About 15 youths severely beat a university three students from Spain and Peru in the central Russian city of Voronezh, killing one of the Peruvians, a Russian Federal Security Service officer said.
The three students attending Voronezh State University were attacked Sunday at a sports complex in the center of the city some 475 kilometers (300 miles) south of Moscow, said regional security service spokesman Pavel Bolshunov.
Over the past six years, at least seven foreigners have been killed in apparently racially motivated attacks in Voronezh, where many foreign students attend university. Prosecutors did not indicate a racist motive in Sunday's attack, however, and opened a criminal investigation into aggravated assault.
Rights activists have frequently criticized Russian police and prosecutors for appearing to ignore racist motives in attacks by skinheads and other extremists.
Russian rights groups warned in a report this past summer that racism and xenophobia are growing at an alarming rate in Russia, fueled by economic hardship and government failure to come up with a plan for reducing ethnic tensions.
Thousands of migrants from poorer former Soviet republics have come to Russia since the Soviet collapse seeking jobs and sparking tensions.
The report also estimated that Russia was home to more than 50,000 skinheads, more than five times more than law enforcement estimates, reports the AP.