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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Racism in Russia: Your views
Student walking past Russian graffiti reading "We love you" with a swastika mocking foreigners
Is the claim of racism against Africans in Russia exaggerated?
Reports of racist attacks in Russia have become disturbingly regular in recent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that his country was not doing enough to protect foreigners, while Amnesty International, the human rights group, described the situation as "out of control".

What do you think about the situation?

Users from Africa Have Your Say and BBCRussian.com have been debating the issue. Read their comments below and then have your say.

"We have to look at what causes this racism in Russia"
Olga Safronova, Russia

"What use is a PhD to someone who is seriously injured, or dead?"
Akpan, UK/Nigeria


We are all to be blamed - ourselves, the government and even the old people that talk in the streets. These killings will never stop until we all change our attitude about it. Our government must deal with it as strongly as possible.
Alexei, Kiev

We have to look at what causes this racism in Russia. It did not appear out of nowhere. How do non-Russians behave? They despise Russians. Also, the police are corrupt and so this is why young people have to deal with this problem themselves.
Olga Safronova

I used to be nice to them and thought that all people were brothers but now I am a member of the white race movement at our university. We are struggling with illegal immigrants flooding to Moscow. We are not alone. The USA is also cracking down on illegal immigration.
Natasha, Moscow

I think that foreigners become victims of common crime opposed to racism-motivated crime. There is too much fuss. The police should do their job - this is the most important issue.

The USSR was a county where racism flourished at all levels, from government to ordinary people. There was an idea that Soviet people were the new dominating race. Everything we have now is a result of that Soviet propaganda.
Petr, Israel

I do not think that the problem of racism is more acute in Russia than in other Western countries. We have common problems with globalization and immigration as a result. I believe that racism is disgusting. And I am sure that the majority of Russians think the same.

There are a lot of people of different nationalities in Russia who do the low-skilled jobs such as cleaners and builders. They are treated as second rate people, they are treated like servants. It doesn't help in building healthy relationships.
197, Moscow

Fascism is being outlined on purpose through Putin's propaganda to allow them to set new laws which will restrict human rights and freedom in Russia.

I don't think that racism is out of control in Russia. Racist killings are news for us, thus remarkable. We used to live with a lot of nations side-by-side together for ages and we mixed with them easily. The diversity of nations is the essence of Russia. Racist murders take place in both the USA and Europe. I believe that these disgraceful things will be over when order is finally set up in Russia.
A Russian abroad


Racism is not only rife in Russia. Everywhere you look, there are racially motivated cases, be it in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia and the US, as well as on the soccer pitch. The Zidane-Materrazi case is just one of the few. It is pitiful that the majority of such cases are in the so-called civilized and cultured societies.
Ameyoh, Nairobi

I'm an African and I'm studying in Russia. It is not a safe place for Africans or even for other foreigners like Chinese because there is no security for foreigners. Sometimes when we walk in the street the Russian people shout at us and say: "Hey you black, go home."
Gabriel Peter, Nizhny Novgorod

I studied in the Moscow in 1992 for nine months as part of my Russian language programme. I met some wonderful Russians and had the best of times. I went back twice in the mid 1990s on holiday and still enjoyed it. Then in 2003, I was in Moscow for five days but did not recognise the people. I was racially abused six times, even from the police. I was refused entry into a night club because black people were not welcomed. I heard so many horror stories from foreigners. After that trip I swore never to return.
Jay, London

Anybody can be a racist, after all, there is racism even within African countries. I have observed racism among Nigerians and Ghanaians. I disagree that racism is only between blacks and whites, it is from the heart. The rate of racism in Russia is the same as with other countries. It took years for Europe and America to address the problem of racism, therefore, we should expect the same in Russia. Self-esteem is one of the solutions to confront racism and ill-feelings.
Egwenike Wosu, Dallas, United States

Mukhtar Ahmed Osman
He hit me and I tried to hit him back, but another one struck me from behind
Mukhtar Ahmed Osman

My friend was visiting a white American friend living in Moscow. On the subway an old lady spat on him. In an expensive restaurant a white attendant refused to show him the way to the men's room claiming he didn't serve blacks! What more can be said than that racism is alive and rife in Russia? I have always fancied visiting Moscow but that hope died when my friend returned utterly disappointed, almost regretting the colour of his black skin. I am not different, give me a reason to visit Russia.
Ernest Chi, Gothenburg, Sweden

They will always discriminate against Africans because our homes are terrible. Let our leaders put some good structures in place so that we can be proud of our motherland. However, some European countries are not much better that some African countries.
Dr Olubunmi Adewunmi (PhD), Atlanta, USA

I lived in Russia for about three months with my father during my freshman year of college. Through different events we had the opportunity to meet various government officials. I recall that I was commenting on some friends coming to visit me and the first question I was asked was: "What colour are they?" An odd question but they were concerned with foreigners visiting that may stand out more in Moscow. I was warned of attacks on these individuals and of course urged my friends to cancel their trip.
Julie, Washington DC

I consider Russia as unsafe and dangerous place on the planet for anyone of African origin. Having seen scenes of unprovoked attacks of Kenyans students in Russia on Australian TV, instead of going to Russia for education or holiday I would rather go to Iraq. The big question is why is it allowed to continue to occur?
Denis Sokiri, Sudanese in South Australia

I was one of those who asked Mr Putin about these attacks
President Putin

on his web show recently, and his response was instructive. His retort was that there had been an influx of people of different cultures, who don't always obey the laws. What further evidence does anyone need, indicating that these attacks are sanctioned, or at the very least, condoned by those in authority? Yet, my fellow Africans would rather die studying there. What use is a PhD to someone who is seriously injured, or dead?
Akpan, UK/Nigeria

Is racism rife in Russia?
10 Jul 06 |  Have Your Say
Living with race hate in Russia
24 Feb 06 |  Europe
Murder of African alarms Russia
26 Dec 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Russia
21 Mar 06 |  Country profiles


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