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Friday, October 06, 2006

More Evidence of Russian Racism Gone Amok

EnglishRussia carries the above photograph, which it says depicts campaign billboards displayed on a building in the major city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. The top banner reads "Russia for Russians" while the lower one reads "For Democracy! For Russian Power!"

A commenter notes: "'russia for russians (russkiye)' is both xenophobic and ultranationalistic, because RF defines itself as a multinational state. if it were 'russia for russians (rossiya dlja rossiyan)', it would be okay."

La Russophobe has already discussed the issue raised by the commenter. In the "Russia for Russians" banner, the word Русский ("ROO-skee") is used instead of the word Российский ("RAH-see-skee") to express the idea of "Russian" and there is a big difference. The first means "Slavic Russian" and the second means "Russian by law." So what the poster is really declaring is "Russia for Slavs Only." Though the commenter is standing against racism to some extent, it's hard to see how making the change he requests would resolve the matter. Then, "Russia for Slavs Only" would become "Russia for Russian Citizens Only," formalizing Russian xenophobia and justifying attacks on all dark-skinned vistors to the country, including the killing of foreign students. Yet, the commenter is a clear liberal among Russians, quite a scary notion indeed.

And remember, this isn't some grafitti spray-painted on a wall by a skinhead. This is a campaign poster for high office in a city that is nowhere near the troubles with Chechnya and has never had a significant terrorist incident. It's the third largest city in Siberia, with a population of nearly 1 million. If the local political leaders are willing to be this blatantly racist in public, can you imagine how racist they're capable of being in private? Is it any wonder that dark-skinned foreigners, including many college students, have been brutally murdered across the country, if this is the official line on race relations?


Cyrill said...

Thank you for keeping on the subject. Here is more food for thought: the Russian-Georgian meltdown is spreading into ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Russia

See my blog for more details

La Russophobe said...

Thanks, and thank you for your reports from Ground Zero. I've cross-posted and linked your material.

The pace and amount of poison in these events surprises even La Russophobe. How quickly the sun can disappear from the sky! Clearly you are right in saying this is a major crisis, very dangrous, and could signal the beginning of the end for Russia as we know it.

Anonymous said...

This is Hector,

This is another example of the results of Yeltsin's counter-revolution: Russian Chauvinism. But its ok, as long as Russia remains "free and democratic".