Anna Natasha Raezer (University of Arkansas)
Dr. Steven Seegel (The University of Texas at Austin)Download Full ProjectView Full Project Online
In December 2010, Moscow's Manezhnaya Square erupted with racially-motivated anti-Caucasian riots. Contemporary English-language reporting in major news outlets tended to report this story as the Russian ultranationalist right wing hijacking the funeral of a young football hooligan, with the Russian government struggling to control the situation. In reality, the Kremlin, right-wing ultranationalists, and football hooligans were deeply interconnected groups, and the violence, rather than being disruptive to Kremlin interests, capitalized on a long pattern of government-sanctioned scapegoating of ethnic Caucasians. By tracking the relationships between members of all three groups using contemporary reporting, first-person interviews, and related scholarship, "The Enforcers: Weaponized Resentment, Anti-Caucasian Violence and the 2010 Manezhnaya Square Riots" seeks to contextualize the riots in the wider right-wing extremist ecosystem of Russia. The interconnectedness of these groups and their commonality of purpose suggests the Kremlin, right-wing extremists, and football hooligans were not working at cross-purposes - rather, the Kremlin response suggests that it embraced the common goal of further marginalizing people from the Caucasus in the Russian Federation.