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Petersburg University Student Fined For Hate Crime

ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg university student has been found guilty of fomenting interethnic hatred and fined, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

St. Petersburg's Vyborg district court found Sergei Orlov guilty on October 29 of placing leaflets in the city's subway stations that urged Russian citizens "to act against Muslims, Jews, Chinese, and people from the Caucasus and Central Asia."

Vyborg's prosecutor considers the verdict too lenient and is demanding a stricter punishment for the crime.

Local rights activist Yury Rybakov told RFE/RL that he agrees that only fining Orlov is inadequate punishment. He said Orlov should have a criminal record after such an action so others know that there are serious consequences for hate crimes.

Xenophobic attacks against non-Russians have become more frequent in St. Petersburg in recent years and have led to the deaths of dozens of foreigners.