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Manezh Case Sentence Cut

A man sentenced to 20 years in the killing of a Russian football fan that led to nationalist riots has had his jail term reduced by two months, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

Aslan Cherkesov, who was jailed for the fatal 2010 shooting of Spartak fan Yegor Sviridov, had appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that his lengthy sentence was "too harsh," the agency said.

Cherkesov, 27, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria, claimed that he shot Sviridov with an air gun in self-defense during a brawl in the north of Moscow.

But the court ruled him eligible for a minor reduction of two months.

Police arrested Cherkesov and his friends but later released them, excluding Cherkesov, triggering rioting by nationalists and football fans that culminated in an ugly clash with police on Manezh Square in December 2010.

Cherkesov's sentence reduction comes a day after an article by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the question of nationalism and ethnic issues appeared in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. The article cited the events on Manezh Square and other conflicts as an "aggravated reaction to the absence of justice."

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