Apparently, the Russian government refuses to do anything about the rising tide of Islamic terrorism in its country, so citizens are taking the law into their own hands. Sometimes, desperate times require desperate measures.
UK DAILY MAIL – A Russian court has given life sentences to five ultra-nationalists convicted of the racist (sic) murders of 27 Muslims, and shorter prison terms to a further eight members of their group. The ringleader was among the five men given life for a killing spree in and around Moscow in 2007 and 2008. They targeted people from Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus and from ex-Soviet Central Asia.
Standing in a glass box, the group shared jokes and attempted Nazi salutes in handcuffs before their sentencing in the Moscow Military District Court, state TV showed. A further eight members of the gang, including one young woman, were given terms of between eight and 25 years in prison.
Neo-nationalist groups have been increasing in number in Russia, and violent clashes in the capital between Muslims and ethnic Slavs have raised concerns that authorities will be unable to keep order ahead of March 2012 elections.
In the past two years, a judge and a lawyer who fought against neo-nationalists were killed in attacks connected with their work. Judge Eduard Chuvashov and lawyer Stanislav Markelov were both shot dead, and critics say the Russian government’s lenient attitude to the far right allows racism to flourish in Russia.
The country is home to some 20 million Muslims, a seventh of the population. Many migrants from the impoverished North Caucasus, where an Islamist insurgency is raging, come to the Russian heartland for menial work.
They say they are often treated with suspicion by ethnic Russians and many face racism. (Gee, I wonder why?)
Those convicted on Monday belong to the far-right Nationalist Socialist Society, which was outlawed in February and whose logo is a red and black stylised swastika. The group’s leader, Lev Molotkov, pleaded not guilty – and his defence team plans to appeal
against the length of the sentences.
The court heard that, at Molotkov’s command, the defendants ganged up on apparent foreigners and stabbed them with knives, metal rods and sharpened screwdrivers. According to court papers, Molotkov testified that that during a new year toast on December 31, 2007, he proclaimed 2008 to be ‘the year of white terror’ in Russia.
Molotkov’s gang is estimated to have hundreds of members nationwide. After being convicted, some of the nationalists shouted: ‘Our conscience is above your laws, we’ll be back!’
They were also found guilty of attempted terrorism, creating and participating in extremism, and inciting racial hatred.