Xenophobia, national intolerance grow in Russia – Federal Migration Service chief

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Xenophobia and national intolerance are growing in Russia, Russian Federal Migration Service Chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said.

“Unfortunately, more cases of intolerance and xenophobia can be observed, which eventually leads to an escalation of inter-ethnic disputes,” Romodanovsky said at a meeting held by Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin in Moscow on Monday.

Many foreigners are the ones to blame for the negative attitude of locals, Romodanovsky said.

“This category behaves in Russia the way they are used to behaving in their homeland. Certainly, this causes justified irritation of our citizens. This fact cannot but cause negative reactions from the local population,” Romodanovsky said.

“Such moods of our citizens are skillfully used by radicals in order to incite national hatred, fear of migrants and sometimes racism,” Romodanovsky said.

It was reported earlier that Moscow and St. Petersburg top the list of Russian cities with the highest number of incidents of xenophobia and ethnic intolerance.

“A total of 19 people died and 168 were injured during the acts of racially motivated violence, and nine people were threatened with death in 2013. We recorded racially motivated attacks in 32 regions of Russia,” the Sova human rights center said a week ago.

Most cases of radical xenophobia occurred this year in Moscow (seven dead and 53 injured), the Moscow region (eight injured), St. Petersburg (three dead and 26 injured) and the Lipetsk region (three dead and nine injured), Sova said.

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