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Attacks On Tajiks Rise In The Aftermath Of Moscow Terror Attack

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Tajik-born migrants are facing increased attacks in Russia in the aftermath of the Moscow terror attack which killed 140 people last week. The attack was traced to four Tajik nationals who were believed to have been working for the Islamic State (ISIS) which has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, while President Putin has claimed there was a Ukrainian hand behind the attacks, attacks against Tajik-born residents in Russia have increased.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, had a telephone conversation with President Putin hours after the attack where he emphasized that “terrorists have no nationality, no homeland, no religion.” Such words, along with the Tajik president’s emphasis on “solidarity of all citizens of Tajikistan with the fraternal Russian people,” have not deterred the growing hate crimes against Tajiks, many of whom already face discrimination and racism in Russia. Already, according to reports the Tajik embassy in Moscow has warned its citizens not to “leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.”

The Russian Federation released statistics stating about 10.5 million migrants from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are working in Russia. According to DW Central Asian migrants are the largest numbers of migrants in Russia thanks to a visa-free regime.

Tajik-born singer Manizha Sanghin, who represented Russia at Eurovision in 2021, has condemned the “flagrant atrocity” of the Moscow attack, but has also warned of the “consequences that will descend upon Tajiks and all residents of Central Asia.” Sanghin who is now a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency has been open about her opposition to Russia’s war with Ukraine for which she says she has been punished.

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In an interview to euronews.culture she said.  “Before the war, I was a very successful star in Russia. I had many performances per month…and I had huge contracts with huge brands like Adidas and Dove. And of course, when the war started, I was cancelled because of my anti-war position in my country and I lost my performance and my work, and now I’ve lost my contracts because all of these brands left Russia.”

Far-right Russian nationals have called for the attack and eviction of all Tajiks from Russia on Telegram. So far, President Putin or the Kremlin have not spoken about the attacks.