CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION AND
ETHNIC ISSUES IN RUSSIA
Isak D. Froumin
IN APRIL 2001, more than 100 skinheads rushed into the market in Yasenevo. They were loudly shouting out Nazi slogans. In a few minutes they destroyed all of the small shops of people who are ethnically from Central Asia and Caucasus. That was a real pogrom. Police arrested about 70 skinheads and confiscated Nazi attributes and literature.
Two persons were killed and 23 were injured as a result of a pogrom in one of Moscow's markets in August 2001. About 300 young people in military-style uniform with symbols of the Russian Nationalist Party came to a market near a metro station and started to fight with people from Armenia or Azerbaijan, destroying their shops. They also beat people in the metro who looked like ethnic Azerbaijanian or Asians. Among the victims were Armenian, Indian, and Afghani citizens. The police arrested about 20 people.
This news reminded me of a meeting with one of my former students Gennady Borodin. After leaving school he had joined the Russian Army and served in Chechnya. I remembered him as one of the most joyful and friendly students I've ever met. He kept smiling in any situation. When his military service term ended, at the age of 21, he returned to his native town and visited his school where I was a principal at the time. This was in 1998. My first impression was shock: Gennady had lost his smile and his eyes were very sad. I knew that he had spent a year in Chechnya during the war with Chechen rebels and terrorists. I asked him about his