RealNews

Extremism, Xenophobia Rising in Russia

Semyon Tokmakov stretches out his hand and points to a thick scar he got from assaulting a black U.S. Marine six years ago. The attack cost him 1 1/2 years in jail, but Tokmakov says he has no regrets. “We are waging a racial holy war,” said Tokmakov, 28, an informal leader among Moscow’s skinheads, whose violence appears to be rising. Over the last several years, Russia has become a strikingly hostile place for all those with African, Asian or so-called Caucasian features — the dark skin and dark hair typical for the peoples of the mountainous Caucasus region. The U.S. Marine was badly beaten in 1998 in a Moscow market, one of several foreigners targeted in recent years. The last few months have seen an especially shocking series of brutal racial attacks, such as the stabbing of a Guinea-Bissau student in the central Russian city of Voronezh, the killing of an Afghan asylum seeker in Moscow, and the slaying of a 9-year-old Tajik girl in St. Petersburg by suspected skinheads. Full Story

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