Richard Arnold on Russian nationalists, racism and the Sochi Olympics

posted 9 Jan 2014, 14:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Jan 2014, 14:47 ]
9 January 2014

Should there be a large terrorist attack in Russia before or during the Olympics then the reaction of the nationalists should also come under scrutiny.

While the attention of most analysts in the wake of the double bombing in Volgograd has rightly been on the threat posed to the Sochi Winter Olympics by the Caucasus Emirate and Doku Umarov’s pledge to disrupt the Games, the bombings also revealed another potential disruption to a peaceful Games. In the aftermath of the first bombing, nationalist groups on December 30th led by the group ‘Russian Regions’ called for a gathering to demand the resignation of the “governor and the mayor of the city.” One of the groups who joined in the call to stage protests calls itself “Sputnik and Mayhem.” Although that particular planned gathering was put down by the city authorities, Russian racist attitudes and violence pose substantial threats to the Winter Olympics and rights in Russia more generally. [Read more]

Richard Arnold, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Muskingum University where he teaches courses on international relations and comparative politics.