Monday, April 1, 2024

Xenophobic Rhetoric hasn’t Let to Dramatic Increase in Attacks on Migrants and Non-Russians but Could Easily Do So Overnight, Kim Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 27 – In the wake of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, xenophobic rhetoric in the Russian media has risen to new heights; but so far, it has not led to a radical increase in the number of physical attacks on migrant workers and non-Russians, Aleksandr Kim says.

            Those attacks which have occurred do not appear to be organized by the authorities, the human rights expert who specializes in combatting xenophobia says; but “this does not mean that they will not become so tomorrow” (

            “In Russia at the present time,” Kim continues, “an apartheid regime has actually developed and to formalize it, the authorities would need very little time if they decide that they need such a regime,” one that could lead to the expulsion of migrant workers from Central Asia and new repression against other minorities.

            In recent years and especially since Vladimir Putin’s expanded invasion of Ukraine began in 2022, there has been “a serious increase” in nationalist and racist attitudes among Russians, the activist says. And he argues that this trend “will continue given that it is consistent with the general direction Russian policy has been taking.”

            Given that, Kim concludes, “the only way for migrants from Central Asia to protect themselves is not to come or remain in Russia.” It is simply “too dangerous” for them there now. Unfortunately, although he does not speak to it in this article, other non-Russians generally lack the chance to do the same.

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