The British police have recorded dozens of such offenses since the start of the Ukraine conflict, according to the outlet’s investigation
Russians in the UK have been subject to an increasing number of hate crimes, including violent assaults, abuse and vandalism, a Sky News investigation released on Friday found. In one region of the UK, the number of such offenses has more than doubled since the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022.
The outlet’s findings were based on the information it received in response to freedom of information requests it sent to 45 territorial police forces and British Transport Police. Out of this number, just 14 provided data on crimes targeting Russians.
The rest either did not respond to Sky, or said it would be too difficult to collect such information, or did not register any such crimes. Some police forces also told the outlet that the nationality of crime victims was often not recorded.
The offenses include an assault on a building site in Derbyshire in central England, which saw a worker telling his victim before attacking him: “I hate you Russians – you kill people,” the report says. In another instance, according to Hertfordshire Police quoted by Sky, a Russian victim was pushed to the floor, with the culprit saying “All Russians are murderers.”
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A Russian-born woman living in North Wales was abused by her neighbor who told her: “Why are you still here? F*** off home,” Sky notes. In the same region, an “obscene word” is said to have been written on a woman’s car as the offender apparently mistakenly believed she was Russian.
Across the UK, anti-Russian crimes are counted in the dozens, according to Sky. For instance, Greater Manchester Police recorded 13 race hate crimes against Russians since the start of the Ukraine conflict, compared to just six in 2021 and two in 2020.
Police of Derbyshire told Sky that it had recorded four offenses targeting Russians since 24 February 2022, which included a violent assault, criminal damage and racially aggravated harassment. In 2021, no such crimes are said to have been registered.
In March 2022, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had seen “an unprecedented level of Russophobia” in numerous countries amid the Ukraine conflict. In early June, it released a report on the matter, noting that the most common actions in this regard include refusal to provide various services, crackdown on Russia-linked business and coercion to condemn Moscow’s actions.