May 2008: Monthly Results

In May 2008, there were at least 13 attacks on individuals, which left 4 people dead and as many as 14 injured. We can note a reduction in skinhead activities, compared to previous months. However, it is important to stress that media neglect is the reason for such apparent decrease in the number of hate crimes.

In May, confirmed incidents occurred in Moscow (four dead and four injured), Bryansk, Kaliningrad, Novokuznetsk, Omsk, and Tula.

Overall, there were at least 232 victims of hate crimes (57 of whom died) during the first five months of 2008. Such incidents were registered in 21 regions of Russia. During the same period of 2007, there were 279 victims (39 deaths).

Moscow (35 dead and 89 injured) and Saint Petersburg (11 dead and 18 injured) continue to be the centers of violence in Russia.

The Courts announced at least 5 accusatory verdicts in May, sentencing 19 people for racially-motivated crimes. Such verdicts culminated trials in Moscow, Moscow Region, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, and Penza Region.
The most noteworthy was the conviction of eight suspects who stood trial for the explosion at the Cherkizov Market in Moscow, which left 13 people dead and 53 injured. Four defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the others received sentences ranging from 2 to 20 years in prison.

Overall, since the beginning of 2008 there were 12 confirmed accusatory verdicts in 11 different regions of Russia. At least 4 convictions were made in May 2008 (in Voronezh, Lipetsk, Dagestan, and Saint Petersburg), including the important decision against Dmitry Rumyantsev, the leader of National Socialist Society, who received a conditional sentence for his speech at a demonstration in Voronezh in 2007.

We would also like to note the May 26 verdict against six members of Kazan branch of the Russian National Unity movement, each of which received between 4 and 7 years in prison. The convicted were charged on 8 counts, including article 282 (part 2), which addresses membership in extremist groups. Previously, this article was only evoked in the convictions of alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir members.

The Federal List of Extremist Materials continues to expand. As of the end of May 2008 there were 141 items on the list. The list also omits publishing information for dozens of materials, which makes their identification impossible.