Skinheads gang intended to stage mass riots during 2018 FIFA World Cup 

Skinheads gang intended to stage mass riots during 2018 FIFA World Cup
Khalilov and Arkhipov met each other on the fans’ stadium stand during soccer games Photo: The CrimeRussia

The CrimeRussia obtained a video record of confessions made by one of the leaders of a nationalist movement: he tells cold-bloodedly about hunting down a student of the Kazan Federal University, kicking him in the head, and then killing with a knife.

Kazan law enforcement services have solved the murder of Makhdzhub Tidzhaki Hassan, a student of the Kazan Federal University from the African Republic of Chad. Active members of the skinheads gang have been busted in the framework of this criminal case. Two supposed leaders of the young neo-nazis – 19-year-old Roman Khalilov and 22-year-old Ruslan Arkhipov – have been arrested and confessed to the murder and several other attacks on foreigners. According to Roman Khalilov, the gang mastermind, he does not repent his deeds and believes that he had done right things because “any white man must act this way”.

The mass crackdown on skinheads has started in Kazan on March 6. The National Guard of the Russian Federation, Federal Security Service (FSB), and police have simultaneously checked several locations. Nine persons have become suspects in this criminal case, including one girl. All of them supported neo-nazi ideas of the ‘white race purity’. The average age of the nazis is 18 years.

White race

Two detainees – Ruslan Arkhipov and 19-year-old Khalilov – are clearly distinguished from other gang members by their leadership skills. Arkhipov was not very talkative, but Khalilov did not try to hold back anything during the questioning.

– Back in 2010–2011, I don’t remember exactly, I saw videos on social networks showing Chechens cutting off heads of Russian guys. Since then, I started embracing national socialism. I was reading magazines, watched documentaries about the gang of Borovikov-Voevodin (a St. Petersburg nationalist criminal group) and Primorskie and Orlovskie ‘guerrillas’.

Roman Khalilov and Ruslan Arkhipov

Roman Khalilov and Ruslan Arkhipov

– I decided that any white man must act, take revenge, kill enemies – all the enemies with non-Slavic appearance. At the age of 13–14, I have chosen the target – African students. Because their deaths could spark public outcry. Borovikov wrote that murders of ‘watermelon traders’ could be interpreted as their internal squabbles, while murders of students would send a clear message. They will be scared, flee the country; people will speak of us!

The gang needed publicity; according to their confessions, they wanted a ‘minute of fame’. Khalilov and Arkhipov have met each other on the fans’ stadium stand during soccer games. Both of them have criminal records. Khalilov was sentenced in 2013 to 10 months behind bars under Article 111 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (intentional infliction of a grave injury) after a fight with a native of Tajikistan. Arkhipov had to serve 100 hours of community works under Article 282 (incitement of hatred or enmity) for reposts of ‘dangerous’ messages. They have killed the student from the Republic of Chad together. The African was always wearing headphones – this allowed the murderers to approach him unnoticed. They have kicked him in the head several times, then killed with a knife, and took all valuables.

Murdered student Makhdzhub Tidzhaki Hassan

Murdered student Makhdzhub Tidzhaki Hassan

The CrimeRussia obtained a video record of confessions made by Roman Khalilov: he tells cold-bloodedly about hunting down the student of the Kazan Federal University, kicking him in the head, and then killing.

Video: Murder of a student of the Kazan Federal University. Confessions of a member of the skinheads gang

The attack on the foreigner was not a single incident. Like maniacs, Arkhipov and Khalilov have acquired the taste for such deeds. On February 21, 2017, they broke the skull of an Afghan citizen with a metallic item; on the next day they attacked dusky Tatar Ranel Mirsaidov – apparently, mistaking him for a foreigner. The young man was stabbed with a knife several times and kicked in the head; he survived by a miracle. In addition, Khalilov and Arkhipov are suspected of torching a car with Kyrgyz license plates and murdering Yasir Javed, an Indian medical student. The Hindu was attacked on March 3; the pattern of the crime was similar to previous attacks on foreigners.

The source told that the investigators intend to charge the neo-nazis with desecration of graves on the Tartar cemetery in Kazan, but there is no evidence so far and the suspects deny the allegations of vandalism.

Followers of ‘Kazan Patriots Front’

The investigators are currently working with all the detained gang members. Reportedly, they were preparing to stage mass riots in Kazan during the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Some of them neither have a job nor study anywhere, their lifestyle is obscure, they are covered with tattoos depicting crosses and skulls.

– A major and meticulous work has to performed, – Igor Zolotov, senior investigator of special cases of the First Department of the Investigations Directorate in Tatarstan of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) says. – It would be premature to say that an extremist and terrorist group had operated in Kazan. But it is true that all the detained suspects had propagandized national socialism and considered themselves fighters for the ‘pure race’.

Although the investigators believe that the detainees were not affiliated with any other group, it is reasonable to suppose that the skinheads could be linked with ‘Kazan Patriots Front’ – an extremist organization believed, until recently, to be defeated by law enforcement authorities and disbanded. The gang had actively operated before the Universiade; for several months, members of this exuberantly titled criminal community had been attacking bystanders with non-Slavic appearance, beat them, and then banally robbed. Their victims were mostly natives of Asia and the Caucasus. Similarly with Khalilov, the mastermind of ‘Kazan Patriots Front’, 20-year-old Yaroslav Blagov, told the investigator during the questioning that he had embraced the idea to take revenge on ‘non-Russians’ after watching the massacre of Russian soldiers perpetrated by Chechens. The members of ‘Kazan Patriots Front’ have been convicted in 2011: Ramil Denyushev and Yaroslav Blagov were sentenced to 5.5 and 3.5 years behind bars respectively, two other members have got 9 months and 4 years in jail, while the rest of the gangsters got 3 years conditionally each.

Kazan Patriots Front

Convicted member of ‘Kazan Patriots Front’ in December 2011

The possible links between Khalilov and Arkhipov on one part and ‘Kazan Patriots Front’ on the other part are indirectly confirmed by the arrest of Rostislav Ermolaev in the framework of this criminal case. Earlier his name was Petr. In 2010–2011, he was a suspect in the criminal case against ‘Kazan Division’ and ‘Kazan Patriots Front’ initiated under ‘organizing an extremist community’ and ‘attempted hooliganism’ Articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and has served a 4.5-year prison term. The source believes that the arrest of Rostislav–Petr is linked with the attacks on foreigners in Kazan. Ermolaev and his accomplices still support the neo-nazi ideology, and it can’t be ruled out that Khalilov and his gang had followed the example of ‘Kazan Division’ – that never committed murders – and surpassed their ‘mentors’.

It is necessary to note that both the crackdown on ‘Kazan Division’ and recent arrest of the skinheads gang have occurred on the eve of major sports events in Kazan. The city will host the FIFA Confederations Cup this year and FIFA World Cup in 2018. Skinhead fans had reportedly been preparing to stage mass acts of provocation in Kazan, while Roman Khalilov has confessed that he had intended to gun down visitors in a major Kazan trade center.

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