The St Petersburg city court sentenced two local residents to 15 and 7 years in prison respectively on December 4.  The sentence followed their conviction on charge of brutal killing of Tajik teenager in 2016, according to the press center of the St Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office.

Yuri Novikov and another defendant, who was a minor at the time of the crime, were found guilty of murder (Article 105 (2) of Russia’s Penal Code).  Novikov will serve his term in a high-security penal colony while another defendant will serve his tem in a minimum-security penal colony.  

As it had been reported earlier, a 17-year-old national of Tajikistan was beat to death on the night of August 3, 2016 by a group of local teens armed with knives and bats.  He sustained multiple stab wounds and phalanges of two fingers of hands were cut off.

Three local residents aged 16 to 18 as well as a 15-year-old girl were detained on suspicion of committing that brutal killing.  Bats, knives and machete were confiscated from them.

Recall, a nine-year-old Tajik girl was stabbed to death in St. Petersburg by suspected skinheads in February 2004.  Police said a group of youths armed with knives and bats attacked the girl, stabbing her 11 times.  Her father and an 11-year old boy were also hospitalized with head wounds.  The attack was being widely seen in Russia as racist in origin.

Racism in Russia appears mainly in the form of negative attitudes and actions by some Russians toward people who are not ethnically Russian.  Traditionally, Russian racism included anti-Semitism, as well as hostility towards various ethnicities of the Caucasus, Central Asia, East Asia and Africa.  The director of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, Alexander Brod, stated that surveys show xenophobia and other racist expressions are prevalent in 50 percent of Russians.  In 2006, Amnesty International reported that racism in Russia was “out of control” and estimated the number of Russian neo-Nazis at 50,000. 

Many of the attacks on minorities in Russia are carried out by skinheads and nationalists.  Rather than seeing themselves as criminals or bullies they view themselves as do-gooders who maintain the purity of the Russian race by keeping foreigners out and forcing them to lay low.

Most skinheads are working class dropouts who find meaning in right-wing ideology and developing a sense of belonging by hanging out in a gang.  They are bored, have a lot of energy, lack responsibility and need a way to release their energy.  At night the go on "hunts” for victims.  They are regarded as cowardly, except when are with their gang.

Many skinheads are unemployed. One sociologist said they “want to feel like winner, at least in their own cities.”