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Report Shows Ethnic Violence on the Rise

Participants of the Russian March held on National Unity Day performing a Nazi salute. Dmitri Abramov

Nineteen people have been killed and 168 others have been injured in ethnically charged attacks in Russia so far this year, a think-tank that monitors xenophobia and extremism said in a report released Tuesday.

Ethnically motivated violence took place in dozens of regions around Russia, but the site of the deadliest attacks was Moscow, where seven people were killed and 53 others were injured. Three people were killed and 26 beaten in St. Petersburg and the Lipetsk region saw the third most violence, with three people killed and nine beaten, the Sova Center for Information and Analysis said in an online report.

The numbers mark a slight increase from the same period last year, when 15 people were killed and 161 others were injured in ethnically motivated violence, according to numbers compiled by Sova.

In November — the month when nationalists mark National Unity Day with Russian Marches around the country — one person was killed and 24 others were injured, compared to four people killed and nine injured in November, 2012, the watchdog group said. On the day of this year's Russian March in Moscow and St. Petersburg, eight people were injured in nationalist attacks.

The watchdog organization said it attributed the shooting of Russian Migrants Federation leader Mais Kurbanov, who was wounded in a traumatic pistol attack on Nov. 11, to his group's criticism of the nationalist Russian March a few days earlier.

Russian courts have convicted 45 people for ethnically motivated attacks and 116 people for nationalist propaganda in separate hearings around the country since the start of the year, compared to 74 people convicted for ethnically motivated violence and 106 people convicted of inciting ethnic hatred in all of 2012.

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