MOSCOW — Nine young men who formed a neo-Nazi group and killed six non-Slavs were sentenced to prison Thursday, as Russia officials battle a surge in racist assaults, hate crimes and xenophobia.
The Moscow City Court said in a statement that 12 mostly underage neo-Nazis who called themselves "White Wolves" were charged with committing 11 murders and one assault since April 2007. A jury found nine of them guilty of six murders and one assault.
The group was formed on Adolf Hitler's birthday to "exterminate" non-Russians and was active until early 2009, when its members were arrested.
They preyed on Central Asians and other non-Slavs with dark skin or Asian features kicking and stabbing them to death. During the attacks, which were often videotaped to be posted online, they chanted "Russia for Russians!"