Today I have a rather unpleasant story to share with you, this is from the Russian tabloid press and involves some rather unpleasant children. It also raises a curtain into the “seamier” side of Russian life, where orphan children are institutionalized in third-rate “technical schools” and gangs of bullies terrorize the weak.
If you can get through this (and please be aware that the second video in the piece is marked “18 and over” – it doesn’t involve nudity or sex, but does involve some rather disturbing images of violence and brutality against a young girl), then I promise that by tomorrow I might have a more pleasing story to share: Namely the continuing adventures of our animal friends, Amur the Tiger, and Timur the Goat. The former has still not yet eaten the latter, thus proving once and for all, that animals are morally superior to people.
The Scene of the Crime: Karsun, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russian Federation
So, the first video in the piece is an “exclusive interview” with the three bullies in question (one of whose faces is blurred, because she is still a minor). These three little thugs, while pretending to be “a little bit remorseful” about their actions, actually use their 15 minutes of fame to continue to justify themselves, and to calumnize their victim. They don’t seem to “get it” that the public is not on their side, and will never be on their side, in this particular feud.
The 4 Criminals Involved Filmed Their Own Crime
For those who don’t remember the past: There used to be a time when criminals wore masks and tiptoed around in the dark. The last thing they wanted was to be noticed, let alone photographed. But in today’s modern world, it seems like many criminals, from ISIS on down to school children, not only record their own crimes, but even seem to take pleasure in their fame. Like, they think they are movies stars or something, because they appear on the internet, ganging up on another kid and forcing her head down a toilet.
The 4 youthful criminals are identified only by their their first names:
- Irina K
- Svetlana K
- Olga G
- Ilya M
Svetlana is the ringleader of this little gang, oddly enough she is not the chattiest one in the group, but she is the one who organized the attack. In the “interview” video, she is the one wearing the pink sweatshirt. Ilya is the boy pal they brought along to videotape the attack. He is not seen in these videos.
[yalensis sidebar: I have noticed a strange thing in life, that when one encounters a gang with a very distinct pecking order, unlike in Hollywood movies, it is not always visibly obvious, at first blush, to outsiders, who the alpha actually is. Especially among girl gangs and cliques. Sometimes it is the quiet one who is the actual leader.]
So, basically, and this happened on 11 January, these four young thugs, 3 girls and a boy, trapped the victim, 16-year-old Oksana K in the girls bathroom. Where, as the second video shows, they beat her up, threw a blanket over her while kicking her (a typical bully maneuver to dehumanize a victim, by covering up her face and her personhood), forced her head down a toilet… every bully trick in the book.
What Would Dostoevsky Say?
I don’t want to get too deep into cultural stereotypes, but some of the commenters to these pieces have noted differences in attitudes between “Western” culture and “Russian” culture. By Russian culture, they probably mean the Orthodox Church, the way it handles issues of crime and punishment. I am not a religious person myself, but in my shallow understanding of these matters, the Orthodox way of life makes a distinction between Repentance and Expiation. In other words, it is not possible for Person A to be forgiven a grievous wrong against Person B, unless Person A has first been punished severely. Preferably by a tour in the Gulag.
If I may indulge in stereotypes, sometimes Western culture seems to want to skip the Punishment step and go directly to the Forgiveness step. I am thinking of American politicians, caught philandering or stealing campaign funds, who think it is enough to stand up in front of the TV cameras and declare, not in so many words: “I SAID I was sorry! What else do you want from me?”
Also coming to mind is the stereotype of the Catholic priest in the confessional booth, forgiving the most egregious crimes with a simple “10 Hail Mary’s” and you are pardoned. Just the Hail Mary’s, again, no time in the Gulag. In the “Interview” video, like typical self-pitying sociopaths, the 3 bully girls complain about the “negative reaction” which they have received in the press, all the threats which these poor dears have endured from an enraged public. The interviewer pushes them in the direction of apologizing to the victim – but they won’t go that far. Instead, they continue to diss on her, perhaps in the hope that if they just keep talking and talking and talking, they can bring the press over to their side: “Oh yeah! We get it now! Oksana is a bad girl, you were absolutely right to throw a blanket over her, kick her black and blue, and then force her head down the toilet! I understand everything, I not only forgive you, but congratulate you on your heroic deed!”
Like I said, these girls just don’t get it. Even if everything they said about Oksana WERE true, people would still not take their side. But in fact, every bad thing they say about her has been proved to be false. They accuse her of stealing their stuff – and yet none of their stuff was ever missing. They accuse her of having lice in her hair and infecting others – and yet upon medical inspection, Oksana was proven to be clean of any lice or lice eggs. (Also a ridiculous accusation when you see in the second, “attack”, video how the juvenile delinquents grab her by the hair – even if I were a violent bully myself, I wouldn’t go near somebody if I thought they had lice!) And the most ridiculous accusation of all: That she “didn’t socialize with them”. Well, as some of the commenters have noted – Just looking into the eyes of these creepy little sociopaths, what normal person would WANT to socialize with THE LIKES OF THEM? Little Oksana, quite wisely apparently, upon joining this institution, kept her distance from the other inmates and instead focused on her studies.
Issues For Society’s Attention, or: Where Were the Adults?
In the aftermath of this vicious attack, Russian press notes how the 3 bully girls have been separated from each other (presumably in the hopes of breaking up their little gang); and that the victim, Oksana, has been moved into a safer environment, actually into the home of the Deputy Director of the Technicum, Svetlana Guryanova. (Which will most likely enrage the bullies even further, since Oksana is now officially the Teacher’s Pet.)
More importantly, the criminal organs of Ulyanovsk Oblast, are investigating this entire incident, and looking into possible charges against the administration of the Technicum. The key word here being Халатность (“khalatnost”), a very Russian word derived from “khalat” a robe that a lazy person wears around the house; but in this context, a criminal term equivalent to the English term “Criminal Negligence”.
Investigative organs suspect that the Technicum staff knew about the brewing conflict, but did nothing to avert, or mitigate it, until it was too late.
In other words, the children were let down by the adults.
Commenters to the piece wonder if the 4 young perpetrators of this crime will have to face any consequences for their actions?