A popular uprising that turned into a pogrom

Following a brawl between Russian and Chechen mafia, a popular assembly adopted a fascist resolution for a pogrom. A later anti-fascist attack on fascist leaders resulted in several arrests.

Submitted by libcom on October 4, 2006

On August 29th, a row began in a café, 'Chayka', in Kondologa, Russia. The fight was between drunken local youths and the Chechen criminal group, which ran the cafe.

During the brawl, members of the Chechen gang shouted "Allah Akbar" (God is great). A number of passers-by were injured in the disturbance, and by the end of the fighting, two gang members had been killed and eight other people injured. During the next few days, much of the adult population of the city people gathered in the central square of the city. 2,000-3,000 people participated in these spontaneous assemblies. The main resolution agreed was "to cleanse the city of blacks during the next 24 hours".

As a result of the conscious manipulation of the people by mass media during last 15 years, opinion that social problems have nationalist solutions has become widespread in the society. Nobody raised the point, that if the Chechen mafia were kicked out of the city, then the Russian mafia would simply take their place. Other regional cities like Dolgoprudniy and Sverdlovsk have Russian mafia presence, and they also continue to stagnate. Everywhere things remain the same - misery, unemployment, alcoholism - industries, schools, hospitals and housing in disarray.

In Kondopoga, the local bourgeoisie and traders had a powerful influence on the general assembly. Often one heard calls to buy products only from Russian traders. This resulted in a collective demand of denying Caucasians all places of trade in the city. During meetings one also heard complaints of bad treatment of Russian workers by Chechen employers - apparently these had some basis. But unfortunately no-one reminded the meeting of countless cases of brutal and humiliating treatment of Russian employees by Russian employers: wages unpaid for years, work during freezing winter in unheated shops, electricity blackouts in housing, schools and hospitals, industries bought by Russian bandits dismantled, resulting in millions of people laid off. After the meeting, days of rioting followed, people of Caucasian origin were indiscriminately attacked, their homes and business ransacked and burned. A group of young people also burned down cafe 'Chayka'.

A group that plays a crucial role in channelling popular protest in a nationalist direction is DPNI (DvijenieProtiv Nelegalnoy Immigratsiy, Movement Against Illegal Migration, dpni.org). They have managed to unite many far-right tendencies under a "single issue", and seemingly moderate banner. Although DPNI attempts to maintain a moderate image, it has links to underground groups organising racist terror. Events in Kondopoga have inspired DPNI and other far-right groups to spread hate in other parts of Russia. But not without resistance.

On Sunday 17th September, anti-fascists from St. Petersburg attacked a picket of DPNI calling "for defence of Kondopoga inhabitants" at Pioneer Square. Antifa took the fascists by surprise, outnumbering them perhaps 40 to 30. Most of the fascists fled and few showed resistance. Thus at once fascists felt how it is to be hunted instead of a hunter. After one minute, the fight was over and the fascists dispersed.

Unfortunately the police managed to arrest many people in the area, two of them (19 year old Igor Malyshev and 21 year old Igor Kuzmichov) are facing felony charges. The police tried to extract a confession from Malyshev by cruelly beating him.

Currently Kuzmichev has been released under oath of staying in St. Petersburg, Malyshev has been transferred to infamous St. Petersburg remand prison Kresty. Malyshev can't receive letters, since they are not allowed in Russian remand prisons. However funds for legal costs of Malyshev and Kuzmichov are urgently needed, you can send money to the account below in dollars or euro.

Bank name: Branch "Severnaya stolisa" Of ZAO Raiffeisenbank Austria In the city St. Petersburg
Bank address: Moika embankment. 36, St. Petersburg, 191186 Russia
Account number: 40817840803000221211
Account holder: Koreckij Dmitrij Aleksandrovich