On the night of Sunday–July 7 the Armenian community in the Krasnodar region of Russia was subjected to brutal attacks. Approximately 45 Russian youth from the area ransacked Armenian homes and severely beat the inhabitants. More than 15 Armenia’s were hospitalized.
The Armenian newspaper Aztag recently interviewed the Executive Director of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation offices of Moscow–Seyran Baghdassarian–for additional details about the incidents and information about the steps taken after the attacks.
During the days that followed the violence–various explanations were given about the causes of the event.
In particular–an explanation pointed to the possibility that the beatings had resulted from and were the continuation of a skirmish between an Armenian and Russian that had taken place in a cafe.
Baghdassarian noted that the skirmish was a contained event–and could not be accepted as the spark that triggered off the anti-Armenian attacks.
Baghdassarian explained that Russia has witnessed the rise of anti-immigrant sentimen’s during the last several years–particularly amongst the non-educated youth. Individuals from the Caucasus have been the main targets–since those Russia’s who hold non-tolerant views have come to believe that immigran’s from Armenia–Azerbaijan and Georgia have led to the dim socio-economic condition in the area by taking up positions in construction and other fields.
According to Baghdassarian–anti-immigrant views have spread into the Russian political realm where certain politicians have not refrained from issuing bigoted attacks against the non-Russian communities.
It has been made clear that the events in Krasnodar were not spontaneous outbursts–since the perpetrators–having a list of addresses–had directed their attacks against the unsuspecting inhabitants of the marked houses.
Baghdassarian stressed that attacks upon non-Russia’s have increased during the last two years and that any ethnic community in any region can be targeted.
Representatives of the Armenian communities of Russia have been in contact with the regional police and have discussed the matter with political authorities.
In a Russian television interview–Baghdassarian touched upon the actual reasons for the alarming increase in anti-immigrant violence and announced that the actions of extremists should not tarnish the diplomatic and military relationship of Armenia and Russia.
Baghdassarian also informed Aztag that the ARF Central Committee of Moscow has had multi-faceted meetings and discussions with Russian political representatives in an attempt to uncover the motivations behind such attacks.
"In this regard–civilized individuals do not share the intolerant views of non-educated factions," stated Baghdassarian.