Tajik Terror Shadow Falls Over Russia

(MENAFN- Asia Times) It has emerged that the four gunmen charged in the murder of at least 139 concert-goers at Moscow's Crocus City Hall theater were all citizens of the small post-Soviet nation of Tajikistan in Central Asia.

Does their nationality have anything to do with their alleged terrorism? Many Russians probably think so.

Tajikistan, a landlocked country of 10 million sandwiched between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and China, is the most impoverished of the former Soviet republics. Known for its corruption and political repression, it has chafed under the iron-fisted rule of President Emomali Rahmon since 1994.

There are estimated to be well over three million Tajiks living in Russia, about one-third of the total Tajik population. Most of them hold the precarious status of“guest workers ,” holding low-paying jobs in construction, produce markets or even cleaning public toilets.

While Russia's declining population has led to increasing reliance on foreign workers to fill such needs within its labor force, the attitude of Russians towards natives of Central Asia and the Caucasus region is generally negative.

It's similar to the American stereotype about Mexicans so infamously expressed by Donald Trump in 2015:“They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.”


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