I didn’t find out about this murder in Irkutsk, Russia, on the news. I discovered this first through the blog of a friend of a friend. An independent media source has highlighted this incident, the mainstream news is rather quiet.
Olga Rukosyla was sixteen years old. She enjoyed dressing like a punk, and wore red shoelaces which, to some, signify the famous “Antifa” (anti-facism) movement.
Indymedia reports that on the 8th of October, Olga was surrounded by three young men dressed, as witnesses say, in typical skinhead fashion. One of them grabbed her hand. She said something angrily to him. This was when the men surrounding her threw her on the ground and literally kicked her to death.
Three men, murdering a teenage girl in broad daylight.
Skinheads operate like packs of wild dogs. They prefer to outnumber their victims, and seem to forge bonds through frantic eruptions of group violence.
My neighbourhood in Kyiv, Ukraine has been spray-painted with their slogans, and I’m afraid for the African and Asian kids living in the dorms around my building, for my Jewish neighbours, for my Arab boyfriend, who stays with me there sometimes. I’m afraid that my kid brother might wear the wrong t-shirt and piss them off.
How can we be safe when the only visible opposition seems to arise in the form of Antifa groups spraying their own slogans over Nazi ones? (Hey, kid who drew the gallows around the swastika that was spray-painted on my family’s garage – thank you.)
The terror skinheads have spread has inspired some to take their side, to excuse their actions, to even boldly proclaim that they are “ridding society of unsavoury elements” (i.e., they are ridding society of anyone who’s in any way different, be that due to skin colour or the colour of one’s shoelaces).
White people tend to think they have nothing to fear from skinheads. Well, that may be true, unless they, or any of their loved ones, dress or look or behave in a way that displeases the carriers of the white pride plague. Or unless they do as much as skip a valiant leather warrior with his black boots and flaming zits in the grocery line.
He may very well inspire him to ring up his buddies and teach the brazen interloper a lesson. Skinheads want to rule unconditionally, and they’re known to react violently to any slight or humiliation. Humiliation, after all, is what often drives them into the fold in the first place.
Now, the murder in Irkutsk was was echoed by a murder in Moscow: fifteen-year-old Anna Beshnova was raped and killed in the street, while neighbours basically looked on (if that makes no sense to you, please recall Kitty Genovese).
Many now claim that Beshnova’s attacker was nonwhite, although the only conclusive evidence we have right now is that he was wearing the uniform of a sanitation worker, and that he was “not originally from Moscow.”
Beshnova’s ordeal and death has been used in the most disgusting of ways: on one hand, people are screaming that what happened to her has “inspired” them to walk out on the street and kill the first nonwhite person they come across.
On the other hand, Beshnova is being called a “hooker,” a “drunk slut” (a picture of her holding a can of beer has made its rounds on the internet), and a “bitch who deserved her fate.”
This duel over a dead girl’s body is the terrifying symbol of a ghettoized and fragmented society.
I don’t see much use in drawing many parallels between the death of Rukosyla and Beshnova, though I do not doubt that Beshnova’s ethnicity could have played a part in her death, much like Rukosyla’s shoelaces played a part.
Many non-Slavs view Slavic women as passive sex-puppets – “whores” who have no right to say “no” to a man’s advances and must be punished accordingly.
The flip-side to that is the fact that Nazis view us pretty much the same way. To them we are broodmares, put on this good earth so that we may produce clutches of adorable white children. If we don’t comply, we need to be “taught a lesson.”
I have intimate experience with both of these so-called ideologies.
My body, I have been told, belongs to perverts and fascists, but not to me.
Yet I believe that it is more likely that Beshnova was killed for “walking around while female,” as a friend of mine put it. If her murderer looked stereoytpically Slavic, her death would have been treated as another footnote to the story of violence against women, something that no one really cares about unless it can be used for political ends.
In fact, the Russian right, notorious for its patriarchal views on women, would have probably been the first to brand her a “whore who was asking for it.”
Rukosyla, was also “asking for it” too, of course. Her crime wasn’t that she was female – although it made her an easier target – her crime was not knowing what was “good” for her. She had “no right” to dress the way she was dressed. She turned herself into a “political target,” because she looked different (I’ve gleaned all of this important information from LJ users attempting to “explain” the situation).
But there is more to it: before Rukosyla died, she stood up to the men that surrounded her. She displayed anger, and I suspect that this was the last straw. It was too much to handle for men who are attracted to the Nazi movement due to aforementioned feelings of insecurity.
How do you deal with that?
How do you separate the hardened criminals from confused dudes who got in way over their heads? How do you get to the leaders? What do you tell parents?
The skinhead movement cannot be crushed with force alone; it screams out against it, makes martyrs out of the captured, pulsates with rage in basements and apartment-blocks, scrawling its regalia, marking its territory in elevators and strairwells already stained with piss.
In my Kyiv neighbourhood, there are now patrols at night, made up of three cadets walking shoulder-to-shoulder. The last time I ran into them, I asked about the skinheads.
“Why? You see any?”
“Well, our garage…”
“The local ones are just kids. They don’t make real trouble around here.”
“Do you ever talk to them?”
“Talk to them?” They guffawed in unison, all young, all handsome, seemingly without a care in the world, filling my heart with a hope for something I couldn’t explain. “You can’t talk to a rabid little dog.”
“I was thinking I’d like to talk to one rabid little dog.”
“That’s nonsense.” “Don’t even try it.” “What are you, crazy?”
“I’m not crazy, I’m a journalist.”
“Tough job. Good luck.” “And you be careful now.” “We can’t be everywhere all at once.”
One of them winked at me, and they walked on into the night, blazing their righteous path through a neighbourhood quieted and cowed by the autumn darkness.