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Russian Officials' Success In Solving Murders Questioned

MOSCOW -- Some Russian analysts are questioning the government's announcement that the overwhelming majority of all murders in the country are solved, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vladimir Markin, a member of the Investigation Committee of the Prosecutor-General's Office, said last week that during the first six months of 2010, the percentage of murders solved has risen to 90 percent.

He said that over that time period, almost 60,000 murder investigations were opened, of which about 51,000 have been completed. Of the latter, 94 percent have been sent to court for prosecution.

But Sergei Nasonov, the rector of Moscow's State Law Academy, thinks Markin's figures are inflated. He said many murders go unreported and a large number of people "just disappear without a trace."

Nasonov reasoned that if nine out of 10 murders are solved, one would expect such crimes to die out, whereas in fact the number of murders is increasing year by year.