Volgograd region

Possible conflicts

The tough authority position, being formed by public opinion, is fraught with inadequate actions even in case of an insignificant everyday conflict when hopes are put either in the conflict settlement by force or in adopting the stand of national-patriots.

  1. The most possible breakdowns are connected with anti-Gypsian moods and phobia in respect to the Caucasians and Central Asians by birth. The serious situation turns out for the Gypsy communities, being blamed for drug traffic. Smashing up the Gypsy encampment in the very center of Volgograd in 2001 by several dozens of skinheads with two Gypsies murdered and the arson of Gypsy houses in village Novostroyka of district Sovetsky are the links of one chain. The greatest disapproval is caused by Gypsy communities, residing in Day-gora area (Voroshilovsky district of Volgograd), and in the private sector of village Angarsky (Dzerzhinsky district of the city).

The attitude to the Chechens, residing in the region is extremely negative. The Chechens (their number makes up to 70 thousand persons in the region),”being the minority are rumored to play the role much more significant than their absolute number.” (V. Shumilin The Russians go away from the Volga, (http://regions.ng.ru/far/2000-09-05/1_uxodim.html)

The regional population remembers the events in the stanitsa (large Cossack village) Kletskaya, accident with Chechen KAMAZ, terroristic acts near the military town, the criminal incidents, where the Chechen representatives were involved. The attitude to the Chechens is well illustrated by the appeal sent to the RF President by the War- and Labor- veterans of Serafimovichesky district in defense of the Colonel Budanov. “People who defend the Motherland are always right”. In its turn, the Chechen community is anxious about providing the Chechen population’s rights in the region.

The relations between the local population and the Azerbaijan community, considering one of the most numerous and powerful in the region, are quite complicated. There is a point of view that the Azerbaijanians (their number makes up to 75- 80 thousand people) control the lion’s share of Volgograd commerce and public catering. (It is remarkable that the attitude to the Armenian diaspora is more reserved, though being less numerous, it can compete in economic and especially politic influence if not with the Chechen but with the Azerbaijan diaspora by no means.)

In their turn, the Azerbaijan leaders make claims against the registration difficulties. Besides, the community representatives complain of the prejudiced attitude to the Azerbaijans who sell in the markets on the part of the inspection authorities. (http://civilinform.hartiya.ru/?news/101159.html)

Anti-Semitism considerably yields to Anti-Caucasian and Anti-Asian phobia. However, in February 2002, the public opinion caused the original decision, delivered by Volgograd City Court on the case of the newspaper “Kolokol,” being accused of Nazism and famous far beyond the borders of the region.

The Court stated: “the newspaper publications were not related to Nazism but justly criticized such political appearances as Zionism, Masonry and Judaism.” The “Kolokol” editor-in-chief S. Terentyev published a letter to the deputy local Administration Head Y.I. Sizov, where he commented on the attempt to accuse him of provoking the international hatred. He declared: ”Kolokol” has again faced the fierce attempt to hide away the actions of Jewish Fascism (Zionism), the criminal results of which led to the Russian massacre all over Russia… The Jewish Fascism (Zionism) Struggles against the Russians who unmask the enemies of Russia and Russian population” (http://www.ijc.ru/adl/bull1.html)

In June 13, 2002, the district prosecutor’s officers informed the journalists of the details of the criminal suit initiated against the members of the war- patriotic club “Vityaz” a week before in connection with fomenting the ethnic, race and religious hatred. (http://www.shalom.omsk.su/news/r200206.shtml) In May the leaflet, appealing to kill a teacher was founded in one of the schools of Krasnoarmeysky district of Volgograd. The proclamation’s authors were teenagers, revealingly declaring the necessity to expatriate Jews, Asians and Caucasians from Russia. Cold weapon, propaganda literature and video production of nationalistic character were confiscated in many of them. An adult person guided the young Nazis. He carried out lessons of combat training, hand-to-hand fighting and told them that “Russia is led by Jews and non-Russians who must be expatriated or killed”.

2. Taking into account that lately the migration from the Central Asia has come to the foreground, considerably increasing that from the Transcaucasus, one can foresee the exacerbation of relations between the local population and Central Asian communities.

The area of the most possible breakdowns becomes the left bank of the Volga. There are charges of the too high growth rate of Kazakh share in the population’s total number of bordering areas of Volgograd region. For example, in Pallasovka district their growth rate is stated to increase from 25 to 50% for the last 2-3 years. It is rumored that annually thousand of peoples (including citizens of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) cross the “limpid” border, settle in the region, buy up lands and real assets. “The limpid” border creates many problems: smuggling, including narcotics, communicating untypical diseases – all these become headache for regional authorities.

3. The quantitative and qualitative strengthening of Moslem position (the representatives of “new minorities” – the Chechens, Azerbaijans and Kazakhs in the first place) radicalizes the local Muslims. It is stated that the fundamental moods are widely practised in the regional Tatar community. What is more, the radicals, often sincerely expressing their commitment to Vakhabism, try to compromise the traditional and loyal clergy and to supersede it by new-created extremist-type organizations. (V. Shumilin. The Russians go away from the Volga, (http://regions.ng.ru/far/2000-09-05/1_uxodim.html)

4. The illegal migration from abroad is potentially conflict. According to estimates of militia officers, the number of illegal foreign migrants from Vietnam, China, and Afghanistan, settling in Volgograd averages out 5- 7 thousand. As a rule, they are engaged in the market. The Asians – the Vietnamese, Laotians, etc. – behave themselves lest to attract attention. Many of them, especially the Vietnamese, try to become legalized.

For the time being, these ethnic groups remain in the shadow, but one cannot exclude that the national-patriotic youth will turn the attention to them: there were cases of assault and battery of the citizens of the developing countries by skinheads. According to the public prosecutor’s office and FSS data, in 1999 –2000 the skinheads committed more than 30 crimes in respect to foreign citizens in Volgograd region. Many of the juveniles, having committed crimes, were arrested and sentenced. Nevertheless, in spring of 2002, the skinheads intensified their activity. They beat up some foreign students in the Central and Voroshilovsky districts of Volgograd. Following a hot scene, five persons were seized. (http://www.shalom.omsk.su/news/r200206.shtml