Russian Nazis

There’s a disturbing story in today’s European edition of the International Herald Tribune:

The Russian authorities said Tuesday that they were investigating a video recording of what appeared to be the grisly execution of two bound and gagged young men, filmed in a forest beneath a large Nazi flag. At least one of the men was beheaded on camera as he lay in a shallow grave.

It was shot by a group calling itself the National Socialist Party of Russia but when and where it was filmed is as yet unknown. The group — in a note accompanying the video, which it distributed online — called for the expulsion of all Asians from Russia and the Caucasus, along with independence for all Russian republics in the Caucasus.

The executed men, the organisation said, were from Dagestan and Tajikstan. One was decapitated, the other shot.

A still of the two men bound and gagged can be found on the BBC website, although I have some ethical issues with its use.

It’s horrifying that life is so readily extinguished to draw attention to a cause. Filming it is so much more terrible; part of my concerns about the BBC presentation of the story is that using the footage, or even a still from it, only feeds the beast.

But, graphic and provocative as it is, the film will not get the group what it seeks. If anything, it will harden resolve against it — already other ultranationalist groups have expressed their outrage at the video, saying it discredits their movement as a whole. Even so this movement — for want of a better term — has killed 50 people in 2007, although none of these killings were committed to film.

The investigation has just begun so it will be some time before we know if this is the work of a few fucked up individuals or the first in a series by a much more widespread organisation.

I’m not even going to look for this thing online, though it’s undoubtedly still on a few sites. These ‘nationalists’ are scum. Russia has become an increasingly xenophobic nation, partially because of its economic weakness and perceived powerlessness on the international stage. I fear there may be more of this inhumanity to come.

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