NOVOROSSIYSK (Armenpress)–According to a report from the southern Russian city of Novorossiysk in the province of Krasnodar–the local Armenian community has asked for the Russian and Armenian presidents’ intervention in putting an end to a new wave of anti-Armenian pogroms.
Yerkramas weekly–a newspaper run by the Armenian community of southern Russia–reported that the local Armenian community said city law-enforcement bodies have failed to uphold their promise to guarantee local Armenia’s’ safety.
The newspaper said these guarantees were given on March 22–after Cossacks from nearby regions went on a rampage in a town quarter populated by Armenia’s– destroying cars–cafes–and shops owned by Armenia’s. On the same day–the mayor appealed to the Armenia’s–Greeks–and Cossacks to observe the law and refrain from disorder; however–on the same evening–around 200 Cossacks went on the attack against Armenia’s and Greeks.
According to a witness–the clash was caused by a squabble at a local cafe when Cossacks–led by their Community leader Vladimir Petrushin–attacked a group of Armenia’s and Greeks who were having a birthday party. In the subsequent fight–Petrushin was injured and was rushed to a hospital where doctors operated on him. Local law-enforcement bodies launched a criminal investigation.
Novorossiysk Mayor Vladimir Sinyagovskiy held a discussion with representatives of national communities of the city–stating that those guilty would be exposed and punished. An agreement was reached not to aggravate the situation. The local Armenian cultural society "Luys" said that the Armenian party strictly observed the agreement–calling on its compatriots for calmness and allowing law-enforcement structures to gain control over the situation.
Inter-ethnic tension in this region has become commonplace. The historic Armenian presence in the Krasnodar region dates back centuries–mainly due to the incentives offered by Tsarist officials to Armenia’s willing to move to the region. Throughout the 19th century–the Armenia’s contributed to an expansion of the region’s commerce and agriculture.
Additional numbers of Armenian refugees settled in the region in 1988 in the wake of anti-Armenian pogroms by Azeris in Sumgait–Kirovabad–and Baku.
A related influx of Armenia’s from Karabagh–Javakhk–and Abkhazia also strengthened the Armenian presence in the Krasnodar region. After fleeing the anti-Armenian attacks by Azeris–the Russian-speaking Armenia’s from Baku–in particular–often preferred to resettle in Krasnodar–Stavropol–and Moscow–rather than in Armenia–mainly because of their lack of Armenian language skills and the need for Russian schools that were closing in Armenia.