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Russian Racism Expert Gunned Down

20 June 2004 -- A Russian racism expert who advised the courts in cases involving racially motivated crimes was shot dead today in central St. Petersburg.

Police said Nikolai Gvrenko was gunned down by an unknown assailant as he answered his apartment door.

Gvrenko, an ethnologist, headed the commission for minority rights at the city's Scientific Union. He had also advised the courts after the 2002 murder of an Azeri fruit vendor and led a study of a group of skinheads who targeted city residents from Russia's Caucasus republics.