Information about the Inter-Ethnic Conflict and the Current Situation in the Village of Chemodanovka, Penza Oblast, Russia

This report is based on information gathered by ADC Memorial staff during a field trip to Chemodanovka and also on information from open sources.


On June 13, 2019, Romani people and other residents of the village of Chemodanovka, Bessonovsky District, Penza Oblast were involved in a mass brawlthat ended in the death of anon-Romani man.After local residents took actions against Roma, the entire Romapopulation of Chemodanovka and nearby Lopatki wasforced to flee for other regions of Russia. Almost 900 Romawere left without a permanent residence. In addition, 174 members of the Romacommunity were arrested as they attempted to leave Penza Oblast and were reportedly treated inhumanely. The authorities opened criminal cases against 28 Romaunder various articles of the RF Criminal Code. At the same time, none of the village’s non-Romaresidents were prosecuted, even though Romawere injuredin the brawl. In addition, there is no publicly-available information about the search for or punishment ofthepeople guilty of setting a Romani house on fire and robbing homes abandoned by Romaresidents, or about the prosecution of people who incited ethnic hatred