EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russian Neo-Nazi Leaders Get Life In Jail For Hate Killings That Terrorized Minorities

Posted by Info on 15/06/2011

St. Petersburg: City Court said Alexei Voevodin and Artyom Prokhorenko headed a gang that enlisted Russian supremacists and football fans aged 16 to 22 who preyed on non-Slavs with dark skin or Asian features, kicking and stabbing them to death.The court also sentenced another 10 gang members to up to 18 years in jail for their roles in dozens of attacks over three years.
Voevodin and Prokhorenko, with shaved heads and bulging biceps covered with tattooed Celtic imagery, stood calmly in a cage in the courtroom as they listened to the verdict. At a court session last week, Voevodin threatened the judge with “a horrible death.”
Their supporters raised their right hands in a Nazi salute and yelled “Hail Russia! Hail heroes!” holding pictures of Adolf Hitler.
Their victims included a nine-year old from the ex-Soviet republic of Tajikistan, and natives of North Korea, China and African nations.The gang also killed two former members suspected of cooperating with police and buried their bodies in a suburban forest.

In 2004, the gang members gunned down Nikolai Girenko, a prominent expert on African ethnology and a human rights advocate who organized anti-racist conferences and helped police investigate hate crimes.

The killings rattled St. Petersburg, a city long plagued by assaults on labor migrants from ex-Soviet Central Asia and Russia’s Caucasus region, as well as natives of African and Asian nations.

Some nationalist politicians accuse the migrants of stealing jobs and forming ethnic gangs. Racially motivated attacks peaked in 2008, when 110 were killed and 487 wounded.
In early May, a member of an ultranationalist group got a life sentence for the Jan. 2009 killing of a human rights advocate Markelov and a journalist Baburova, his girlfriend and accomplice was sentenced to 18 years in jail.

In April 2010, a federal judge who presided over trials of White Wolves, a mostly teenage group of skinheads convicted of killing and assaulting non-Slavs, was shot dead outside his Moscow apartment.

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