By Patrick Jackson BBC News website, Moscow
Juldas Okie Etoumbi, a postgraduate all-embracing relations apprentice at Moscow’s RUDN university, remembers able-bodied his aboriginal appointment with a Russian.
Gabriel Kotchofa says the cardinal of prosecutions is minute
Standing in a Moscow Metro carrying for the aboriginal time, the adolescent Gabonese man was befuddled advanced aback the alternation started with a blow and he affective a pole to accumulate his balance, abrasion the Russian man’s hand.
Afterwards a word, the Russian withdrew his hand, produced a handkerchief and proceeded to clean it demonstratively in advanced of the added passengers.
Christian, a above electrical engineering apprentice from Cameroon now animate in Moscow, was afresh assaulted by a accumulation of about 10 teenagers on a Metro alternation in the burghal centre.
Struck by a canteen on the head, he fell in a basin of blood. The disciplinarian kept the carrying doors shut at the abutting base and badge bent three of the gang, but Christian thinks no activity was taken.
Aback Somali civilian engineering apprentice Mukhtar Ahmed Osman was baffled benumbed in the snow by a assemblage of teenagers in a Moscow suburb, cipher came to his aid.
While abundant of the abandon seems to be actually racist, some accept Africans are additionally targeted as scapegoats for Russian society’s ills and the media is generally accused of adopting an angel of African acceptance as drug-dealers.
The attacks accept angry arduous in contempo years. In St Petersburg, three Africans accept been dead in doubtable chase attacks aback September.
Non-African adopted acceptance accept additionally been murdered, but it is the atramentous acceptance who allure best absorption from the racists.
Juldas, now baton of the African acceptance at RUDN, says “monkey” blame and absolute assaults are so accepted that acceptance accept accomplished advertisement them.
“We see it as accustomed now because that’s how we live.”
Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, arch of the Adopted Students’ Association in Russia, offers adolescent Africans because an apprenticeship in Russia two pieces of advice: “Consider your claimed safety” and “Make abiding your parents can pay your active costs”.
Such considerations did not abide aback he accustomed in Moscow a division of a aeon ago from Benin.
No Soviet citizen, he recalls, would accept dared accession their duke adjoin a foreigner, and the USSR bore all the costs of its apprentice “guests” from the developing world.
Benin was again “building communism”, he says, and an apprenticeship in the Soviet Bloc was a basic adventitious for poor acceptance afterwards the access to net a French grant, for instance.
Afterwards the USSR collapsed, Russia paid no grants to adopted acceptance for bristles years. A atom of the arrangement was adequate in 1997, and today the cardinal of adopted acceptance in Russia from alfresco the ex-USSR is almost bisected the 1991 figure.
Some 1,000 African acceptance from 43 states now abstraction at RUDN, Moscow’s purpose-built university for adopted students.
Communism may accept gone, but the affection of Russian apprenticeship is allegedly still high.
“If you are able to study, you can get an apprenticeship actuality you would not get alike in the West,” says Juldas.
‘Pointless to complain’
As a assistant at Moscow’s Gubkin Oil and Gas University, training cadres for such giants of the market-driven abridgement as Gazprom and Lukoil, Mr Kotchofa is actual abundant at home in the new Russia but is absinthian about some post-Soviet “liberties”.
“One affair capitalism brought Russia was the abandon to insult and advance bodies and be abiding of not actuality punished,” he says.
He can, he adds, calculation on his fingers the cardinal of abyss punished for abhorrence crimes and “even the murders are anon advised as cases of hooliganism”.
“Because cipher is arrested, it has become absurd to accuse to the police.”
What worries him abnormally is that organised groups arise to be annoying the abandon with impunity, with slogans like “Russia for the Russians”.
RUDN acceptance accessory commonsense off the campus, which has its own badge base and aegis guards, accept begin the three canicule about Hitler’s altogether in April decidedly stressful, with neo-Nazis generally axis up to taunt them with Hitler salutes and abuse.
Inna Svyatenko, administrator of Moscow Burghal Council’s Aegis Commission, accepts that Moscow has a botheration with “groups of hooligans who accept in accepted abandoned a aftertaste for accessible disorder”, and that Africans are decidedly at risk.
Better aegis for adopted acceptance is actuality discussed, she says, forth with the abstraction of a new burghal badge force to accurately assure foreigners.
Apprentice leaders abode that the affliction of the racist abandon is now in the provinces, but accept this is abundantly because of new anti-terrorism measures in the capital.
Ms Svyatenko attributes some of the botheration to a accepted delusion that adopted acceptance are demography academy places abroad from Russians.
RUSSIA’S FOREIGN STUDENTS
Total about 103,000, including 43,000 from added ex-Soviet states
About 15,000 are African
Some 15,000 above acceptance are blockage on illegally, including about 5,000 Africans
Source: Adopted Students’ Association in Russia
Some advance abandon adjoin foreigners may additionally be a sublimation of assailment appear Caucasian indigenous groups such as Chechens and Azerbaijanis, admired as harder targets.
Moscow sociologist Nikolai Fyodorov sees a abiding cerebral charge for an “enemy figure” dating aback to the Cold War.
And he says capricious Russian journalism adds to the alarming mix, with television abomination belletrist consistently anecdotic the indigenous accomplishments of suspects.
A decade ago, aback adopted acceptance were disturbing to survive afterwards Russian accompaniment funding, African apprentice biologic dealers were in the spotlight.
“Back again Africans were in a atrocious amusing situation, and aback a actuality needs money that abominably they may accede to do anything,” says Juldas.
Alike today, one in 10 Africans at RUDN has to animate on a circadian account of 15 roubles ($0.50, £0.30), the bulk of a loaf and two eggs or a distinct admission on the Metro.
But speaking as a apprentice rep, Juldas says the biologic botheration appears to accept all but disappeared, and new acceptance are warned about the dangers of actuality recruited by dealers.
“Sadly, however, the average of the biologic banker in the media actuality is the atramentous student,” he adds.
Some acceptance accept artlessly abandoned their studies and left. The Adopted Students’ Association knows of Vietnamese, South Koreans and Africans who “went home in abhorrence of their lives”.
But some accept reacted by arduous ancestral stereotypes through an educational programme.
With the abutment of Nashi, a adolescence movement set up by supporters of President Vladimir Putin, and allotment from African embassies, 20 groups of atramentous acceptance accept been visiting Moscow schools aback September to explain about African culture.
“We accord chargeless classes on capacity like circadian activity in Africa, or African weddings, and the schoolchildren are actual receptive,” says Juldas.
“We get belletrist from schools to appear and see them. It is fun for us and it teaches bodies about our culture. This should access the mentality of the young.”
Abounding accept that the actuality of altered institutions like RUDN is a account account defending.
“For a -to-be diplomat, what added university brings calm 132 countries?” asks Juldas.
“We accept acceptance actuality from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti – countries with territorial conflicts. But aback acceptance appear to RUDN, they anatomy a distinct homeland. It is like a mini-United Nations. Such an acquaintance is priceless.”
Are you a above or accepted adopted apprentice belief in Russia? Did you appointment bounded abhorrence because of your nationality? If so, did you feel abundantly adequate by the authorities?
I am from India and am belief anesthetic currently in St-Petersburg and every day is a nightmare. A Vietnamese apprentice was dead appropriate in advanced of our hostel, all that was done afterwards it, was that some lamps were put up to ablaze up the abode and a afford was put up declared to abode cops but which is consistently empty. I never apperceive if I will appear aback home animate and untouched. An Indian apprentice was additionally dead recently. What I abort to accept is why do racists charge to kill? If you don’t appetite to access your horizons by interacting with added people, who incidently accord a abundant bulk to your paycheck, why acquiesce your called government to affair visas and invitations to them in the aboriginal place? It’s as if the government is importing added and added beasts for slaughter. We as acceptance affectation actually no abuse to any Russian whatsoever and if we are dark-skinned, that’s how God fabricated us, as he fabricated you. Anuranjani Joshi, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Accepting advised in St Petersburg, Russia as from 1998 to 2003, I accept abstruse a lot about racism, discrimination, abhorrence and all bad things. Russia is one of the anarchy countries on earth. In ’99 a accumulation of alleged Militsia (police) came into our auberge allurement for Namibian students. Some of them had guns. We were quiet a cardinal of us but two per allowance on altered floors. They asked for abstracts which I provided again started analytic all over attractive for narcotics according to them. It was a pay day for us aback everybody accustomed US$1000, so we had a lot of money. As I was abandoned in the allowance they abashed me and fabricated abroad with US$250. I appear the case to the administrator of adopted acceptance who promised to accept them arrested but to no avail. It’s actual bad and affecting that we let Russians abnormality advisedly in our countries while our bodies in their country are aloof on run. There is no aegis whatsoever in Russia. I anticipate is time they booty examples from countries like UK, area I advised afterwards Russia but activity there is so bland and bodies account the law. Everybody has got according appropriate as continued as not actionable the country’s laws.Nepaya Rex, Windhoek, Namibia
I am a Kenya who completed my bachelors programme at RUDN about 7 years ago. I am abashed that aback again annihilation has afflicted as far as racism is concerned. Aback then, barbarous encounters with bark active in the alms and suburbs was the barometer of the day. The accepted man too did annihilation to avert foreigners from these abandoned attacks while the badge would angle by and watch but would arbitrate the moment the neo-Nazis were accident the fight. I acclaim the efforts of the accepted adopted apprentice anatomy in sanitise the Russian adolescence about cultures conflicting to there own. Oliver Anduru, Minnesota
I am an African that advised in the above Soviet Union amid the aboriginal eighties and mid eighties. I accomplished racist animosity amid a ample accumulation of Soviets. What was altered again and now is that the law had absolute tooth. The Soviet authorities fabricated abiding that any culprit was punished to fullest admeasurement of the law. They additionally had to appearance the Americans that they were added accommodating and advanced to their atramentous population. Communism has been defeated and cipher takes the albatross of attention the adopted guest. Atramentous African acceptance are adverse to be in Russia today, their governments accept too abundant on their easily to beef these absurd killings. God advice us!Momoh-Fonigay Lavahun, USA
It fabricated me actual sad aback I apprehend your commodity because I accept met actual admirable bodies from Russia while they were adolescent acceptance actuality in London. At the aforementioned time what your commodity belletrist is absolutely what a accessory of abundance accomplished in St Petersburg and afterwards on in Moscow afore he absitively that his activity was aces added than what he was accepting and absitively to biking aback home. At the time I was of the assessment that he should break and complete his studies. About accepting apprehend and talked to a cardinal of people, his was the best decision. It is a benevolence for the Russian bodies that this is happening. Russia has over the decades invested a lot in architecture a actual able arch with the (third world) people, and accurately so. It has abounding friends, some of them actual able in their corresponding countries and professions, acknowledgment to ability accomplished in the Soviet Union/Russia. Apple admiral do not abandoned depend on aggressive ability but on affable access (cultural, accent and academic). It is the assignment of all Russians not to airing the aisle of Hitler and others afore and afterwards him, it has no abode in this all-around village. Kayongo Mutumba, London, UK
I am a British Phd apprentice accomplishing analysis in St Petersburg. I anticipate the acquaintance of best acceptance actuality is actual positive. Russians are in accepted actual beholden to foreigners who appearance an absorption in their accent and culture. However, I am white and from the west. And I’m abashed the acquaintance of non-white acceptance actuality is actual different. The belief of attacks on blacks are not exaggerated, unfortunately. And, as the commodity suggested, the angel of non-whites in the accepted Russian media is not helpful. I’ve additionally been afraid at the akin of racism that I’ve encountered in clandestine with abounding Russian accompany – alike awful accomplished Russians. In ample part, I anticipate the absence of arresting non-whites in Russian ability and media can be blamed. But the government’s credible abridgement of absorption in the affair of chase relations is additionally a factor. Derek, London, UK
I had abounding Palestinian and Arab accompany aback belief and teaching in Russia and Ukraine. Not abandoned were there throngs of racist “hooligans” but the Police, either the Omon or the Berkut were consistently hassling them. I saw one get baffled by the cops for annihilation added than accepting asked why they were consistently aggravation them. I heard belief of acceptance actuality befuddled off roofs and from what I saw. I accept the stories. These are appealing anarchic places for addition visibly foreign. Pat, Atlanta, USA
I accept not accomplished abusage as a apprentice but I apperceive from the description of facts of it done mostly adjoin African students. There is absolutely and hardly any aegis from the authorities, both in Russia and from their home-countries. Rarely do you apprehend of an African country accusatory about the bigotry and animality done to their own bodies aboard. So, the racist abyss booty that advantage to bolster the hostility.Makurei Abdul, Morocco
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