Skinheads Attack Crowd of 3,000, Kill 14-Year-Old

A group of 100 Russian skinheads stormed a crowd of concertgoers on Sunday, reportedly killing a 14-year-old girl. Details are still sketchy, but local media is reporting that some 100 people were injured while police "were inactive or ran away."

What an awful day for people hoping to see "Russia's most popular rock bands" at the annual Tornado Festival in Miass, a city in the Urals. According to local news reports, a group of about 100 bare-chested skinheads wielding "batons, sticks and iron rods" rushed past festival security and just sort of... started beating people up, I guess.

News portal Chelnovosti.ru—the source of the report of the teenage girl's death, which it attributes to an anonymous police source—says that police and security just stood by and allowed the attack to happen, and in some cases had their nightsticks taken away by the skinheads, for the purpose of beating on people. The site has a bunch of photos that, yeah, seem to show police just sort of chilling, though it's pretty hard to tell what's going on, given that the photographer, for some reason, doesn't seem to have wanted to get too close to the large crowd of shirtless neo-nazis.

So, why did a bunch of skins—who are obviously the scary American History X kind and not the "fun" kind that listens to ska and pretends to have a British accent—freak out at a rock festival? Apparently it was politically motivated, as the festival's organizer is planning on running for office:

"Political struggle is seen as the most likely cause of the attack at the Tornado rock festival. The event's main organizer, Valikhan Turgumbayev is going to run in the October legislative polls," an unnamed police source said.

The uralpolit.ru news portal said the attack was coordinated and most likely planned beforehand.

"They [attackers] appeared in an organized manner, they left in an organized manner," the portal quoted Miass governor Igor Voinov as saying.

But it's not just in the Urals, either:

Russia has an ingrained neo-Nazi skinhead movement. Attacks on dark-skinned foreigners in Moscow and St. Petersburg have been relatively common in recent years. The January 2009 murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasiya Baburova prompted a Kremlin crackdown on ultranationalists, who were blamed for the killings.

[AP; Ria Novosti; Chelnovosti.ru]

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