Friday, March 24, 2017

Skinhead murder trial begins in Urals

Hearings for murder cases brought against Alexander Solovyov and Alexander Minin began on Tuesday.

Solovyov and Minin, who are believed to be affiliated with the Volkstrumm group, are being tried for three murders, eight assassination attempts, and 26 or more attacks against non-Slavic-looking people. Charges against the two include racially and ethnically-motivated murders, attempted assassination on the grounds of racial or ethnic hatred and participating in organized crime, Itar-Tass reports.

The Volkstrumm group was established by underage Yekaterinburg residents in September 2006. Volkstrumm's founding three members - Mikhail Rusakov, Vladimir Klimanov and Alexei Varovin - were later joined by six additional adolescents.

Armed with knives, glass bottles, sticks, metallic chains, brass knuckles and tear gas, the group filmed their attacks on racial minorities and uploaded the videos onto the internet. At the peak of its activity, the group had 12 members. In 2008, Volkstrumm disbanded following the arrest of one of its members.

Solovyov and Minin allegedly joined the group after it was formed and later took leadership responsibilities. Solovyov was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison by Moscow courts in February 2010 for similar crimes, according to Itar-Tass.

In June 2011, nine of the group's members received long-term jail sentences for their involvement in Volkstrumm's activities.