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View Full Version : a black student in Moscow attacked by skinheads last Saturday



Milly
24-01-2005, 19:35
Russia overall is a pretty tolerant and hospitable country, but in Moscow, St-Petersurg and some other big cities racism is quite strong...
The day before yesterday I was going to the south of Moscow (where some people here say that there are plenty of blask students). One of black students entered the metro wagon where I was all bleeding. A second later a bunch of skinheads entered the same wagon and everybody understood that they were the reason of the black guy's injuries. A couple of passengers gave the guy some tissues and napkins so that he could wipe off his blood. None in the wagon dared to call the train driver cause everybody was scared of the skinheads. The next station the left the wagon and everbody thought that they left their victime alone. ut they just went to the next wagon. Women in the wagon started to think how to get the foreigner to the next medical center for first aid. The guy asked how he could call the ambulance, his Russian was very good and he was also holding a huge philospphy textbook in Russian. The next station the skinheads reentered the wagon and started beating the black guy and it was clear that they wouldn't stop till he is dead.
I tried to stand between the black guy and the skinheads, some other russian men tried to protect him and then skinheads started fighting the Russians. the entire wagon was fighting, women screaming. I ran to the radio conecting the wagon with the driver and said that there is a fight in the wagon. That's when I lost the black guy out of my sight. when I came back to the place where he sat before I saw that part of the wagon empty and suddenly saw a skinhead with a knife in his hand beating a Russian man who stood up for the black guy. The skinhead was beating the man and threatening him with the knife. The skinhead was so mad that he could put his knife into action any second. I tried to talk to him, just to calm him down a little and to distract him. At this moment we arrived to the next metro station where all the people rushed out from the wagon onto the platform. There was ONE 'militsia' guy against 6 or 7 skinheads. This looked ridiculous but I saw two skinheads running away, the rest of them disappeared. I stood in the door of the wagon till I saw that the black guy wasn't neither in the wagon, nor on the platform and that there were no skinheads waiting for him. I also saw the knife on the floor of the wagon. The Station supervisor came and picked up the knife. I asked her what they are going to do and she said that they can't do much as they have only militsioner (russian policeman) per station. I asked her if they would call the city police and she said no, cause "thay wouldn't come so quickly anyway". I came home about 20 minutes later and called the city police. I asked them if they had any calls regarding what had happened in the metro station, thay connected me with someone metro "general" guy hwo told me that they'd got a call, but "the info had not been confirmed" I said that I was the witness of the incident and that the skinheads would kill the black guy if they catch him and he said "we've checked several neighbouring stations, everything is clear. Thank you for calling".

I understood that the police doesn't care and I didn't know what to do next. The worst thing is that everybody will pretend that nothing happened and if nothing happened no actions have to be taken to stop it. And if none stops it, such thing will continue.

I should have asked the guy what country he was from, so that I could call his embassy at least, but I didn't. I forwarded this message to a couple of human right organizations, but have no reactions yet either. If you know what should and can be done to make our authorities act, please do it.

And if this black guy is still alive (which I really hope he is) I'll be happy to hear something from/about him. Knowing that he is alright just will make me feel much better.

Thanks a lot.

Jet
24-01-2005, 19:46
News like this breaks my heart. I grew up here as a sort of foreigner, but only lately things like these started to happen. I am ashamed and feel powerless. 6-7 m.... f.......s against one man.... just because he is black :( Animals don't do this kind of things

IRS_Runner
24-01-2005, 19:52
I'm sorry but can't provide you with any info about the poor guy :(
but do think it is great that people on the subway decided to stand up for him!

RIKO
24-01-2005, 23:47
If the authorities had the will to do something about this issue they could solve a lot of this skinhead violence very quickly. I was a front row witness to similar barbarity some months ago - riding the metro from Voykovskaya to Pushkinskaya around midnight one Thursday night. A group of around 20 of these morons went from car to car hunting people of Asian descent. An elderly guy sitting 2 feet away opposite me (looked like someone coming off shift from a restaurant) had his face kicked in by a skinhead, while the rest of then climbed in. They found and beat 6 or 7 people over the course of 5 stops. It was obvious that this group would ride that green line train all the way to the end and back again, and "cleanse" it of those they disliked. The rest of the carriage sat in fear and silence, and sadly, wisely so. I think everyone felt shocked and traumatised and helpless. These outings are not arbitrary, but are carefully planned by these groups. I believe the police could very easily position "busts" on these lines, and smash these young punks. This is not a sophisticated group but rather a bunch of idiots - infiltration would be a cinch. Somebody needs to capture some footage of one of these attacks and get it sold to one of the big Asian TV networks, and get some backlash going against Russia in those countries. Maybe only then will the authorities start showing any "concern". But I think even that is hoping for too much.

Claude Bottom
25-01-2005, 00:29
Whilst I really sympathise with the poor fella who was the victim in the original post, this is not solely a Russian matter. The same thing happened on the metro in London - my fiancee witnessed a racist attack, and I was coming back from work on the train a month back and saw something pretty similar.

There wasn't any violence in the incident I witnessed, but I was the only person in the carriage who went off (with a black woman and a (white) South African lady) - "Let's get this sorted out" I said, took them down to the ticket office and we got the station master to ring British Transport Police.

No one else in the carriage did anything. They were, of course, "suitably outraged" at home later, I expect. Well, there y'go, that's how it works. But it's not just a Russian problem.

Regarding the Militsiya, whilst I can't defend what they do, I would ask why someone who earns virtually nothing should actually *care* about the work he does, especially when there's the chance of him being stabbed or beaten - with probably no sick pay, either. And a wife and kids to provide for.

Yes, Russians are racist. In the same way that people in the UK are racist - the majority are decent people, in both countries, but not decent enough to get involved, and no, I didn't put my personal safety on the line, but if it came to trouble, may have done. That's just me. I don't know. Most people make big noises about not being racist, but ignore the problem. It's something they'd like to be thought of as being. A few people are racist by inaction - some are carelessly racist - some are actively racist and there's a few skinhead idiots in every country. You don't need a swastika tattoo and a close haircut to be a racist. Also, you don't need to be a badly paid policeman not to care.

So what's this post about ? A description of an incident ? They unfortunately happen everywhere. A reminder that the police everywhere don't care as much as we would like them to ? Most people don't care as much as we would want them to. The world is unfortunately not comprised of heroes. Not even the occasional one. Me included.

We all wish it was a perfect world, it's not. But if the post above is supposed to prove how racist Russia is and how louche the police there are....... it's the same the world over.

DPG
25-01-2005, 00:48
Originally posted by Claude Bottom
Regarding the Militsiya, whilst I can't defend what they do, I would ask why someone who earns virtually nothing should actually *care* about the work he does, especially when there's the chance of him being stabbed or beaten

Bollards!

How about pride in enforcing the law in your nation?

Patriotism?

Respect for the law and the freedom and safety it brings?

Desire to help people?

Wanting to make even a small difference?

If someome has the kind of attitude you mention above they should go and work in a produckti or sweep the metro platforms or something not take a job as a servant of the state and of its public.

Police in the UK for example earn a fairly decent salary by Russian standards (not just standards for Russian police either) - they also have an equal chance of being stabbed, beaten, shot, blown up etc - do they care about the work they do?

Too bloody right they do - money is not the reason they took the job in the first place...

jcookeman
25-01-2005, 01:33
I have no idea how I could sit there and watch that happen. BZ to you helping in any way you could.

Filimon
25-01-2005, 02:37
Originally posted by RIKO
Somebody needs to capture some footage of one of these attacks and get it sold to one of the big Asian TV networks, and get some backlash going against Russia in those countries. Maybe only then will the authorities start showing any "concern". But I think even that is hoping for too much.

So You propose to deal with one problem by creating another? What's the fault of the Russian families in Asian countries? That they are Russian? By the way, they ARE persecuted as it is, which is partly the reason for the violence back in Russia.

I agree with the rest. If the police had the will, they would have kicked these idiots into oblivion. OMON is renowned for hitting first, asking questions later. And that's the only language they understand!

trebor
25-01-2005, 03:12
People need to report these incidents everytime they happen. Unfortunately, people don't because they believe the police don't care enough do do anything and sometimes they are under strength to respond when they do.
However, as someone said its quite easy for the authorities to send people under cover and smash these gangs and if enough people report these incidents, perhaps they will.
That's how a lot of the maffia were culled years back.

Goose0009
25-01-2005, 09:19
Has anyone experienced these types of gangs not only attacking black and asians, but any foriegners regardless of race. Has any Expat's been involved in such activities.

Claude Bottom
25-01-2005, 09:57
"Bollards!

How about pride in enforcing the law in your nation?

Patriotism?

Respect for the law and the freedom and safety it brings?

Desire to help people?

Wanting to make even a small difference?"

DPG, most Enquiries here have mentioned two words in connection with the UK police - "Institutionally racist". I think you're describing a perfect world, there.....

boscoe
25-01-2005, 10:07
Originally posted by Claude Bottom
"Bollards!

How about pride in enforcing the law in your nation?

Patriotism?

Respect for the law and the freedom and safety it brings?

Desire to help people?

Wanting to make even a small difference?"

DPG, most Enquiries here have mentioned two words in connection with the UK police - "Institutionally racist". I think you're describing a perfect world, there.....

You're joking right???

Comparing the Russian Police’s attitude to race with that of the British Police is simply ludicrous - have you ever lived here???

I’m sure you will find somewhere that says the British Police are corrupt as well – try offering them a tenner next time you get stopped for speeding and see what happens!

DJ Biscuit
25-01-2005, 11:38
While there has been talk of and a report on 'institutional racism and corruption' especially in the Metroplitan force I think the key phrase here is 'talk of and a report on'. This issue IS taken seriously in Britain and the problem is recognised as a problem.

Observing police behaviour in the two countries in question, a luzury afforded me, I can say to compare the two is naive at least.

Plus we are talking of racism not only within the police but of the 'skinhead factor', a problem which Britain in the past also suffered, racism still exists, yes, but the scale here and there is a world apart. We dealt with it, moved on and continue to deal with it. A start has to be made somewhere.

Plus saying 'we have the same in England' does in no way justify it here or anywhere.

Remember the sitcom 'Love Thy Neighbour' or the comedians of the 70's with their racist 'jokes'? Well that's the norm here and only when it's recognised as racist and unacceptable will things change

Moscow Wolf
25-01-2005, 11:47
There is no easy answer to these problems anywhere. I don't believe that there is only one Militiaman located at every Metro station, there are at least two usually doing document checks inside every station and especially at the start and finish stations for removing drunks etc.

Survival is a basic human instinct and I can fully understand why anyone might be reluctant to get involved in the defense of a victim when you have a group of morons hell bent on violence. These guys were most probably 'high' on something and they simply don't know when to stop. I'm sure the one with the knife would've used it had he felt it necessary and, there were probably other concealed weapons in that group too.

Perhaps Moscow needs to implement a 'Guardian Angel' system like they have/had in New York. Although there are arguments whether or not this stops or provokes violence too.

I think that the answer lies in education and response. If you agree that the average travelling time between Metro stations is about 3 to 5 minutes then there must be an improved system of communication between the passengers (via the Intercom) the driver and the Metro Militia. It won't stop somebody getting killed or badly injured as 3 minutes being on the receiving end of a brutal attack is more than enough to kill someone, but at least the Militia might have a chance of arresting the attackers at the next station. Also, should our Cities be responsible for our safety on public transport? I think that they should and if there were a few legal claims and precedent cases of compensation then perhaps, local authorities would try to do something more positive.

I know that it is a sign of getting old, but when I look at the faces of some of these Militiamen on the Metro, I can't help thinking that they're boys just out of school. You can't blame them, (well you can but its pointless), its all in their pure training. Similar to the Army, there is not much pride left within their ranks. Its a part of Russian life, I'm sorry to say, but even so it is good to hear that some civilian passengers were at least prepared and did try to help the victim, putting their own lives at risk.

Just for balance I would add that the electric trains usually have two Militiamen travelling on them, but even there such attacks take place.

DPG
25-01-2005, 12:10
Originally posted by Claude Bottom
DPG, most Enquiries here have mentioned two words in connection with the UK police - "Institutionally racist". I think you're describing a perfect world, there.....

Someone once sent me an email telling me that every institution in he UK was institutionally racist...what rubbish.

Even if the Met DOES suffer from this plague, it is internally directed and manifests itself in recruitmant and promotion, not in their effectiveness to combat crime, something they do very effectively.

And if we aretaling police racism, Dave, if you ever get round to actually living here, you will see that if whatever watchdog that deemed the Met racist were to come here, they would have a bloody field day.

Nikki
25-01-2005, 12:15
Originally posted by Goose0009
Has anyone experienced these types of gangs not only attacking black and asians, but any foriegners regardless of race. Has any Expat's been involved in such activities.

UGH - posts like this make me nervous traveling on the metro - especially since I live off the GREENLINE!

I'd like to know the same thing Goose asked - any reports of those other than black and asian? Maybe highly unlikely since I blend in as a white american girl, but what about on american's in general - they would certianly find out I'm not russian if they try to talk to me - I can say about 4 words in russian..... :( :confused: :(

RIKO
25-01-2005, 13:31
Originally posted by Moscow Wolf
There is no easy answer to these problems anywhere. I don't believe that there is only one Militiaman located at every Metro station, there are at least two usually doing document checks inside every station and especially at the start and finish stations for removing drunks etc.

I think that the answer lies in education and response. If you agree that the average travelling time between Metro stations is about 3 to 5 minutes then there must be an improved system of communication between the passengers (via the Intercom) the driver and the Metro Militia. It won't stop somebody getting killed or badly injured as 3 minutes being on the receiving end of a brutal attack is more than enough to kill someone, but at least the Militia might have a chance of arresting the attackers at the next station.


In my incident, a whistle was sounded from the front of the train after the first assault. This was just laughed off by the skinheads who held open the doors while the gang returned from chasing the beaten individual up the platform. Clearly they had no concern about any police reaction, and held up the train at every station while others searched every car for Asian people.

Moscow Wolf
25-01-2005, 13:43
Originally posted by Nikki
UGH - posts like this make me nervous traveling on the metro - especially since I live off the GREENLINE!

I'd like to know the same thing Goose asked - any reports of those other than black and asian? Maybe highly unlikely since I blend in as a white american girl, but what about on american's in general - they would certianly find out I'm not russian if they try to talk to me - I can say about 4 words in russian..... :( :confused: :(

Nikki, sorry if I sound harsh or cold to the problem, but your chances of being attacked are about the same as being blown up on the Metro, I mean slim. Whatever happens, you must ry to get on with your life as usual, but observation and a little commonsense go a long way. Hence I don't read any English literature on the Metro at all, I try to avoid the late night trains out to distant stations although I can well afford the taxi above ground some might not be able to anyway, there are a different set of risks there too.

I'm not sure what the laws are now about foreigners carrying Gas/Pepper sprays, but I'd suggest that any woman should consider carrying one in her handbag. Just don't go spraying some innocent guy just wanting to ask the time! Be lucky.

DPG
25-01-2005, 13:48
Originally posted by Moscow Wolf
your chances of being attacked are about the same as being blown up on the Metro, I mean slim

LOL - It cracks me up the way you added "slim" just in case she wasn't sure!

Nikki - I would also advise just using common sense:

-Don't get into a carriage which is empty or where the only other people in it are a group of drunk young guys.
-Don't speak on your mobile in English.
-Know exactly where you are going and how to get there.
-If someone comes and talks to you and you don't want their attention, just walk away.
-I remember someone telling me "when in doubt sit next to a babushka" - probably good advice because they can be fierce!

Overall though, I would say that Americans aren't exactly top of the target list for these kinds of people...relax!!

DJ Biscuit
25-01-2005, 13:51
Originally posted by DPG
Overall though, I would say that Americans aren't exactly top of the target list for these kinds of people...relax!!

I still remember the time when they were.

All the above advice is good, and valid. I would add not only not to talk English on your mobile on the metro but simply not to have the 'phone visible.

Moscow Wolf
25-01-2005, 13:51
Only the ones in Stetsons and Cowboy boots!

DPG
25-01-2005, 13:52
But surely those ones would have a six-shooter on their belts anyway, hey Wolfie!?

Moscow Wolf
25-01-2005, 13:57
And a horse! lol.

jcookeman
25-01-2005, 20:52
http://www.movieactors.com/photos-60/jw2.jpeg

Goose0009
25-01-2005, 21:13
I Thought that was George Bush at first.

mpc
25-01-2005, 21:16
Being a blackman, an african for that matter, I had a first hand experience of the brutality of shinheads and the indifference of the most russians. I was attacked, beaten more than five times in moscow's metro, and life never made any sense to me then. I kept asking myself why all this hatred. And finally got the chance to leave Russia to the State, where I'm now learning not to be afraid of daylight and I'm still trying to overcome my psychological phobia of just being in a crowded environment.
Moscow was just akin to hell and I still dread my time there. I remained ever grateful to that good samaritan that tried to help that poor black guy. During my numerous attacks, I had asked my tormentors the reason blacks are being targeted, they said we are poor, filthy and a sort of second class human being-(((((((
I strongly believe that the entire expat should start speaking out now or a time will come when this brutality will spread to all foreigners - white, black or asian. Thing should be done now and very fast. I look forward to telling my stiory in details in the book that I'll write about my ordeal in moscow.
remained safe all

Claude Bottom
25-01-2005, 21:33
Originally posted by DPG
Someone once sent me an email telling me that every institution in he UK was institutionally racist...what rubbish.

Even if the Met DOES suffer from this plague, it is internally directed and manifests itself in recruitmant and promotion, not in their effectiveness to combat crime, something they do very effectively.

And if we aretaling police racism, Dave, if you ever get round to actually living here, you will see that if whatever watchdog that deemed the Met racist were to come here, they would have a bloody field day.

Whoa whoa, mate - I'm not comparing the Militsiya with the Met. Militsiya are a totally different kettle of fish. What I'm saying is that racism and police ineptitude exists the world over. Not a question of comparatives but a question of how it actually is.

Before you tell me how lovely UK police are, my fiancee is in law enforcement (not the Police) and I used to work with 'em in a roundabout manner. Ever been out for a drink with a copper ? Nope, they're not in the same league as the Militsiya, but - is the argument "Oh, he's only a bit racist" one that holds water ? Nope.

What I AM saying is that it is not a perfect world everywhere. As for the UK curing skinhead racism, wish you'd told that to the drunken skinhead on the train TONIGHT here in the UK, shouting his head off and abusing the passengers. In leafy Kent, not an inner city.... bollards back, mate ! ;-)

Ever heard of the BNP ? Combat 18 ?

Nope, won't be ever living in Russia, shame, but - there y'go ! :D

Nikki
26-01-2005, 00:48
Thanks guys! I already do all of the things you listed above, so feeling better........

Nice to know me being attacked as well as a bomb is 'slim'

:p ;) ;)

Goose0009
26-01-2005, 01:13
I am going to live in Yarolslavl. Is the skin head movement everywhere in Russia or just Moscow.

tbill
26-01-2005, 02:09
After reading this story the first thing i thought was the Guardian Angels (Great minds thing alike MW:D )

If this is a fairly common phenomenon a group of 10 or more citizens traveling the metro would do a lot of good. I do not know if pepper spray is illegal but it is a very effective way to immobilize a group of people. In a Metro car it would hit take out everybody. (Which might be a good thing if there are 20 skinheads) I would hate to have been in your situation Milly because I would have probably gotten myself killed. I hate skinny white punks.

If anybody knows what the law is concerning pepper spray let us know. I want to to start carrying this ASAP. Also, if anyone wants to to start a Guardian Angel type group, provided law enforcement doesn't nix the idea, I am definitely game. I would not do anything like GAs without police approval. I am afraid that the press in this country and the attitude of too many citizens towards dogooding expats would not keep us out of prison if we did any harm to one of these scum sucking little pink F***s.

jcookeman
26-01-2005, 02:22
http://www.vigilanteho.com/comics/20041210.jpg

Jet
26-01-2005, 18:01
Russia, Moscow in particular had a wide spread practice of the likes of GAs, it was called "druzhinniki", and it was institutionalized. Today in Russia, here and there, good citizens who are fed up with this wave of violence try to get organize and to protect themselves, but there is no real motivation in the time of individualism.

I grew up here, I think I know how to defend myself, but the subway situation is largely hopeless: escape routes are very limited (skinheads sweep the train wagons, so they appear quickly as the doors close, if you didn't jumped out before them, you are f...d). There are very few people out there that can withstand an attack of five men, let alone six or seven...

So, I try to use metro as little as possible. On the other hand, if it is written for you to get your arse kicked inside the metro - it will happen regardless of how often you use the metro.

Milly
26-01-2005, 19:39
Hi all!

Thanks a lot for all you've expressed here. Nice to see that not everybody is indifferent to the problem.

Just some comments to some of your posts.

1. The horrible thing is that the skinheads from the story were NOT drunk or high on anything. They were absolutely aware of what they were doing. I understand that a bunch of drunk strong young guys doesn't need to be skinheads to get in a fight, and that wouldn't bother me tht much. But those people were acting very calmly (except for that guy with the knife), and seemed to be a very organized group, they new how to react in any situationand what to do in order not to let the victime escape.

2. No doubt that our militia have enough capability to handle racism cases. But the point is that cases of racial vilonence are not their priority, and it is so, cause there are no or very few reports of such cases, and if there are no reports, there is no problem, if there is no problem, no action needs to be taken. No action taken - the situation persists.

3. This case got to the State Duma !!! and will be reported suring its meeting on xenophobia and racism the end of this week!!!
And although I know this won't change much in an instant, this is already a little victory :)

Best to all!