Immediately, the “official version” was thrown into the media: the police were looking for a Tural Mammadov, who was, according to some sources, the leader of a teenage gang, or, according to others, a trash blogger reporting on the gang’s adventures. A semi-official commentary also emerged, suggesting that the Azerbaijani diaspora was being pressured to arrest and extradite Mammadov. Then Russian mass media reported Mammadov’s arrest.
It would seem that the pressure on the diaspora should stop there. But a new horror story has been planted in the Russian media, supervised by the country’s special services: a group of teenagers, mostly Azerbaijanis, are said to be “terrorizing the residents of Putilkovo near Moscow”. It turns out that they walk around in schools with the flags of Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and even with the image of Ataturk, and someone saw the signature sign of the grey wolf, “bozgurd”, on one of the photos, and this is the nationalist Grey Wolves party, who dream of the Great Turan and shot down a Russian airplane in Syria in 2015. The fact that the plane was shot down in Turkish airspace, and that schoolchildren in the Moscow region cannot be responsible for this, does not occur to the propagandists. But the authors of provocative posts are unanimous in their demands to “take action”, “respond appropriately to the actions of migrants”, etc.
For a start, remember that this is the same township of Putilkovo where a Russian special forces officer was killed in a fight with a “combat squad” organized by the local Armenian diaspora. Before that, another Armenian “combat squad” had been involved in a restaurant brawl in Kazakhstan. There were no “generalizing comments” from the Russian media and Telegram channels back then. And yet, here the witch-hunt is in full swing.
Any criminal incident is blown up to cosmic proportions and commented on with the clear intention of vilifying the Azerbaijani community. Some of the more ardent individuals even see criminal elements in the flags of Azerbaijan and Türkiye, even though Russian-speaking youths outside Russia wear St. George ribbons and sew the Russian tricolor on their clothes.
The mere fact of the Azerbaijani diaspora being painted as the “enemy” gives pause for thought. Unfortunately, this is not the only, shall we say, unfriendly step. In the Moscow Declaration, Baku and Moscow, among other things, promised not to encourage separatist tendencies against each other. Azerbaijan strictly complies with this paragraph of the declaration. Then again, strict compliance with agreements is a matter of honor for our country. What about Russia? The Russian media regularly reports on obviously anti-Azerbaijani attacks of the “Talysh diaspora” in Yekaterinburg, where a “documentary film” about the leader of Talysh separatists Alikram Humbatov was screened, and the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation intervened only after an article in Minval.az and the response of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the Russian Federation.
Finally, there is plenty of information that Iranian special services are actively working with young Azerbaijanis in the Russian Federation. Evidence of this can be found even in the investigation of the assassination attempt on the head of the executive authorities of Ganja, which was planned as the first step to a radical religious rebellion. But the special services of the Russian Federation, which valiantly react to bouquets of flowers at the monument to Lesya Ukrainka, ignore such activity of the special services of the Islamic Republic of Iran and have no intention of curbing it, although extremism is prohibited in the Russian Federation.
The news from Russia come together like pieces of smalt, making a “mosaic”, which makes one ask questions that someone might find rather unpleasant: what is going on? Does the Russian side intend to comply with the paragraphs of the Moscow Declaration that are sensitive for Azerbaijan? And do they even respect their own signature under the documents?