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Armed Crime on the Rise in Russia

Moskva News Agency

Crimes involving weapons have surged by nearly 30% in Russia this year, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing police data.

Some 5,000 offenses involving firearms, ammunition and explosives were registered in January-October 2022, a 29.7% increase from the same time period last year.

Authorities saw a more than 12% increase in the theft and extortion of firearms, ammunition and explosives, while registering 7.3% fewer arms smuggling offenses.

RBC notes that crimes using explosives hit a six-year peak of 283.

Russian military enlistment offices have been targeted by a slew of Molotov cocktail and arson attacks since the Kremlin sent its forces into neighboring Ukraine in February.

Western Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions, both of which border war-torn Ukraine, saw the highest rise in crime rates involving weapons at 675% and 213% each.

Moscow came in third with a 203% increase in crimes involving weapons.

Overall, Russian law enforcement authorities registered 1.7% fewer crimes than in January-October 2021 at 1.67 million.

Violent crime saw a higher increase, climbing by 21.5% to a total of 23,500.

A geographic breakdown showed only 29 Russian regions registered an increase in crimes, compared with 56 regions that registered fewer.

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