Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 31 March 2004

The chilling face of xenophobia in Russia

An Afghani has died in a Moscow hospital after, apparently, having been severely beaten by a gang of Russian skinheads a week ago. According to a nationwide poll carried out by St Petersburg University's social studies institute, reported in this BBC story:

- one in three young Russians describe themselves as nationalists

- one in 10 of the 16- to 19-year-olds said they would take part in "nationalistic pogroms" if paid to do so

Pogroms have been a sporadic feature in Russia and Eastern Europe for many centuries; the only period, so far as I am aware, free of this curse was during the period of Communist rule, although there were other kinds of brutality practised throughout that period. The victims this time around may be different, but the sentiments which drive the perpetrators (as the picture in the artilce I link to illustrates) remain just the same.

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