Two ringleaders of a skinhead gang accused of murdering 20 people went on trial Thursday in Moscow.
Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, both 17, will be tried behind closed doors for attacking and stabbing migrants from Central Asia and the Caucusus.
The two on trial led a gang of seven others between the ages of 17 and 22. They videotaped the attacks and posted them on the internet, Russia’s Vesti-24 channel reported.
“The criminal skinhead group is charged with 20 premeditated murders, 12 attempted murders and fomenting racial hatred,” Moscow City Court spokeswoman Anna Usachyova said, according to Reuters.
There has been a jump this year in the number of racially motivated attacks and murders. In the first three months of 2008, more than 50 people were stabbed in Moscow alone.