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Comment on human rights violations in the Russian Federation
25 March 2014 20:27

Regarding the continued attempts by the Russian Federation to spread fear among its citizens about the alleged threats to the Russian-speaking population or ethnic Russians in Ukraine, we urge the Russian Federation to cease inciting this hysteria, as it does not reflect the traditionally friendly nature of the relationship between our two nations and is based on fiction, slander and outright disinformation. 

We reiterate that there never was nor ever will be any basis for the Russian Federation’s occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which remains part of the territory of the sovereign Ukrainian state. After all, Russian occupation not only violates fundamental principles of international law, but also is contrary to the logic of international relations in the XXI century. 

Instead of wasting the efforts and resources of its citizens by intervening in the internal affairs of Ukraine, and spreading useless propaganda- a form of self-deception, attempting to negate the democratic heritage of the Ukrainian people and justify the brutal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, we suggest that official Moscow draws its attention to the growth of the manifestations of fascism, xenophobia, and ethnic discrimination in the Russian Federation. 

On November 4, 2013, “Unity Day”, in Moscow and in 100 cities across the Russian Federation, the traditional “Russian parades” were accompanied by displays of swastikas and symbols of SS divisions. 

According to information gathered by the analytical center “SOVA”, in 2013, twenty one people were killed and178 were injured at the hands of racists and Neo-Nazis, and 9 people received death threats. 

Last year, the attacks took place in 32 regions of the Russian Federation. The acts of violence, as in the past, are most common in Moscow (8 killed, 53 wounded) and St. Petersburg (3 killed, 32 wounded). Many victims lived in Lipetsk (4 dead, 15 wounded), Moscow and Chelyabinsk oblasts (8 injured in each), Krasnodar (7 wounded), Voronezh and Sverdlovsk oblasts (6 wounded in each). In addition, a significant number of victims lived in Novosibirsk and Omsk (5 wounded in each), the Samara oblast (4 wounded), and the Republic of Komi (4 wounded). 

Since the beginning of 2014, 14 people from six regions of the country were victims of xenophobic violence, 6 of which were killed, including one person from Uzbekistan who was killed in Moscow. 

Increasingly, the defacement with fascist swastikas and other acts of vandalism are being carried out on the monuments to Soviet soldiers and in public places.

According to the information of the analytical center “SOVA", in 2013, 136 attacks were committed on the basis of ethnicity, an increase of 25 cases when compared with the years 2011 and 2012. 

Three groups of victims are identified by ethnicity:

Group 1 - immigrants from Central Asia (13 killed, 45 injured);

Group 2 - natives of the Caucasus (3 killed, 26 injured);

Group 3 - unidentified people of a "non-Slavic appearance" (1 killed, 28 injured). 

There are also cases where attacks were accompanied by xenophobic slogans and on other  “ethnic outsiders" (7 victims). 

In Moscow and Chelyabinsk, one victim was a native of China, in St. Petersburg - an Enka girl, and in Chelyabinsk -  an ethnic Roma. 

Apart from the usual attacks on “outsiders", using lethal, non-lethal and other forms of weapons, last year the far right committed bombings and arson with racist motives: in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Lipetsk, several attempts (at least five) of arson and bombings of buildings, dormitories and other places inhabited by migrants. 

There has also been an increasing number of anti-Semitic acts. 

Right-wing groups distributed anti-Semitic literature, calls for pogroms appeared on blogs and social networks. 

On September 13, 2013 on the eve of Yom Kippur in the suburban train to the"Kraskovo" station of the Kazan railway (close to the famous synagogue in the Moscow oblast), a far-right group attacked a Jewish youth group, shouting slogans such as "Heil Hitler!  Holocaust!". 

This is not a even a complete list of the manifestations of intolerance, fascism and xenophobia which raise concerns in Ukraine and the civilized world.

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