Human rights activists are alarmed by the growth of nationalist hate crimes in Russia. Since the beginning of 2005, over 100 people have been attacked. 14 of them were killed and 92 injured, Interfax reported Tuesday.
“This year we have registered more than 100 attacks motivated by ethnic hatred,” the deputy head of Sova, a leading public opinion analysis centre, said.
“In these attacks, 92 people were injured and 14 killed,” Galina Kozhevnikova said.
Most nationalist crimes are committed in Moscow and St. Petersburg, she added.
“In Moscow alone nine people have been killed in attacks since the beginning of this year, and 35 have been beaten up. In St. Petersburg two people have died and 17 received injuries,” Kozhevnikova said
Before we Americans start riding our high-horse, we have the following statistics from Hate-Crime.net:
HATE CRIME STATISTICS - United States
The most recent available hate crimes statistics compiled by the FBI are for the year 2003 antagonism toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability prompted crimes against 9,100 victims during 2003. Hate Crime Statistics, 2003, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, includes data aggregated from hate crime reports submitted by local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation. The report documents 7,489 bias-motivated incidents, which include 8,715 separate offenses.
It is important to note that reporting by law enforcement is voluntary and it is widely believed that hate crimes are seriously under-reported.
Law enforcement agencies reported 5,517 offenses as crimes against persons, which accounted for 63.3 percent of reported hate crimes in 2003. Investigators determined that 3,139 offenses, 36.0 percent of reported hate crimes, were crimes against property. Fifty-nine offenses (0.7 percent) were crimes against society”. Racial bias motivated more than half (52.5 percent) of the 8,706 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in 2003. Religious bias and sexual orientation bias each accounted for 16.4 percent of all reported single-bias hate crimes reported. Ethnicity/national origin bias prompted 14.2 percent of offenses, and disability bias spurred 0.5 percent of bias-motivated offenses”. For the 2003 report, law enforcement identified 9,100 victims of 8,715 criminal offenses within 7,489 separate incidents”.
While we don't have comprehensive statistics for Russia, and the US population is twice the size of the Russian Federation - it is clear that hate crimes are not a strictly Russian phenomenon. About the most marked thing you can say about what is occuring in Russia, is the murder rate related to hate crimes appears to have climbed sharply. It also stands in strong contrast to a society that, in general, is not as violent as the United States. That is not to say that Russian crime is non-violent - it is simply that US crime is phenomenally violent.