Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August Redux

You remember how I talked about nationalists?

Well, shit has just hit the fan.

Yesterday a video was posted on several Russian blogs and ultra-nationalist websites, showing the murders of two men - ostensibly one from Tajikistan and one from Dagestan*. One was shot in the back of the head, the other's head was cut off with a knife, all this with the Nazi German flag in the background.

A bit of looking around on LiveJournal's Russian segment reveals the usual range of opinions: from "good going" to "the FSB made the video to discredit the nationalist movement". Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular sentiment is "bad move". People who talk about white power and Russian supremacy online, usually anonymously, are actually scared to be associated with something so gruesome.

But not all of them.

* Tajikistan is in Central Asia and is a former Soviet republic, now independent. Tajiks have a big presense in Moscow as construction workers. Dagestan is in the North Caucasus, and part of the Russian Federation.

** Full disclosure: I have not watched the video, but most of the reports say it does appear genuine. Whether it is or not is of marginal significance: a double murder is of course tragic, but the video serves as a lithmus test for the attitudes of various groups in Russia.


Giustino said...

When you say the shit has hit the fan, has it really hit the fan? Is this is a big deal in Russia, or only on Mihkelson's blog?

antyx said...

It's a big deal on the Russian Internet, and the Internet is a big deal in Russia. In more general terms, it is a big deal to the opinion-makers in Russia, and Russians as a people are very adept at following opinion-makers.

Absolutely everybody is going to try to spin this in their own favour. The Kremlin-jugend will use it as a way to marginalize opposition by mass-labeling them as murderous skinhead freaks. The white power twerps will use it as an obvious Kremlin-manufactured provocation showing the ruthlessness and inexcusable methods of the Putin regime. The national-liberals - the professional dissidents I talked about - will denounce the murders but put the blame on the government for abusing the great Russian race and driving them to unspeakable acts.

There's already a character on the pro-Estonian community in Livejournal saying it's inevitable that the Kremlin will blame it on the chechens, and then Estonia will need to use its reputation as a Russia expert in the world community to convince everyone it was actually the Kremlin's doing.

It's all about spin. Reality is irrelevant.

So? said...

None so blind as those who will not see:

It all makes perfect sense now.


| More