The Moscow police are seriously concerned about ethnic conflicts at Moscow universities. The incidents became a lot more frequent after the recent fight between the students of the Moscow Pedagogical University – the natives of Ingushetia and North Ossetia. The massive fight took place on November 17 and ended with the killing of a 19-year-old student.
Such incidents are not rare for Moscow high schools, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. Their discussion boards are abundant with expressions of hostility. Officials say that extremist individuals, who stand strongly against the presence of non-Russian students at Moscow colleges, provoke the conflicts. However, the above-mentioned fight shed the new light on the problem. Most of such conflicts occur between non-Russian students representing different nations, presumably Caucasian.
There are about 120,000 foreign students studying at Moscow universities and institutes. Most of them come from the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as Asia, Africa and Latin America. In addition, Moscow colleges provide targeted positions for university entrants from national republics. For example, Russian universities have been providing about 600 state-funded spaces for applicants from Chechnya during the recent several years. Ingushetia received 700 spaces at Russian universities last year; 153 spaces were provided for Dagestan.
Senior official of the Moscow Police Department, Ivan Glukhov, said at a recent press conference that the number of hate crimes committed by students was growing in Moscow. The students of Caucasian nationalities have engaged into several massive fights in Moscow recently. The students presumably came from Azerbaijan, Armenia, north Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
The official added that the students of Caucasian nationalities organize their own criminal groups to conduct subversive activities against the people of Slavic looks. “They attack people screaming “Slay the Russians” and film their attacks on video,” the official said. One of such groups was known in Moscow as “Black Hawks.”
A spokesperson for one of the Moscow universities said on conditions of anonymity that many of the students, who arrive in Moscow from foreign countries, come from well-to-do families. Once they settle in Moscow, the young people prefer not to spend their time on studies. They simply do what they want and wait for their diplomas. If problems arise, they all can be solved financially, the official said.
The problem of Caucasian students at Moscow universities is not new at all. Moscow students held an action of protest in September 2006. The students from 26 Moscow high schools signed an address to the Ministry for Education. The students attempted to attract officials’ attention to Moscow dormitories and urged to cancel the targeted enrollment of school graduates from Caucasian and CIS republics. The Russian students protested against the tyranny of Caucasian natives at Russian universities.