Russian admits putting racist murder video on Net

An investigation's underway into a video posted on the Internet, which appears to show the double murder of a Tajik and a Dagestani by Russian neo-Nazis. Police in the Southern Russian Republic of Adygeya have detained a man suspected of distributing the

“There's a person who came to us and made a statement saying that on August 13, he posted on the Internet some information he received by e-mail. We are in the process of verifying this,” Vasily Guk, Senior Assistant Prosecutor, Republic of Adygeya said.

The man says that he is proud of what he has done. He confirms his connections with the neo-nationalist movement of southern Russia, but also claims that he has not taken part in filming of the video. The investigators are questioning him at the moment.

This is not the first time that Russian neo Nazis have posted videos of hate crimes online. Violent footage – staged or real – is all over ultranationalist websites. But this is the first time that a murder, especially one of such graphic brutality, has been seen.

They called those people colonists from Tajikistan and Dagestan, two men are shown on their knees under a swastika. One is beheaded, the other is shot in two-and-a-half minutes of video.

And those who have posted the video are the ones investigators are now after.

LiveJournal user picture of a person who 
            posted   the video on the Web
LiveJournal user picture of a person who posted the video on the Web

“We have established that the video has been posted on foreign websites and our task is to identify those who posted the video on the internet and their ways of distribution,” says Irina Zubareva, Internet crime unit K spokesperson.

The video appeared on a number of forum websites and blogs, including a LiveJournal. It was posted by a user with the login antigypsone. His identity or even location is practically impossible to trace.

“Maybe this video has been posted by someone in California or South Africa, in this case the person cannot be brought to justice under Russian laws,” reminds Anton Nosik, supervisor for the Russian segment of LiveJournal.

Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the video's content. But first they have to verify that the crimes shown in the video are genuine.

We have established that the video has been posted on foreign websites and our task is to identify those who posted the video on the internet and their ways of distribution,

Irina Zubareva, Internet crime unit

The number of racially motivated crimes targeting people from Central Asia and the Caucasus is soaring in Russia. 37 people have been killed so far this year, almost a quarter more than last year's figure. But more perpetrators than ever are being brought to justice. Last month, two men were sent to jail for inciting racial hatred by posting messages and videos on the Internet.

Anti-racism activists are hopeful, and say that although the Internet is wide the circle of suspects is small.

“The Internet is anonymous but not to the degree that you cannot trace down a person. Best hackers have been revealed and with proper support those behind making and positing this video can be found. It will always be the same people,” believes Aleksandr Verhovskiy from SOVA analytical center.

Untying the web may be tricky for investigators, but the video's impact is for everyone to see. The murders topped Russian blog sites and search engines in popularity. Although it was quickly removed from most, the reviews are there. Most people condemn the act, some approve of it.