2 Murders, 3 Years, 12 Families: Why Pugachev Residents are Angry

Though I know I missed the train on this news, one point in particular is worth drawing attention to as regard the stabbing of (the half-Tatar) paratrooper Ruslan Morzhanov by a 16-year-old ethnic Chechen, which incited the small town of Pugachev to stage a peaceful mini-revolt against the feds.

The town has seen similar tragedies before. A brutal murder was committed in very similar circumstances in 2010. Twenty four-year-old Chechen Beslan Mudayev fatally stabbed twenty eight-year-old Nikolai Veshnyakov five times during a fight that broke out right in front of Zolotaya Bochka. Locals claim that the Chechen community, consisting of a dozen families in total, has been harassing the local population. According to official statistics, there are about 80 Chechens living in various parts of the Pugachev District.

So. Two murders, committed within the space of 3 years, from a group of 80 people belonging to a “repressed” minority. The town’s population is a mere 41,000 and in such places, a lot of people do know each other.

I would be angry as well. Moreover, I would feel unsafe. If 2.5% of a certain group are murderers, then complaints that many of the rest are thugs in general become all that more credible (at least for minds not dominated by political correctness). The popular demands made by Pugachev residents to expel those local Chechens that are not employed or registered in their city – that is, merely enforcing the law on residence, as opposed to the ethnic cleansing it has been portrayed as – though perhaps quite harsh, is not obviously unreasonable given the horrifying circumstances.

One can have some issues with Navalny, co-signing a petition condemning the federal government’s limp-wristedness on ethnic crime, its opposition to legalizing self-defense isn’t one of them, and its at times heavy-handed response to airings of legitimate ethnic Russian grievances isn’t one of them.

The Western media doesn’t see it that way of course. To left/liberals, the small-town Russian protesters are chauvinist troglodytes – with Putin at times even held responsible for this “xenophobia,” despite the government’s avowed opposition to all expressions of russki nationalism; while the conservatives/neocons salivate over the prospect that the Pugachev Affair is but the prelude to Russia’s disintegration.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. anon obv says

    This is why I cannot stand Americans – liberal or conservative. They blindly follow The Narrative no matter what and reflexively view any and all events through its prism. They are indoctrinated at a young age so well, the North Koreans would be proud.

  2. I thank you kind sir/madam/other for reminding me and other readers why broad generalizations such as yours invite no comment. Good day.

    AK: In that case, why are you commenting here then? Spam one more time, and you’re going into the ban list.

  3. This has been big news in Russia. The paratrooper was not only murdered, but scalped. This was a source of considerable outrage in Moscow among people ranging from liberals to nationalists. The overall narrative is that due to corruption the government is not taking the side of the Russian people in the face of such actions, but the side of the Chechens. An story I heard: a university student was attacked by Chechens, her classmates came to her aide and in the ensuing fight one of them was being brutally assaulted. She pulled a pellet gun from her pure and fired it. Now she is in jail for firing it, while the Chechens are all free.

    To paraphrase a friend of mine (right-leaning business owner, son of a Soviet-era diplomat) gun control exists in Russia because without gun control people will kill these criminals and then turn their guns on the paid-off police who have shielded the criminals from justice.

    • karl1haushofer says

      “She pulled a pellet gun from her pure and fired it. Now she is in jail for firing it, while the Chechens are all free. ”

      If this is true then the Russia is really led by some really rotten and traitorous people.

    • I heard of that story in passing. It actually wasn’t as… clear-cut as that, if I remember correctly.

      That said I’m a fervent proponent in gun rights in Russia as in America. The problem however is that most Russians are against that. They tend to cite how everybody is shooting each other all the time in America, disregarding that the murder rate in Russia is twice higher anyway and that the homicide problems in the US are confined to certain urban areas and groups.

  4. karl1haushofer says

    What is the motive for the Russian police and politicians for shielding and protecting the criminal Chechens against ordinary Russian people?

    Chechens clearly are a hostile and alien element in the Russian Federation. They are united and very loyal to themselves. While their numbers keep increasing the problem will become bigger and bigger.

    I’m afraid the third Chechen war will not be fought only in Chechnya but also in other parts of the Russian Federation including in Moscow. The sooner this war comes the better because the demographics are on the side of the North Caucasus Muslims.

    • “What is the motive for the Russian police and politicians for shielding and protecting the criminal Chechens against ordinary Russian people”

      Money, of course. Bribes. If not to the individual cop, then to his bosses.

      • I don’t think it’s really a matter of money. Is a typical thug from that region particularly rich? I don’t think so. Chechnya is one of the poorest republics.

        I think this Vedomosti eop-ed hits closer to the mark:

        The typical Chechen or Dagestani … has gotten used to solving problems informally, outside state institutions… The typical Russian, even though he suspects there is no point in reling on the state, nonetheless still retains hope in it by habit. When there are … conflicts between these groups, our Caucasian is often more effective – because the corrupt ineffective state can’t solve conflicts within the framework of existing laws.

        In other words, if you fuck with a Chechen or a Dagestani, you can end up getting fucked right back by one of their brothes or even clan members. Yuri Budanov was assassinated, even after serving his sentence. Are the relatives of that poor old woman who was killed by Barkov’s (CEO of Lukoil) – and whose corpse was recently ruled responsible for the accident – going to mete out popular justice? Of course not. Russians are too atomized and individually cowardly. That is why Caucasians look down upon them when they walk down Slavic streets, and I would not even say that they are wrong to do so.

        • Дарман says

          This incident brought some bad memories: when I was 8 years old I remember witnessing how Chechens operate, that day they killed an older man outside the movie theater in Makhachkala. These guys were really noisy and the man asked them to calm down. As he was walking out with his wife, the four Chechens grabbed his arms and dragged him behind the theater, where they stabbed him. I did not see the murder, but I remember the man’s wife screaming and a police officer rushed to her, but when he heard that the Chechens were involved, he turned around and walked away as she was begging for help.

          Lets not mix chechens and dagestanis. Many times when dagestanis are mentioned in relation to crimes in Russia, people do not realize that 99% of times the huligans or criminals are ethnic Chechens. Over 100K ethnic Chechens live in Northern Dagestan. Dagestan is not a nationality, it is a multi ethnic region, where people called Avars, Kumyks, Dargins, Azeri, Lezgins, Mountain Jews (Gorsky Juhuro) live. These small ethnic groups are all at odds with the Chechens. Which is the case also for most of other Caucasians, except maybe Ingushs.

          Ruslan Marzhamov had a couple acquaintances from Dagestan who rushed to his help but too late, and they are the ones who actually took him to the hospital, as Ruslan’s mother mentioned in her interview to the press.

          Yes, the people from Caucasus have a short fuse, but it is the Chechens who are giving all Caucasus a bad name. The Chechens have a serious case of megalomania because of their formidable clan system and mafia-like organization, which makes them very dangerous.

          Lets not forget that the second Chechen war started when they invaded Dagesta: – these two regions are enemies.
          I do not think that Russians are cowards; they are not. Simply they lack good community organization, and that is why 80 organized Chechens can act as if they own a city with 40,000 people. Which is an absurd situation, in my opinion. Chechens are also vengeful and too many small town Russian police chiefs are insecure and prefer not to mess with them for fear of individual retaliation.

          From my personal experience: if you are physically strong, not afraid of them (and in arguments they always threaten you and look you in the eyes to see if you are afraid or not, just like dogs they can sense your fear) and have a backing from a strong group of people, they will avoid picking a fight with you. The Chechens are always in groups of three and four, but they only attack if they are sure they have you cornered and defenseless. If you ever get into argument with one of them, be aware that two more will be positioning themselves behind you.

          Finally, why do you think Putin is so respected in Chechnya? Because he proved that he would not blink and would level the whole republic with heavy artillery and missiles, if he felt like it. This is the only argument they understand.

    • Дарман says

      Except a few hundred mercenaries and fanatics from Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine, the Chechens fought alone. If there is another war (and I do not believe there will be one) they will fight alone, at least Dagestan and Cherkess will fight against them for sure.

  5. Ha! You think Russians aren’t xenophobic? Ask all the African diplomats who are afraid to go out at night because of skinhead attacks. This is by far the most intolerant country I’ve been to, after travelling through USA, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Middle East.

    • Russians are not PC and will tell jokes and makes comments that can be shocking to Westerners. This is a matter of etiquette and “rules” rather than racism. A Russian might joke to his African friend to climb out of his tree and come have a drink with him. Many Americans (not just Southerners), South Africans, etc. are far worse than Russians.

    • The Negroes that can be seen handing out leaflets at the entrances to metro stations all around Moscow to pedestrians must be immensely courageous then. And there’s a big gang of very brave black Cubans, both men and women together with their children, who live at “Old Havana”, a large night club/bar near my house where wedding parties etc. take place (my daughter
      celebrated her 5th birthday there), who go shopping in our local supermarket. And near my metro station there’s a big gated house where many African families live – I think they’re all members of
      the diplomatic corps at various African embassies throughout Moscow – and I see these black people who live at this house, mostly the younger members of the families, both boys and girls, going out at the weekend. They travel by metro and are very often in the carriages on my line heading for the same station where I get off. I’ve never seen any of these black people abused or attacked, though I’m sure there are out and cowardly racists in Moscow, as there are anywhere, who do go around in gangs and assault black people.

      I’ve occasionally seen some white people, usually very old women, staring at black passengers on the trains, though; not out of hatred but purely out of unconcealed curiosity. These gawping whites always appear to me to be country boors (boors – хамы).

      I’ve never noticed any nervous fear amongst black people walking around Moscow or riding around on the metro. And occasionally, I’ve even seen a black African canoodling with a white girl, and the male has never appeared to me as though he felt he was putting his life in danger. I’m quite certain, however, that a black person would very much be putting his life in danger if he came fresh with a Chechen girl. So would a Russian as well.

      However, I’ve heard during the past 20 years that I have lived in Moscow how Muscovites refer to a black person as “negr” (негр), which simply means “Negro”, and is for them an absolutely neutral term but which word, year in, year out, causes comment from some of my squeaky clean PC colleagues from the Anglosphere who arrive here to work and who express their horror at hearing Russians shamelessly using what they think is the Russian cognate of the so-called “N-word”.

      Referring back to a comment above by Дарман about the Chechen attack tactic that he has observed, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen it put in operation on a few occasions during disputes in local markets: three in front and two behind. The attacked party in all these incidences that I have witnessed were also what Slavic Russian citizens call “black arses”, though not Chechen. “Black Arse” (Черножопый), by the way, is a Russian “N-word” equivalent usually directed at Caucasians, be they Chechens, Georgian, Armenians, Dagestanis or whatever.

      In my experience, I don’t think Slavic Russian citizens are any more intolerant than any of their non-Slav fellow citizens are; nor are they, in my opinion, more intolerant or xenophobic than most of my fellow countrymen as well. This so-called Russian xenophobia is just another Western russsophobic meme used to beat the Russians (Slavic ones, of course) about their collective heads.

      • However, I’ve heard during the past 20 years that I have lived in Moscow how Muscovites refer to a black person as “negr” (негр), which simply means “Negro”, and is for them an absolutely neutral term but which word, year in, year out, causes comment from some of my squeaky clean PC colleagues from the Anglosphere who arrive here to work and who express their horror at hearing Russians shamelessly using what they think is the Russian cognate of the so-called “N-word”.

        I noticed that as well. Of course calling Negroes “blacks” in Russia wouldn’t just be strange but a perversion of the language as well. Those colleagues should be told to stuff it. Russia didn’t have slavery, it has none of that baggage nor obligation to cater to American complexes on the matter.

        Incidentally, the Russian word for “German” is if anything a lot more offensive. 😆

      • Fedia Kriukov says

        To add to your point, it’s the word “black” that is racist and offensive in Russian. At least it used to be that way when I was growing up. The reason is that while Negro is simply a technical term (and most Russians have no idea what it means and which language it came from), calling someone “black” zeroes in on the one apparent difference, and is used for discriminatory purposes.

        Just like AK, I find your description of foreign reactions to this utterly bizarre. Are these people really so self-centered and parochial?

        • “Are these people really so self-centered and parochial?”

          In 1995, a colleague of mine, newly arrived from England, took up a teaching post in Moscow. He spoke no Russian at all. He claimed he had been a member of the Communist Party of great Britain. His particular pet subject turned out to be racism.

          Within a few days after his starting work in Moscow a state school as an English language teacher, he began to voice his great displeasure over what he perceived as the inherent racism of all Russians. When I asked him why he believed all Russians to be racist, he said it was because of how the children in his class repeatedly used the term “nigger” without any shame about it at all. Apparently, on starting work at the school, he had immediately set up lecturing his class about the evils of racism. I pointed out to him the the error of his ways after having asked him whether the children in question had actually been saying “nigger” or “negr”. He confirmed that they had been saying “negr”.

          In the end, I persuaded him that the children had not been using the “N-word”. Nevertheless, he told me later that he had forbidden the children to use that word in his presence because to him it sounded like “nigger”.

          One of the children told his father that his English teacher had forbidden the use of “negr” in class. The father reported this fact to the director of the school and the teacher was dismissed.

          The teacher didn’t stay much longer in Russia, As he was preparing to return to the UK, I asked him what he thought of Russia, “Not much”, he replied.

        • Yakutiaisnotmuslim says

          Negro is from Latin and means black