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Life Sentences For Russian Neo-Nazi Serial Killers

A Moscow military court has handed down five life sentences to members of a neo-Nazi group in connection with a killing spree that shocked Russia into tougher hate-crime laws, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The ringleader of the so-called National Socialist Society, Lev Molotkov, and accomplices were convicted in connection with the murders of 27 youths in 2007-08.

Judge Nikolai Tkachuk called Molotkov an "extraordinary danger to Russian society," AFP reported, and sentenced him and four co-defendants to life sentences.

Seven of the other eight defendants, many of whom were convicted on terrorism-related charges, were given jail sentences of between 10 and 23 years. Another defendant, who turned himself in to authorities, received eight years' probation.

The Nationalist Socialist Society was found to be an extremist organization and banned by Russian courts in February, according to RFE/RL's Russian Service.