What is happening in russia would be better described to american as ultra-nationalism rather than racism, due to the fact that the “racist” attacks are not limited to people of colour but are committed against anyone who is seen as a threat to “russianness”, including caucasians (people from the caucasus), muslims, jews, and white people from countries which are seen as russophobic, such as america or germany.

  5. marandaNJ

    @ Sparky: I just read your comment and found it certainly gives a fresh perspective on this topic of racism within different countries. The definition of racism varies within countries. True enough. “The undesirable group” is perceived differently by different groups.

  6. Jessie Author

    Nationalism and racism are different, yet frequently overlap, intersect and map onto one other in complex ways. If you’re interested in reading more about this, I recommend the (late) historian George Fredrickson’s book, The Comparative Imagination: On the History of Racism, Nationalism and Social Movements (University of California Press), and the more recent book by PHCollins, From Black power to hip hop: racism, nationalism, and feminism (Temple University Press).
    What’s interesting to me about the Russian instance (as reported), is the way that this form of racism diverges from Russian nationalism. Those familiar with WWII history will recall that Russia fought *against* the German Nazis, and it is ironic that now those in the “Slavic Union” are defending both a hyper-nationalist view of Russia while simultaneously using a “Heil Hitler”-Nazi salute. In many ways, this illustrates what Les Back refers to as “translocal whiteness” – an affiliation around whiteness that extends beyond national boundaries. I also develop this notion further in my book, Cyber Racism.
    I’m a scholar-activist with a blog about racism, not a reporter or a journalist. I don’t claim to do “on the ground reporting” about any of the news stories I report on here (except the occasional protest that happens here in NYC that I attend). If any one reading here doesn’t like the views expressed, you’re welcome to look elsewhere in the blogosphere.


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