A court in Moscow has sentenced seven skinheads to between six and 20 years in prison for a series of racist attacks. They resulted in 20 murders, and 12 other attempted murders of victims identified as “non-slavic” between August 2006, and October 2007.
The sentences were the maximum that could be handed down, as all the defendants were minors at the time of the offences. The gang filmed some of their crimes and posted the videos on the internet. The suspects were said to have the deliberate aim of using violence on ethnic minorities. In the first 10 months of this year 113 people were killed in racist attacks in Russia, and a further 340 were injured. Foreign students studying in Russia now stay mostly on campus or in their dormitories, for fear of similar attacks. Anti-racist campaigners have repeatedly called for authorities to do more to stop rising xenophobia.