Russian of Armenian origin murdered in metro

Agence France Presse -- English
April 22, 2006 Saturday 6:31 PM GMT

MOSCOW, April 22 2006 -- A Russian teenager of Armenian origin was
stabbed to death in the Moscow metro on Saturday in what police said
could be a racist killing, local media reported.

"During an argument one of those involved drew a knife and stabbed a
17-year-old youth of Armenian origin," Itar-Tass news agency quoted
a police spokesman as saying.

"The attack was fatal. He died on the spot."

Interfax news agency quoted an anonymous police source as saying
the attacker looked like a skinhead, dressed in black and with a
shaved head.

The incident took place on a platform of the Pushkinshaya metro
station in the centre of Moscow. Those involved escaped, police said.

They said they were examining all possibilities, including that of
a racist crime.

But the head of the union of Armenians in Russia Ara Abramian told
a radio station he doubted the authorities were serious in tackling
racism.

"If extremism and nationalism exist here, we ought to call things by
their name, and it is only when that happens that they'll stop."

Racist attacks are often treated by Russian police and courts as
simple acts of hooliganism, punishable by light sentences, and there
is a reluctance to describe them as racist.

There has been a rise in the number of such attacks, often fatal,
on foreigners in recent years and the pace has quickened in recent
months. They are often carried out by gangs of skinheads and usually
target Asians, Africans and people from the Caucasus -- such as
Armenians -- or Central Asia.

Four Chinese students were beaten up on Friday in Kostroma, 370
kilometres (230 miles) northeast of Moscow, Interfax quoted local
police as saying. The attacks was described as racist and those
carrying it out arrested.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress