Crackdown on hate crimes in Russia

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has heralded a crackdown on hate crimes after announcing measures to toughen and refine the existing legislation. The amendments will introduce longer sentences for perpetrators, but also heavier fines for publishing raci

Hate crimes are on the increase in Russia. According to independent monitors, 25 people have been killed because of their race or beliefs in Russia so far in 2007, compared with 16 in 2006, and seven in 2005.

Although hate crime perpetrators are often caught, prosecutors have struggled to classify their acts as hate crimes. The new legislation creates a more precise definition of hate crimes, and should push up conviction rates.