A court in St. Petersburg, Russia sent two members of a neo-Nazi group behind bars for life on June 15. The group was responsible for at least seven murders, the court found. While gang leader Alexej Vojevodin and follower Arťom Prochorenko were sentenced to life in prison, another 10 members were given sentences of between two and 18 years. The gang’s victims include a Senegalese student shot in front of a night club in St. Petersburg, a man of North Korean origin who was stabbed to death on the street, and the anthropologist and ethnographer Nikolaj Girenko, who was shot to death in front of his home in 2004. Girenko was killed apparently because he frequently testified as an expert witness in trials of neo-Nazi perpetrators.
Vojevodin’s gang was formed in 2003. Most of its members were arrested by 2006. Dmitrij Borovikov, who led the gang together with Vojevodin, was shot dead by police officers during the course of his arrest in 2006. Neo-Nazis regularly attack persons from abroad or from the North Caucasus on the streets of Russian cities, primarily in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Human rights activists and journalists reporting on neo-Nazi activities are also frequent targets for attack. According to the Russian non-governmental organzation SOVA, during 2010 alone a total of 37 people died at the hands of neo-Nazis throughout Russia, while another 382 suffered injuries. (Romea.cz, June 15)