Russians living in the UK have reportedly faced a wave of hate crimes linked to the war in Ukraine over the past year, with incidents including violent attacks, threats, and property damage.
According to a recent Sky News investigation, dozens of race hate crimes targeting Russian nationals have been reported since 24 February 2022, coinciding with the start of Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine.
One police force in England has reported a more than twofold increase in anti-Russian offences compared to the previous year, while a charitable organization has disclosed that even young children have fallen victim to the rise in hate crimes.
A series of disturbing incidents targeting Russians have been reported in different parts of the UK, sparking concerns about rising racial tensions and hatred towards the community.
In Derbyshire, an assault was reported on a building site where a worker allegedly told the victim, “I hate you Russians – you kill people,” before attacking them.
Similarly, in Hertfordshire, another victim was pushed to the ground at a crossing and subjected to verbal abuse, with the attacker allegedly saying, “All Russians are murderers.”
In a separate incident, a London law firm received a suspicious white powder in the mail, along with a letter condemning their ties with Russia and containing “pro-Ukrainian content.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have also reported a case where a Russian victim was followed around a supermarket and subjected to name-calling and death threats.
In North Wales, a woman originally from Russia was subjected to verbal abuse by a neighbour, who told her to “F*** off home”. The perpetrator also left a note on her postbox, demanding that she leave the country.
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The police have revealed that the abuse was “connected with Russia’s offensive in Ukraine” and have launched an investigation into the racially-aggravated incident.
In Dorset, a victim woke up to find that paint had been poured over the bonnet of their vehicle, with the victim suspecting that the attack was due to their Russian nationality.
Similarly, in Lancashire, a suspect repeatedly called a victim from a withheld number and left a threatening message, using racial slurs and derogatory language.
In another incident, an “obscene word” was written on a woman’s car in North Wales, with the victim believing that it was due to the perpetrator’s mistaken belief that she was Russian.
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Victim Support, a charity organization, has reported on the increase in anti-Russian hate crimes during the early stages of the war in Ukraine.
The hate crime operations manager at Victim Support, Becca Rosenthal, stated that the abuse often involves the narrative of telling people to “go back home,” which is directed at both children and adults.
The charity has also observed cases where anti-Ukrainian rhetoric and individuals from other countries being targeted due to the mistaken belief that they are Russian.
A Home Office spokesman told Sky News: “Hate crime is a scourge on communities across the country. It does not reflect the values of modern Britain.
“While the rise in cases is likely to be largely driven by improvements in police recording, these are serious crimes and we expect the police to fully investigate these hateful attacks and make sure the cowards who commit them feel the full force of the law.”
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