A pair of nationalists from Moscow is suspected of a hate crime after allegedly stabbing a Central Asian migrant in St. Petersburg, the Fontanka.ru news website has reported.
Unofficial data estimates that at least 245 acts of violence against Central Asians were committed in Russia out of a total of 772 hate crimes in 2010-2018. Sixty-six of the attacks on Central Asians took place in St. Petersburg and 60 took place in Moscow.
Two Muscovites are accused of stabbing and wounding a citizen of Uzbekistan before midnight Monday, the 78.ru news website cited an unnamed law enforcement official as saying Tuesday.
St. Petersburg investigators have opened a criminal case into attempted murder on grounds of nationality. The charges are punishable by between eight and 20 years in prison or a life sentence.
Photographs showed one of the detained suspects wearing tattoos of Nazi symbols and a “No Knife, No Life” T-shirt.
Fontanka, citing an unnamed law enforcement source, identified the tattooed perpetrator as Roman Kulyov, 24, the person who allegedly stabbed the Uzbek migrant. Kulyov’s name appears online, the outlet reported, as a student of Moscow’s leading engineering university who had been detained at the city’s nationalist march in 2017.
The second suspect may have used pepper spray, Fontanka reported.