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Feature Story November 15, 2001
Get With The Pogrom
By Matt Taibbi Browse author
Page 6 of 6
Why are skinhead attacks on the rise now? There are several possible explanations. One is that Russia is particularly susceptible to fascist ideology right now; it has an impoverished native population that sees itself as a victim of crime and racketeering on the part of the "Chorniye" who dominate street markets; on the part of Jews who dominate banking and government; and on the part of the West, which is surrounding Russia, expanding NATO's borders, opening up bases in Uzbekistan. The country has a popular nationalist leader who does not conceal his great-power ambitions and who is prosecuting a bloody war against dark-skinned rebels in Chechnya. The country has been seeking an identity for ten years now, and teenage boys are always concerned with the question of identity -- the uniform of shaved heads and bomber jackets is about all that's out there in terms of replacements for the lame old days of the Komsomol.

Of course, as Mitrokhin explains, there is also the possibility that the skins have friends in high places.

"It is very convenient for an authoritarian government to have at its disposal these crowds of willing, young, violent youths who will do just about anything you tell them to do," he said. "The same kinds of people were used for similar political ends in Germany in the 1930s. That's not what I think is the case -- but it is a possible explanation."

Whatever the reasons are, the skinheads are certainly continuing to grow in number -- which means more violence is inevitable. Violence is a key part of what being a skinhead is all about; beating up foreigners and blacks is just what skinheads do, all over the world. And the more attacks there are, the more deadly they become. The Moscow office of the Anti-Defamation league estimates that skins have been responsible for as many as twenty deaths in the capital in the last few years. That's a pretty serious track record. It takes that kind of reputation to frighten someone to death.

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Scared Skins : If AntiFA punks and skinheads are brave enough to want to take the fight against Russia’s 50,000 skinheads to the street, why won’t they talk to the eXile?
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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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Automotive Section
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