Night of the Yakut Long Knives: nationalism or revenge?  

Night of the Yakut Long Knives: nationalism or revenge?
Was the rape politically motivated? Photo: The CrimeRussia

The capital of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) faces mass protests provoked by the rape of a local woman by a migrant worker from Kyrgyzstan. The criminal was promptly detained. However, the protests turned into riots and attacks on the natives of Central Asia. Representatives of the regional authorities supported the protesters, voicing anti-migrant statements. In Yakutsk, some outlets are closed, and transport communication is partially interrupted. A delegation from Kyrgyzstan arrived to defuse the conflict, but xenophobic sentiments are gaining momentum. Local security officials argue that the situation is under control, and detain violators promptly. Is it revenge for the victim or a surge of Yakut nationalism? The CrimeRussia restored the chronology of events and tried to find out what is happening in Yakutia.

The culprits are the builder and taxi driver

On March 17, at about 4 am, a 23-year-old migrant from Kyrgyzstan dragged a Yakutsk resident into a Toyota Corolla car in the area of Kuzmina Street, took her to the parking lot on Sevastopolskaya Street, where raped the victim. After that, he took the woman to the vehicle repair shop, located on Vasily Manchaara Street, where he left her under the supervision of two of his acquaintances, also natives of Kyrgyzstan. When the men fell asleep, the victim managed to escape, after which she applied to the Investigative Committee. According to available information, the victim's name is Oksana; she is 36 years old.

The accused was arrested the same day and taken into custody. Criminal proceedings were initiated under part 1 of Art. 131 of the Criminal Code (Rape), part 1 of Art. 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abduction of a Person), part 2 of Art. 127 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Unlawful Deprivation of Liberty committed by a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy). In respect of his two detained friends, a criminal case was launched under part 2 of Art. 127 of the Criminal Code.


From selfie to prison term    

It turned out that the abuser arrived in Yakutia for a year ago: he worked in the local building during the day, was also a taxi driver. The crimes committed are not politically motivated. But the Yakuts have another point of view, and by the evening of March 17, a spontaneous rally against “guests from CIS countries” was held on Komsomolskaya Square in Yakutsk.

Protest wave

As it became known, the call to take part in the evening rally appeared at the WhatsApp messenger. A 34-year-old resident, the rally mastermind, was brought to responsibility under part 2 of Art. 20.2 of the Administrative Code (Violation of the Established Procedure for organizing or conducting an event), was fined 20 thousand rubles.

стихийный митинг

стихийный митинг

The spontaneous rally in Yakutsk gathered about two hundred people    

But the Yakuts also held “anti-migrant” rally in the Triumph sports complex that gathered several thousand citizens. The illegal migrants' issue was at stake.


Meeting under the Triumph roof was authorized    

“... We, the Yakuts, came here and owned this land, developed it, living with the Russian people hand in hand. And we will continue to live. Foreigners may come here, but they cannot be masters, they should work in the legal field, they should pay taxes. Local people make a mistake. We buy cheap fruit from foreigners, and they work without entrepreneurs license. We illegally hire them to work, this is also wrong..." the Head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev, emphasized.


Aisen Nikolaev designated Yakuts as masters of their land

He assured that the criminal would be tried within the law, promised to conduct mass audits against migrant workers and urged not to admit a lynch law.

“Unfortunately, a part of the population understand the words of the Head of the republic wrongly, and now the WhatsApp messenger is full of video clips that incite ethnic hatred, which violates federal law,” said Yakutia’s Interior Minister Deputy Konstantin Neustroev.

"Yakutia rulz!"

The city residents began to pursue and beat migrant workers. For example, a 33-year-old resident beat a passer-by, a citizen of Tajikistan. After the arrest, the man admitted his guilt and repented, specifying that he avenged his aggression. He was charged under part 1 of Art. 213 of the Criminal Code (Hooliganism).

задержанный Якутск

The detained man repented of his deed    

Also, the pogroms of vegetable kiosks and shawarma stalls, which were owned by Central Asians, began. The rioters were arrested, and the head of the Yakutsk police, Nikolay Kulbertin, urged the Yakut people not to succumb to provocations and not to incite ethnic strife. Also, the head of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs instructed to verify compliance with immigration laws, illegal business activities and passenger traffic.

After a series of attacks on migrants on March 19, a hundred buses did not reach the routes. Migrant drivers feared for their lives because passengers refused to pay the fare, insulted and threatened against them. The next day, some drivers did return to work.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Yakutsk staff announced a robust security regime; the police tightened security at the local mosque. Militiamen are trying to prevent spontaneous unrest in the city.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs for Yakutia refutes the data about the killing of three and beating up of 20 migrants in the region - law enforcement officers detained the distributors of this unreliable information. Also, the 37-year-old and 35-year-old residents of the Aldan region were brought to administrative responsibility; they posted a video in which they were shouting “Yakutia rulz!” 

It should be noted that all migrants (not only Kyrgyz) try not to leave the house without urgent need.

The Constitution’s native ethnos

The investigating authorities draw attention to the fact that in 2017, 117 similar sexual crimes were committed on the territory of Yakutia, and migrants committed only 4 out of 296 crimes in this category. But, the locals humbly waited for the moment when it would be possible to declare that “Yakutia rulz!”

Thus, the Yakut nationalism, which is already called “a wake-up call for multinational Russia,” emerged.

“We live together with the Russians for almost 400 years - in 2016, we celebrated the 385th anniversary of the entry of Yakutia into Russia. I want to note that the illegal behavior of migrants outraged not only Yakuts but also Russians and other residents of our multi-ethnic republic — we have more than 120 nationalities,” said Aisen Nikolaev the other day.

In October 2016, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) passed a resolution according to which the Yakut ethnic group should be considered the indigenous people of Yakutia, and the territory of Yakutia is the historical homeland of the Yakut people. In particular, clause 1 of Article. 42 of the Constitution states that the non-Yakut population of the Republic "Russian and other old-timers."

Конституционный суд

The Constitutional Court of Yakutia, headed by Chairman of the Court Alexander Kim-Kymen

Proceeding from the decision of the Yakut court, the protection of vital rights in the territory of the Republic of Sakha is clearly articulated and secured by law only to Yakuts, as to the indigenous population, which, in principle, contradicts Section 1, Art. 44 of the Constitution of Yakutia, which states that "the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) belongs to its multinational people."

Then, many called this resolution scandalous, noting that such legal incidents could lead to the creation of an ethnocratic regime in the territory of multinational Yakutia. It is about the "Russian and old-timers," what can we say about labor migrants? By the way, all the leaders of the Republic of Sakha, from 1991 to the present day, are exclusively Yakuts by nationality.

“Yakut and Ukrainian nationalism cannot be compared”

Nationalism from the regional level can enslave the whole country, following the example of Ukraine. The media have already compared the Yakut and Ukrainian nationalism. Is this an identical phenomenon? The CrimeRussia interviewed well-known Russian human rights activist Larisa Shesler. She was born and raised in the Yakut village of Aldan and also lived in the Ukrainian city of Nikolaev. By the way, this region begot mass riots because of rape and murder of a local woman, which later spread throughout Ukraine and caused riots and pogroms of the buildings.

Лариса Шеслер

Larisa Shesler    

- What is Yakut nationalism? 

- Yakut nationalism is a typical nationalism of small nations. Under the conditions of stimulation and encouragement, it can take rather ugly forms, although it is constrained by the national policy of the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, nationalism became the can opener, which could slice the part of Russia. It is enough to generate myths about years of oppression and exploitation, pumping out of the mineral resources in “Moscow’s favor,” discrimination against indigenous peoples, their faith and culture. In Yakutia, this scheme worked quite successfully indigenous peoples have the advantage in obtaining the education, they occupy posts in the leadership of municipal formations and budget organizations.

- Is it possible to compare Yakut and Ukrainian nationalism?

- In Ukraine, nationalism is a state ideology, Russophobia is a state policy, and the ousting of the Russian language and culture is a declared goal. So it is impossible to compare the situation in Yakutia with the Ukrainian one. The Yakuts have the opportunity to get an education in their native language. Yakuts cannot be offended by the central government in terms of incomes of the population: in terms of wages, Yakutia left behind the Tyumen region, St. Petersburg and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. That is why it has appeal for migrants.

- Protests in Yakutia and the Vradiyevsky march in Ukraine - is it possible to compare these events?

- The Vradiyevsky march is a typical method of technological provocation to weaken the authority of the power structures of Ukraine on the threshold of Euromaidan. Since I am a resident of Nikolaev, and Vradiyevka is a district center in the Nikolaev region, it quickly became clear that this incident was only a reason for organizing an assault on the district police. This assault followed by a march on Kiev had to show the average man that the police buildings were easy targets, and they could be assaulted with absolute impunity. The militants of the Right Sector appeared there for the first time, and the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Valentin Nalyvaichenko, led them. In Yakutia, everything happened spontaneously. But it is necessary to understand that nationalist actions are fraught with the same consequences as the actions of radicals before Euromaidan. The support of this march threatens the existence of Russia.

- There is a feeling that the situation in Yakutia is now being “stirred.”

- The desire to draw attention away from social problems to national ones is a well-known method of stirring society. However, if the authorities are not aware of the threat, this could have a detrimental effect, since thousands of illegal migrants work here. Of course, migrant workers should be mindful of the responsibility for their actions, because no one may attack the local population. Migrants must understand the limits of what is permitted.

- Are the Yakuts trying to get rid of the migrants?

- Considering that the number of visiting workers from the CIS countries amounts to millions of people, then control over their behavior is an urgent need to maintain order and calm in the state. But the work of migrants from Central Asia allows to save the municipal infrastructure, reduce the cost of housing and roads, serve thousands of citizens transport. Yakuts will not occupy their jobs as drivers and janitors. Just in a short time, other migrants will come to the same places, which means that the situation will not change. I am sure that local nationalists will lose the opportunity to change over their activity to the Evenks or Russians, who are the same indigenous peoples in these places as the Yakuts.

- What could happen in Yakutia?

- I hope that law enforcement agencies will draw the right conclusions, and the diasporas will take control of the actions of their compatriots. Еhe local government is aware of the scale of social discontent and will take measures to resolve urgent problems, and will not pass the buck in search of those responsible for the lack of decent work.

- Is it time for the Mayor? 

- Samat Toktobolotov, the Deputy Chairman of the State Migration Service, who arrived in Yakutsk as part of the delegation of Kyrgyzstan, expressed the hope that this issue would be resolved within the legal framework and stressed that all residents of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz diaspora condemn this crime.


Samat Toktobolotov apologized for all Kyrgyz    

Samat Toktobolotov also noted that he had met with a prisoner in the SIZO: he admits his guilt and is ready to sign the plea deal. The Mayor of Yakutsk, Sardana Avksentieva, said that the situation in the city had economic, rather than nationalistic, prerequisites at a meeting with the Kyrgyz delegation. The stated that dissatisfaction of a significant part of the local population with the standard of living splashed out against the background of a high-profile crime against a countrywoman. However, she stressed, "Crime has no nationality." But at a meeting in Triumph in front of thousands of people, she said differently: "It seems that we endured, but, I think, our patience is exhausted. We all need to get together and restore order! We are in our homeland, in our city! ” Is it a Goebbels principle” to stir up the crowd?

Сардана Авксентьева

Sardana Avksentyeva said one thing at the meeting, and another before the Kyrgyz delegation    

According to the locals, the Mayor of Yakutsk received the maximum benefit from the anti-migrant speeches and is negotiating with the government of Kyrgyzstan to gather the. At the same time, she initiated the fight with the Head of the region, Aisen Nikolaev. The goal is to become the sole leader of the Republic of Sakha. There is Moscow support. 

Crime without nationality

However, it is obvious that the Yakuts detected “prophecy of Nostradamus,” according to which “the whole world would shudder” from the awakened “small northern people.” As you can see, Sardana Avksentyeva became the hero of the following meme:


Yakuts believe in their mission

But crimes do not have the nationality. So, on March 19, a 26-year-old guest worker from Uzbekistan was detained in Volgograd, he had attacked the 25-year-old woman in the Dzerzhinsky district of Volgograd the day before. He dragged her into an abandoned building on the territory of a former military unit, raped and robbed. The victim managed to hit the rapist with a brick: the wound on his face helped to detect the criminal quickly. The victim was on the 6th month of pregnancy.

And on March 21 it became known that the same Volgograd court released the rapist of a 13-year-old girl because it could not find a translator for him. The culprit is a 34-year-old minibus driver from Azerbaijan, Hayal Mammadov. On February 1, he asked the schoolgirl to show him the way, she agreed, got into the car, but he took her to a wasteland and raped. He was arrested almost immediately, however, after a month and a half he was released: the arrest was canceled since the absence of an interpreter is a serious procedural violation. The migrant hardly speaks Russian. It turned out that Hayal Mammadov lived in Russia for more than ten years, his children study at a Russian school, and he worked as a bus driver for more than one year.


Hayal Mamedov was released due to lack of knowledge

... Meanwhile, the Yakut public reports that groups of young men from various regions are trying to join the alleged rally in Yakutsk. Their real goal is explanatory and educational work among migrants. About 2-3 thousand residents allegedly head to Yakutsk.



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