Russians sentenced for 19 hate killings

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Moscow court has sentenced seven young Russian men to prison for murdering 19 people in a string of hate attacks.

Moscow City Court spokeswoman Anna Usacheva says the two leaders of a skinhead group, also convicted of 12 attempted murders, received 10-year prison sentences, the maximum possible because they were minors at the time of the attacks.

Another defendant was sentenced Monday to 20 years, and four others to terms ranging from six to 12 years. Prosecutors said the group videotaped some attacks. They were convicted Dec. 2.

Experts say Russia is plagued by growing ethnic violence. Semyon Charny of the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights says there have been at least 110 killings motivated by ethnic hatred this year, up from 74 last year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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