Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today in Russian News

Moscow youths jailed for up to 10 years for race-hate attacks


MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court on Tuesday sentenced a group of ultranationalist youths to prison terms ranging from five to 10 years for attempted race-hate murders.

One of the 11 defendants was acquitted, while three received suspended sentences. The youths made four attempts to kill nationals of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in Moscow between February 1 and March 7, 2008, prosecutors said.

Gang leaders Yevgeniya Zhikharyova and Ilya Shutko received 8 and 9.5 years respectively.

Zhikharyova is also suspected of involvement in a series of explosions in Moscow in 2008-2009, including at a McDonald's restaurant, a railway line and a church.

Russia has seen a wave of racially motivated crime since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Attacks by gangs of youths on foreigners and people with non-Slavic features are a routine occurrence in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Voronezh, which hosts many foreign university students.

Last December, the Moscow City Court sentenced seven young men, convicted of 20 race-hate murders and 12 other attacks, to between 6 to 20 years in prison.

The gang killed their victims and assaulted 12 others in a series of attacks between August 2006 and October 2007 targeting foreigners and non-Slavic migrants. The suspects reportedly filmed some of the attacks and posted them on the Internet.

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