Russian Youth Extremism: An Analysis

08 Nov 2019

(Jordan Russia Center) In 2006, Russia was reportedly home to 50,000 far-right skinheads, or half the world’s population. Nearly 13 years on, Russia’s wave of neo-Nazi violence has subsided (per known incidents of hate crime 2007-2019 on the database of Moscow’s Sova center) but the country’s youth still display evidence of extremism. As protests in Moscow featuring mostly young people continue, the ideological trends and dispositions of the country’s youth are of great importance for the future of the country. Russia’s youth today seem enamored of extremist causes.

The evidence of rising extremism is plentiful. First, perhaps the most dramatic example came from Crimea when Vladislav Roslyakov (discussed in my 2018 article in the Eurasian Daily Monitor [EDM]) walked into his polytechnic school in Kerch and opened fire, killing 21 and injuring more than 40. While the world is used to witnessing such problems in the United States- and indeed, comparisons between this incident and the 1999 shooting at Columbine high school in the United States prompted commentators to name it “the Russian Columbine”- their occurrence in Russia is a new phenomenon. This attack, moreover, came after a spate of knife attacks in Russian schools in Novosibersk, Perm, and Buryatia regions. [...]

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