Kondopoga is a small Russia
: 13/09/2006
: Indigenous Issues

The tragic events in Kondopoga make us to search for the roots of the problem.
Russia is discussing the events in Karelia town of Kondopoga: at night 29-30 August two young citizens of Kondopoga were killed in result of big scuffle at a local restaurant Chaika, and on September 1st 2000 local citizens held a spontaneous meeting. This action was immediately followed by massacre and burnings. This meeting of people was caused, on one hand, by the death of their countrymen, on the other hand, by long connivance of the authorities to the criminal situation in the town, and the massacre and burnings were caused by participation of people of non-local nationality.

On September 5 two events took place in Petrozavodsk. In the afternoon in the Legislative Meeting of the Karelia Republic the special session of the Council of Non-Governmental Organizations was carried out, and in the evening over 200 people met in front of the Administration of the town to discuss the situation.

We cannot say the members of the Council of NGO had full information about the events, but general opinion was clear this case is extraordinary for Karelia. During the session the circumstances sounded, which further could be developed in the detailed analysis of how the tragedy was forming. Many of the circumstances are known for a long time, but those who could change something in Kondopoga didnt pay any attention to them.

First of all, there was said about social stratification in Kondopoga. Those working in the CPC (about 5 thousand people) are quite successful with their families, the others can barely make ends meet. There is a high level of unemployment.
Second, the nuisance is that some newcomers with big money develop their business suspiciously quickly, at the same time they are not respectful to the culture of local people and impolite in many respects.
The third thing is that the strangers look different. Unfortunately, it becomes significant under the influence of, for example, television, where almost in every issue of criminal and other news the national aspect is inappropriately accented (some kind of protection because of disability to solve migration processes in a civilized and fair way).
The blasting mixture of the first, the second, the third, etc. burst in Kondopoga. Just somebody had to burn the fuse, and it happened.