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Russian Court Reduces Sentences For Skinhead Group Leaders

Russia's Supreme Court today reduced the prison sentences of the leaders of a group of 10 skinheads jailed in September for ethnically motivated attacks, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The court ruled to cut by one year the sentences of skinhead leaders Ilya Shutko, 19, and Yevgenia Zhikhareva, 18, to nine and seven years in prison, respectively. All the members had originally received sentences of three to 10 years in jail.

The court said the criminal liability on a number of charges against the two had expired.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said previously that all the crimes -- which were committed against non-Slavic people -- were done on the grounds of ethnic hatred and aimed to incite national or religious enmity.

On February 1, 2008, Kyrgyz citizen Altynbek Ashirov was beaten by five of the skinheads and stabbed to death by Shutko. In February and March 2008, the group of skinheads made three murder attempts in Moscow against Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Chinese citizens.